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Archive for September, 2006

$12.00 raise

September 15th, 2006 at 03:22 pm

I just got my direct deposit notice, and I apparently got a $12.00 raise in my living stipend. It was actually a nice surprise since I didn't expect it at all. Every other week I will take that right off the top and put it into my emergency fund so it will be like I never even got it. It's just $312 extra over the course of a year, but I'll certainly take it!

$12.76 to the $20.00 Challenge

September 14th, 2006 at 07:13 pm

.07 from my husband's car
12.69 from my car
-----
12.76 this pay period

My husband's car was completely empty because he made an out-of-state trip last week. I was pretty psyched about my car, but unfortunately I have a trip for work this weekend, and I won't be getting reimbursed for my travel. My destination is about 1.5 hours from here, and I'll be doing some driving once I'm there. Hopefully I won't use too much gas. I also have a trip next week (not a budgeted gas week) that I will get reimbursed for, so I'm trying to figure out how to account for that. Maybe a category for reimbursed work expenses/expenses, and another for reimbursed work expenses/income to even it out? I'll have to think about how to account for that since I do it about once per month.

My $20 Challenge

September 10th, 2006 at 05:06 pm

I'be been trying to figure out what to do for a $20 challenge for the past few weeks. I've been trying to find some new place where I've been 'leaking' money, and it finally came to me. I budget $40 for gas every other week for both of our cars, and don't go over that unless we have a long trip somewhere (rarely) or I have to travel for work and my reimbursement for travel is mailed to me after the fact. However, we are often under the budgeted amount, and I leave that extra in the checking account, where, eventually, we spend it on something else.

So, my $20 challenge will be to transfer all of the budgeted money I don't use for gas to my $20 challenge account. It won't be much, and it will only be every other week, but I feel like that is an area that I 'cheat' in by treating that extra bit of money as fun money and wasting it. I only have an emergency fund account set up at ING, so I am going to try to set up a subaccount today to get my challenge started. I don't know what I am going to use that money for yet, but I'm sure I can come up with something. :-)

I'm now a CPR instructor!

September 9th, 2006 at 02:33 pm

I spent this week earning my CPR/AED/First Aid instructor's certificate from the Red Cross. I am now certified to teach CPR/AED/FA classes; I'm so excited! Part of my current job is to teach these skills to low income populations for free, so I will get a lot of instructor experience this year! I'm not allowed to have a second job until my term is up next August, but hopefully, after that, CPR training will provide me with a little extra income since I'll be able to be a per diem community/workplace instructor. I think knowing basic first aid and CPR is extremely important, and if I could afford the manikins, I would teach it for free to anyone who wanted to learn.

On a different note, when I went grocery shopping last week I got a nice surprise at the checkout -- a '$10 off your next grocery purchase' from Kraft, with no purchase requirements. Since I don't buy packaged foods, I'm not sure what Kraft products I bought (other than cheese), but, I don't really care! :-)

This weekend I plan to go over my budget and finances again as I've been a little lax over the past two weeks. I also finally got a copy of The Total Money Makeover and the workbook that goes with it. I started it last night and hope to at least skim through the whole thing over the next couple days.

The Adoption Interview -- YIKES

September 1st, 2006 at 02:29 pm

OT, but related to an earlier post--
Well, the check I was worried about earlier still has not come in. I have no idea what is going on, so I think I will have to call the hospital. Thankfully I have plenty of money in the account to pay for it now.
***********************************
My husband and I are going through the process of adopting, and we had our first home study appointment last night. It was a joint interview that lasted about three hours and asked everything you could imagine about us, our marriage, our lifestyle, our parenting philosophy, and our financial situation.

The embarrassing part -- when she asked how much money we have left over each month, I didn't really know! August has been so crazy, and we have been so off-budget, that all I could do was guess. I explained that we (unexpectedly) had our two nieces for one week, then our nephew for another, we had an out-of-state funeral, had to buy a new (used) care because ours died (paid cash), and we also had our vacation in August. Oh, and we make very little money right now. I told her that I automatically had $62.50 per paycheck put into our ING account, along with whatever was left from my husband's paycheck every other week. I knew every one of our bills. We prepaid our car insurance, we have life insurance, etc.

We were very concerned that, making so little money, we might not be considered qualified to adopt. Well, she was actually very complimentary about first, our conscious decision to live as we do, second, about the fact that we knew what our bills were, and third, that we believed in saving money in an emergency fund. Although we are very financially depleted due to the crazy month of August, she said it was clear that we understood financial management, and knowing that what we went through in August didn't put us in debt or into an emergency situation, it was obvious that we were financially okay. She also said that she does home studies with people who make a lot more than us, and who have NO savings at all, and have huge credit card debt (we have none). We felt really good after the interview.

So I guess the whole 'it's not what you make, it's what you save' really does count. :-)