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Home > Archive: January, 2008

Archive for January, 2008

No Bonus for Me!

January 31st, 2008 at 07:15 pm

Well, today was the day that everyone got their bonus deposits ... but nothing showed up in my account??? I asked a girl I know who started exactly one week before me if she got anything, and she said she did. Turns out if you started working for the company after Oct. 1, you were not eligible for a bonus. I started on Oct. 8 ... yes, that means my friend started ON Oct. 1, therefore she was eligible! Oh well, that's the way it goes. It was even in my offer letter that I would not be eligible, I had just forgotten that! It would only have been 25% anyway, for the last 3 months of 2007, so next year at this time I will get 100% of the award for 2008. I also found out today that I am eligible for a merit increase, so that's pretty cool! I won't find out until next week or the week after that how much, but it will be effective from tomorrow and will show up on mid-February's paycheck. I'm sure it won't be much, but I will take it whatever it is!!

I looked at my totals for January tonight. I had 7 no-spend days, woo-hoo!! And I was totally shocked to see the amount I spent at the grocery store in one month ... terrible! I just struggle so much with feeding all of us. First of all, I am doing Weight Watchers, and I find it easiest to eat the frozen Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine meals every night, usually with a salad that I make. But boy does that get expensive!! Secondly, I am really NOT a fan of cooking anyway, so I do use a lot of other convenience foods as well. I don't know what I'm going to do about that ... I am going to pay a price either way, with my money or with my time (which I also have very little of).

Hey, how do I get those smiley faces that so many of you use?

No Spend Day!

January 28th, 2008 at 08:19 pm

First, thanks for the comments of support, they really help me feel like I CAN do this!!

I had my 5th no-spender of the month today, so that is pretty cool. There were also two days this month where my only expense was the $3 admission to my daughter's basketball game, so those are *almost* no-spenders! Most weeks I also have a day or two where I have to either stop for a gallon of milk or ask my son to bring home something from the store where he works (and I pay him back). I wish I had an extra refrigerator/freezer so I could buy enough to last an entire week without having to make mini-trips, but oh well.

I should be able to eke at least one more no-spender out of this month ... since I really am BROKE right now!!

Seriously Derailed

January 26th, 2008 at 07:30 pm

I am still around, but have just been lurking. I can't stay away from this site, I read everything! I dream of being able to post about MY success, but I haven't made any strides yet, so I have not posted. I need to get myself on track.

Christmas buying really put me in a bigger hole than I either planned or realized. I couldn't pay all the minimums on my credit cards in December, so I incurred some late charges ... which, of course, has just gotten me further into the hole. Trying to get caught up this month has left me flat broke! Add to that the fact that my ex got a new job, so he's going from paying me child support in full at the beginning of each month to paying half of it twice a month, when he gets paid. So I have some adjustments to make to get used to that new set-up. It will all work out, it will just take a little time ... and I am impatient, especially when I'm waiting for $$$ because I currently have none!

I have to amend the rules I made for my own challenge. The PayPal funds I transferred into my challenge account at the beginning of the month had to go towards bills. I figure that ANY substantial amount needs to go towards building my EF, then to paying down my debt. Given that, the larger amounts I get from eBay sales as well as the garage sale I plan to have in the spring will go towards savings and debt reduction. My challenge fund will consist of smaller amounts that come from coupon use when buying groceries, as well as awards from doing surveys and completing rebates, things like that. Following those guidelines, my challenge fund currently stands at $87.22!! This comes from a couple of rebates, coupon use, and my first check from Cash Crate. Oh, also a check I got from my insurance company last week in the amount of 8 CENTS!! Please.

I still don't have my bonus, but I think that is paid this coming week (end of month). I don't anticipate much, and I am struggling so to get caught up with my bills, I will probably use it towards those. I am also waiting to receive the W-2 from my last job (which should arrive this week as well), so that I can do my taxes. I already estimated I will get several thousand back (due to the EIC), which will be great. I plan to use it to fund my baby EF first, and the rest will go towards the CCs. I also need to buy a few clothes, since I have lost enough weight now to make a big difference in how my current clothing fits! But I am going to stick to resale shops for that, especially since I still want to lose enough weight to make a difference of another size.

I have been doing really well as far as recording and tracking my spending, and I've taken my lunch to work every day, so I am proud of myself in those areas. Between budgeting and dieting, taking lunch to work is a necessity!

My first deposit into my very first Challenge fund!!

January 1st, 2008 at 07:26 pm

I transferred $150 from PayPal into my checking account yesterday; it will take few days to show up in the account, so I went ahead and transferred $150 from my checking account into my Challenge acct. Since I started with $20, I now have $170 in my challenge fund! Woo-hoo!!

I have a new notebook to write down my daily expenses in, so I can keep track of everything I spend. I tracked expenses for December in You Need A Budget, and I'm going to continue that. I've set up a new spreadsheet to begin this year, and I am going to break down my grocery expenses even further to reflect spending in the categories of cleaning products, pet food/supplies, etc. (anything that is not food). I think there are things I could cut back on, but I want to get a clear idea of what I am spending in each area.

I also got a couple of ideas from reading others' blogs here. One is to make a resolution that I will not incur any late fees at the library! I am notoriously bad for that, and there's no excuse for it ... especially considering we can keep items for 3 weeks AND renew online if we won't be returning items on time. Same resolution for video rentals! I go with the intention of renting ONE video, and I inevitably leave with 2 or 3. Of course, I don't have time to watch 2 or 3, so I have to keep them longer. You see where THAT goes!! Another thing is to really try this year to wean myself off soda, specifically Diet Coke. I drink waaaaay too much of it, and I know it's bad for me. And there's no telling how much I spend on it! (Maybe I'll track that as well!) It's my coffee ... I go for it first thing in the morning, and drink it most of the day at work. Bad, bad, bad! Maybe seeing how much I'm spending on it will help me on the road to cutting back ... WAY back!!

Anyway, here's to a great 2008 for everyone! I know it will be quite a financially eye-opening learning experience for me!