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Spending & Saving

August 24th, 2007 at 09:47 am

So, I found out yesterday that I have to shell out $48.50 for a background check! They changed the policy this semester regarding our observing & student teaching. The previous policy required a $5 background check be preformed for Student Teaching experiences. Now, a $48.50 background check must be completed before doing any type of observing or teaching in a school. Although I student teach next semester, I am taking an observation class this semester.

So, the $5 fee I was expecting to pay in January, just increased $43.50 and must be paid NOW!

Lastly, my DH called Allstate to change our renter's insurance from one apartment to another (same complex). It tripled!! We downsized, and our insurance tripled! Thankfully, I called Statefarm today (who my insurance is with) and we'll be saving $16.92 a month! YAY! Also, my DH realized, he'd save about $50 every 6 months by transferring his auto insurance over as well. So, come October, we'll have all our insurance with State Farm (except my ring).

That brings me to my next subject, jewelry insurance. Currently, my engagement ring is insured on a separate policy with Jeweler's Mutual. The policy is pretty cheap, or at least I think. Our renter's insurance only covers $1,000 worth of jewelry. My ring is worth $2,500 and my DH's wedding band is $600. So, I figured the renter's insurance can cover the band and we'll keep the separate policy for my engagement ring. To increase the coverage on our renter's insurance, it would cost $2-3 a month more, and that'd still be more than our separate policy. So, no savings to be had there. (Unless I'm missing something).

I also saved more money yesterday. I am a Business Education major and my program is always changing to keep up with the technology. This semester they changed the software we are to use for my class. Unfortunately, I do not have the new software. So, I had to re-budget for traveling to my school just to do my homework. That would cost me ~$8 a trip. That costs adds up real quick. Thankfully, I found out yesterday, we can borrow the software from the school as long as we sign an agreement saying we'll uninstall it after the class is over! This is the first semester they have done this, so I'm super excited! I paid them a $10 deposit, that I'll get back when I return the software. So, "YAY!" for more savings!

Lastly, my DH just got a new job because his current employer is selling/closing. Well, he was offered a pretty nice bonus if he stayed until they closed or were sold. We decided that it wouldn't be best for him to stay, and he should accept the new position. Well, it looks like his company may be sold next week. If this happens, he'll still get his bonus! So, we are praying that it does get sold, because that money will definitely be great to put in the bank.

I'm back!

August 22nd, 2007 at 10:31 am

Wow. It's been over a year since I've blogged here.

I definitely learned a lot my first time around at savingsadvice.com and it feels great to be back.

I re-read a few of my previous posts and I wanted to provide an update.

I did purchase a car. It's a 1996 Toyota Camry and I've had it for a year now. I bought it with 90,212 miles and it had a clean Carfax report. Unfortunately, the dealership lied to me directly regarding quite a few things and I spent two months in and out of the dealership every few days. I probably hit about 30-45 visits during those two months. But, everything got fixed and it passed emissions (which wasn't tested before I bought it!!). It's been running great since. I've put 23,000 miles on the car in one year, which is actually much less than I expected.

I also read about purchasing Stone Mountain annual passes. We did use them pretty frequently, but not enough to justify buying them again this year.

I am still attending the college that is 47 miles away. This summer and fall, my classes have been online, so I haven't been making the drive too often. So, that has saved a lot of money.

I just got married a couple weeks ago, so I've pretty much spent the entire last year planning our wedding. I'm happy to say that we were able to have a wonderful wedding for less than $5k and we did not have to go into debt.

Now that I'm married and no longer living at home, I feel the need to get back on the money saving band waggon. My DH and I have a lot of financial goals & obligations. We want to do things right from the very beginning.

My DH works for a bank that will be selling or closing in the near future. He took a significant pay cut to get into the banking profession. Last week, he accepted an offer with another bank and will be making what he was before the pay cut. He'll start 9/5.

I am still working with the medical malpratice wholesaler. I actually received a raise a couple months ago.

So, right now we are working on saving money wherever we can.

We do not have cable, internet or a land-line phone.

I'm going to watch our cell minutes over the next couple months and see if we can decrease our family plan.

I am starting to collect coupons and watch the sales flyers.

We don't use our AC unless we absolutely must.

Right now our bank accounts are still separate, but we are going to try a joint account approach. We are waiting until my DH gets things set up with his new bank before we start moving our accounts around.

Right now we have an EmigrantDirect account for our savings. We plan on opening an ING Electric Orange Checking account. Then, we'll keep a local account at my DH's bank. Ideally, those will be the only accounts we will have open come the end of September.

I know this post is long, but I wanted to give everyone a basic understanding of where we are.

I plan to keep this updated on a pretty regular basis. I really want to put a lot of effort into saving money.

Busy Busy Busy!!

May 24th, 2006 at 01:22 pm

Oh my goodness! I'm sooo busy. School is crazy. My teacher is very strange. He doesn't teach. It's very interesting. But because of this, we have to put a lot of work into the class!

So, I calculated the mpg for my sister's car. The first two tanks I ended up with 25 mpg. And this morning (my thrid time filling up) I got 21 mpg. That isn't terrible. Just not as good as I wanted. But, with gas prices declining, I'm still spending ~$10/day to go to school.

I've also looked back on my gas purchases for the semester so far, and here is how much I've spent:
5/15 $39.80
5/17 $26.00
5/20 $35.15
5/24 $29.18
Total $130.13
I started with a completely EMPTY tank. And I fill up at approx. 1/2 empty. So, So if I deduct the half a tank I don't use (~$20) I have used ~$110 of gas. For ~10 days (because it will last me through friday). So, I'm at about $11 a day not including gas usage for the weekends. I'm pretty much on budget! YAY!! (I made sure to add some extra $ to my budget to account for flucuating gas prices.)

On a different note, I'm (finally) getting into my classes that apply to my major. The only downfall with this is that I'm wanting to keep some of my books. This definitely will make college cost a lot more. I'm going to have to start deciding if it is really a NEED to keep my books. I know some of my business books won't be worth keeping because they will be outdated within one or two years.

I decided that RIGHT after classes end this semester I'm going to diligently be searching for a car! I have until June 23rd to get a new one. (May be a little longer because my dad hasn't sold my car yet!) I'm really leaning to a small car that is fuel efficient (at least 30 mpg).

Maymester Begins

May 15th, 2006 at 06:52 am

Today begins my long commute to my new school. Gas went back up to $2.89. Frown I filled up this morning and it cost me almost $40! Yikes. But, I'm prepared for it and that is what matters. I also applied for parking ($30) and that was posted to my school online account. Which I plan to pay off tonight after it posts. I realized that all along I've been calculating my mpg incorrectly. Since I will be driving my sister's car (per my dad's request), I will actually be spending more on gas than I previously calculated. My sister never kept track of her gas mileage, so I'm going to calculate it on this tank of gas. Then, I'll have a really good estimate of how much gas I'll be using this summer. Hopefully it is close to the 31 mpg I get with my normal car.

This weekend was tough. I ended up spending more than I anticipated. But, with school starting back up, I plan on getting back on track.

I found a car for sale that might be a possibility. It is a 2000 Toyota Echo in my price range. PLUS, it gets approx. 38 mpg! YAY! But, I have to find time to drive over to the dealership to check it out.

It's (FINALLY) over!

May 9th, 2006 at 06:29 am

The semester has ended!! YAY!!! I had my last final last night....well, sort of. My teacher actually told us we didn't have to take the final if we were happy with our grade. I had a B and needed 103% on the final to get an A. Not possible. So I didn't have to take my final.

I now know 3 of my grades. Two B's and a C. Frown That was a disappointing discovery, but the class was hard. I'm just waiting to find out if I got an A or B in my last class. Most likely a B though.

Yesterday I got $74 for selling back my Economics book! YAY! They aren't taking back my Accounting book because they are changing additions (What a shocker! ::eyes rolling:Smile. But, my friend found out that she didn't pass and must take it again, so I gave her my book. (She was borrowing a friends this semester.)

Also, I got my Discover card! YAY! Just in time. I already signed up for my 5% back on gas. I calculated I will get ~50 cents back every day I commute to school! Smile

On a not so exciting note...school starts back up in less than a week. But, that's not what we are celebrating!!!

Three down, One to go!

May 6th, 2006 at 08:41 pm

Today was my accounting final! Now, I only have one left. Let me just say that, this final cost me a little bit of money. I ended up studying until 1:00 am. Because of this, my friend and I needed to go somewhere and it was 9:00 pm. We ended up going to Waffle House. And you can't just go to WH without buying anything. So, we both ended up getting dinner. I treated. My friend had a coupon so, the meal ended up being $7. But, that was including a REALLY REALLY nice tip. (We couldn't just sit at the table and not give a good tip.) But, it got busy and we pretty much got kicked out around 11:00 or so. We ran over to steak and shake and they were packed. So, next stop IHOP. We went there and I got dessert. I had to order something. But, my friend treated this time. So, it didn't cost me anything. We ended up stopping at 1:00 am. I then got up this morning at 5:00 am (AHHHH!!!). I got gas (for $2.64!!) and ended up buying a quick breakfast. Then, downtown I went.

I thought that I would regret going out Friday night, but it was really needed. It is sooo much easier to study when I'm not at home and those places are really all that is open at those hours of the night. I didn't really spend that much and I justify it as a much needed break. Smile Hehe.

BTW, I should be finding out my accounting grade on Monday. I think I'm going to end up with a C in the class. My first C. Frown That's no fun. But, I knew going into this semester it was a possibility. I took the 4 hardest classes of my major in one semester! (I had to because they are prerequisites for everything else!)

Also, I already know for sure that I have one B. Just waiting to find out the rest of my grades. Smile

Pretty much a good day!

May 4th, 2006 at 06:31 pm

Today I spend money, but I made money. I went out to lunch. This is still the thing I'm having the biggest problem with. But, I'm definitely making progress. I ended up staying 30 minutes late at work. Plus, I went in 30 minutes early. And, I went in early on Tuesday. So, my paycheck is going to look pretty nice next week. Also, since I had to stay late a work, I had to cancel my chiropractic appointment. This, in turn saved me ANOTHER 30 miles! Smile Yay!

Also, I figured out what I'm getting my mom for mother's day and I'm going to end up spending $20. I feel good about that. Smile

I got an email today saying that Discover has approved my application and I should be receiving my card real soon. It's going to arrive before school starts! YAY! I'm going to sign up for the Cashback Bonus they have going right now, which is 5% back on gas. This is good until June 30th. It's better than nothing. Plus, I wanted another card for emergency purposes.

So, today was a pretty good day. Tomorrow should be just as good. I think it will be my FIRST no spend day. I don't plan on going anywhere tomorrow. I can't. I will be working for my dad's company in the morning (I'm pretty much his secretary) and then studying, studying, studying!!! My accounting final is at 8:00 am on Saturday and I MUST get a B on it!

Must get back on track...

May 4th, 2006 at 06:28 am

So, yesterday just was NOT a good day, spending wise, for me. I spent more money than I should have. So, after lunch today, I must stop spending.

I will be saving some money tonight, though. I was supposed to go the 20 miles to my Accounting review session tonight. However, my teacher had to bump it up 3 hours and I will no longer be able to attend. That means that is 40 less miles I will be traveling. Which is 1.33 gallons less. Which is a savings of $3.63 (I was able to fill up for $2.72 on Tuesday!! Smile)

So, I guess that is a plus. Hehe. I'm trying. But, I AM going to get back on track. No spending this weekend! That's my goal. Considering I can't go anywhere tomorrow night (I MUST study!!), this shouldn't be to hard.

College is EXPENSIVE!!

April 28th, 2006 at 11:03 pm

I applied for parking a couple days ago for fall semester. It got me thinking of my expenses for school. I calculated what summer semester is going to cost me and here is what I discovered:

Gas - $10/day x 35 days = $350
Parking = $30
Textbooks = $100
Total = $480

Gas - $10/day x 20 days = $200
Parking - $10/month x 5 = $50
Textbooks = ~$300
Total = ~$550

Note: Gas only includes getting from my house to school. It does not include work or errands. Also, for fall semester it does not include gas that I will need for observing local schools.

But, today my mom told me that my dad is planning on trying to help me out a little with the money for gas. Although, I also realized that I should be ok for Summer. If he still wants to contribute, I'll probably save it for Fall.

I just can't help but imagine where I would be if I didn't have my tuition paid for through a scholarship. It would be very very difficult to be going through college without any debt.