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ING Checking

October 11th, 2007 at 05:21 pm

So, the staffing company I work for actually has my direct deposit set up already! I'm in shock. It's taken up to 6 weeks with some other employees. I only had to wait one week!

So, that means I'm earning interest on my money sooner than I thought! That's definitely a plus!

Also, I found out a way to link our Emigrant Direct account and our ING Checking. Once we add me to DH's local checking account, we can make our Emigrant account a joint account. Once it is joint, we can go ahead and add the link ING checking to Emigrant account. Basically, all Emigrant needs is a voided check. You can print this from the ING website.

You can't link through ING's site, because they require a check.

So, yippee! So far this account is working out great!

A Great Weekend!

October 1st, 2007 at 03:43 pm

This weekend was really good!

Friday
DH and I went to dinner and a movie. It had been almost a month since we went out on a date. We went to our favorite restaurant and used a BOGO free entree coupon. Then, we went to the movies. The movies are so expensive! But, it had been over 4 months since we saw a movie in the theaters. It was worth it. I'm going to purchase movie tickets through Entertainment.com to save money on the next time we go.

Saturday
We got up early to work on our apartment. We headed to Walmart to go shopping. We got a lot of needed personal items & groceries.

I have 4 sisters and we all live close to each other. Two of my sisters are moving away this week. My oldest sister decided to hire a photographer to take family photos. So, we did that right after lunch. It was lots of fun.

Then, DH went to the GA Tech vs. Clemson game. A friend of ours owns the security company that the news crews use. So, DH got to do security. He ended up getting to go out on the field after the game and into the locker room. A good friend of ours plays on the team as well. While he was there, I went shopping!!

I received a $75 gift card to my favorite clothing store, New York & Company for my birthday. To make a really long story short, I got $280 worth of clothes for $40 out of my pocket! I used the $50 off coupon in the Entertainment book. (I updated my savings column on the left.) I got a lot of great stuff for student teaching. I also spent another $30 at JcPenny on clothes that was on clearance & I had a coupon.

Sunday
Our bible study group had a going away party for my two sisters. Then, we had lunch with the family to spend some time together before my sisters leave.

DH got paid over the weekend, so we'll be making some CC payments. I'll update our numbers on the left when we do!

So, this weekend was great and I'm looking forward to a great week!

One down, Two more to go!

September 12th, 2007 at 01:41 pm

Ever since I got my credit cards, I've used them for everything. Food, Gas, Shopping, etc. But, I paid them off every month. Even when I charged a $1,000+ car repair one month, I found a way to make sure I paid it off in full.

My DH was doing the same for a while. Then, he lost his job and was unemployed for 2 months. We were only dating at the time, so our finances weren't combined yet. He ended up charging a lot of his expenses and racked up a little bit of debt. When he took his new job, he took a pretty significant pay cut. I ended up paying for all the wedding expenses and my DH tried his best to pay down his cards. Now that the wedding is done and paid for and my DH has a new job (with much higher pay), we've been working on paying down the credit cards. So, I'm happy to say that we paid off one more this week! YAY!

So, now we only have two left. One has a very small balance >$300 and the other has a higher balance (for us) but isn't earning interest (at least until next April).

Last week, we worked out a plan for our finances. We are going to continue to use my income for all of our expenses except part of the rent & utilities. Then, DH gets paid twice a month. We are going to use one full paycheck towards debt and the other one towards rent, utilities and his gas money. We plan to start implementing this once he receives his first paycheck from his new job. Which should be on the 30th.

I also wanted to add that we are kind of doing Dave Ramsey's plan. We have $1000 in the bank for an emergency fund. Now, we are paying off our debt. Then, we'll put that money into savings to increase our emergency fund.

Need to Get Back on Track

September 10th, 2007 at 04:22 pm

Wow! This weekend was tough. Things didn't exactly go according to plan on Saturday, so we ended up spending more than we expected.

Friday was ok. The concert wasn't what I expected it to be like. Kenny Chesney moved his Atlanta concert to Hifi Buys Amphitheater this year and it's an outdoor venue. Consequently, the GA no smoking law does not apply. So, there was a huge cloud of smoke over the whole venue all night. Everyone around us got completely drunk. One guy completely trampled over (yes, actually walked on) my little sister and my dad had to chase him down. But, the music was good. I liked Sugarland more than Kenny though.

Saturday, DH and I got up really early to get a move on grocery shopping and what not. We ended up buying a few items that weren't on our list. We spend $20 unexpected dollars at Target. But, we used a giftcard for that purchase, so it wasn't too big of a deal. We went to Walmart to buy some healthcare stuff that we needed. Only to find out yesterday the same stuff was on sale at Rite-Aid this week. We could have saved another $5. Oh well. We went to Macy's to use up a giftcard and a coupon I had. We only spent ~$9.08 of our own money. I really wanted to not go over the giftcard, but I'm happy about our purchases. Lastly, we went to Ingles and bought groceries. We really didn't splurge, so I'm happy about that!

We purchased avocados to make guacamole for a meeting we went to on Sunday. But, they were all brown on the inside. Frown I called them today and the manager said that they'll reimburse me AND give me new avocados! So, YAY for good customer service! I'll go on Saturday to get this!

Next, we headed to the GA Tech football game. We know one of the players really well, so we get free tickets when we go. But, my DH spent way more than I wanted to. We went way over budget. We did discuss it and agreed we won't be going to the games for a while. Although we get free tickets, the cost still adds up with parking, food, drinks, etc. So, we are just cutting it out for now.

Then, we went to dinner with my friends for my birthday. We didn't plan this until half way through last week, so it was an unplanned expense as well. We really wanted to enjoy ourselves since it was my 21st birthday. We did use a coupon, but we did spend a good amount as well. Frown

So, this week we are going to keep it really cheap. We were going do a garage sale with my sisters this weekend, but we are pulling out. We just have time to properly prepare for it. We will sell all our large items though. So, we should be making money instead of spending it this weekend! YAY!

So, that's the weekend update.

A Good Week So Far

September 5th, 2007 at 08:51 pm

DH started his new job on Tuesday! One perk of his new job is that he no longer has a 20 mile commute. But, he found out Tuesday that he'll be making that same 20 mile commute for at least another week while he is training. Thankfully he'll be getting mileage with this job!! ~$20 a day! So, yay for that!

We've been doing really well at packing our lunches and not eating out. Aside from our mini-vacation last weekend, we've only eaten out once in the past 3 weeks. For us, that is a huge accomplishment!!

Last night we finally set up our ING checking account with the $25 referral link from my co-worker. My DH is a bank teller and his old bank offered their 3% interest bearing account to all the employees. But, we had to downgrade to free checking since he no longer works there. So, the ING account will make up for that loss and still have a higher interest rate. It's going to take at least a week or two to get things all situated with how we are going to make things work. But, I'm sure it'll be fine.

I still need to get my name changed with SSA and the DMV. It's becoming pretty difficult with work, school, banks, etc. going by two different names. It's about time I get everything finalized and official. I think I'm going to go to the SSA tomorrow and then on Saturday morning, I'll head to the DMV.

Tonight I'm stopping by Walgreens to pick up some business envelopes. They are running a sale 2/$.99. That is a great deal! And, we really really need some. When I was living at home, my parents always had envelopes available. I have about 4 things I need to mail out and no envelopes!

Speaking of mail, I'm sending in my Walgreens & Kellogg rebates tomorrow. I ended up purchasing my Kellogg products from CVS and paid less than $2 an item for them. I also had a $4 off coupon for CVS. So, I'll end up spending only $5 for 10 Kellogg products! As for Walgreens, I spent a gift card I had, so I actually won't be spending any of my own money when it is all said and done.

So, this week has been going really good. This weekend should go well also. Friday night my dad is treating his girls (all 6 of us) to the Kenny Chesney concert. Then, Saturday is my birthday! I think we are going to the GA Tech football game and maybe using up some BOGO bowling or putt putt coupons. Sunday I have an all day church meeting. So, this weekend should be pretty good on the wallet!

Spending & Saving

August 24th, 2007 at 04:47 pm

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 05:31 pm

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.

Bit of an expensive weekend!

June 12th, 2006 at 01:28 pm

I did sooo much this weekend. Considering all I was able to do, I don't think I spent that much money.

Friday night 2 of my sisters were going to get their nails done. My BF called to say he was going to work late. So, I decided to tag along with my sisters knowing that it would probably be a huge waste of money, but still an enjoyable time. My mom ended up tagging along as well. Smile We had lots of fun...plus, my sister ended up treating everyone! Smile

Saturday, I made invitations for my sister's baby shower. My mom is covering the costs of the shower and I'm in charge of planning it. (well, for the most part) The invitations took FOREVER...but they were sooo cute. My BF and I then headed over to Stone Mountain for the evening. (Stone Mountain is kind of like an amusement park but without the rides.) We decided to get a annual pass. It ended up costing $59. But, it will definitely be worth it.

Then on Sunday I had bible study, lunch with the family and then, my BF and I ended up going back to Stone Mountain. Smile It was fun. I bought dinner, so that cost about $16.

So overall, I only spent $75. But, the annual pass will allow us to go to Stone Mountain like every weekend and not have to pay to go to any of the attractions. It also gives my BF a discount of golf which will help him out in the long run. Smile So, imo, it was well spent.

For the week, I don't plan on eating out at all! (Except maybe Friday night...we'll see.)

For a quick update on the car situation, I carfaxed a car I liked and was NOT happy with the results. Looks like I'm back to looking again. I did however find many ads for the specific make & model I like using Carfax's classifieds section. I emailed the dealerships and I'm waiting for a response. Smile

Cutting back expenses!

May 7th, 2006 at 12:39 pm

YAY!

Comparing April to March, I spent $30 less eating out and $30 less on gas!! Smile Although, it went to paying off my taxes, it still allowed me to not have to get into my savings. Smile

It just shows I am making some progress. Especially since I didn't start cutting back until half way through April. May should definitely have great numbers! Smile

Must get back on track...

May 4th, 2006 at 01:28 pm

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.

Money, Money, Money

May 1st, 2006 at 10:14 pm

I made approximately $134 today. Smile

This morning I worked for my dad's company and should be making around $50. Then, I sold back two of my textbooks (one more to go and it is worth $75) and got back $84.

I unfortunately spent some as well. I bought a salad and some chips for dinner because I was sooo hungry. Then, that made me thirsty, so I ended up buying a drink. Frown

Oh yeah, an update on last night. I ended up going to Target last night with my little sister. We had lots of fun. While I was there, I remembered that I needed to go card shopping. So I ended up getting 3 Mother's Day cards, 2 college graduation cards and 1 anniversary card. Then, my BF needed dish soap, so I got it for him. I also bought my little sister some icee flavoring and then some dinner.

But, I still feel like I did pretty good. I used to go into Target and buy so much stuff. I left with things that I will actually use. Smile

Yesterday and Today

April 30th, 2006 at 08:32 pm

Last night ended up being fun. I personally didn't spend any money. My BF and I came back to my house and cleaned my room. Then we went out with a couple of my friends to the movie. (He paid for the movie...hehe.) My friend is a manager at Pizza Hut, so she had a pizza in the car. (Free dinner!!! YAY!!) And she was kind enought to bring me Dr. Pepper. Aren't friends great?!?

Today, I was going to take my little sister shopping. We weren't actually going to buy anything (yeah...right....i'll keep telling myself that!). I just wanted to do something to get out of the house and we always have fun trying on clothes and stuff. BTW, she's only 10 but LOVES fashion and LOVES shopping. I mean, what do you expect when she has four older sisters. But, anyways, we didn't end up going. Not sure why though, I think it is because I ended up getting online and I think my parents are taking her out to the movies.

So, I didn't spend any money today. That's cool. I don't know what I'm going to end up doing tonight, but I probably won't spend any money.

On a side note: Just recently my BF started a fairly strict diet. Because of this he can't really eat out. It just ends up being to much work. This is really nice because we would always take turns paying whenever we went out on a date. It definitely has saved me a LOT of money. Smile

Another quick note:
I determined today that my absolute latest deadline for buying a car is June 23rd. That is when my sister returns from Italy and needs her car back. So within the next month, I will begin diligently searching.

College is EXPENSIVE!!

April 29th, 2006 at 06:03 am

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:

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

Fall:
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.

Cheap Entertainment

April 29th, 2006 at 05:59 am

Let me first start off by saying I got paid today! That was definitely needed. I also was able to pick up three extra hours at my regular job (which is the better paying job) YAY! So, that will add some fluff to next week's paycheck. It was definitely a blessing.

Secondly, I saved some money tonight! YAY! Our town does movies throughout the summer downtown, in the park. So, they were showing Robots tonight. My mom and sister went out to dinner before, but I kindly declined. Instead, my boyfriend and I packed a picnic (and saved some more money). It was definitely fun and Robots is a really funny movie.

Overall, I think today was a pretty good day. Tomorrow, my boyfriend is treating me to a few hours at the driving range. So that won't cost me anything. And then tomorrow evening, I'm heading to see the Braves play the Mets for only $2.50!!! That's what I call a GREAT deal.

Ok, I guess I can't just leave on that note and not explain how I'll be getting such a great price. Well, Turner Field (where the Braves play) has a $1 Clark Howard section (the seats are the worst and there is NO chance of sitting closer), and then the general upper level is $5. But, if you buy tickets on game day and you have student ID, you can get buy one get one free seats for any level (except the $1 seats). So, all my friends and I are going to head up there for a cheap night at the ball park.

Where does it all go?

April 28th, 2006 at 12:53 am

I'm currently at a point where I feel like I am completely broke. I'm sitting in class right now and I'm going over my finances. I've been using Microsoft Money for the past couple months to track my expenditures. I currently have about 6 months of records in.

Since I feel like I have no money to spend right now, I asked myself "Where does it all go?"

I noticed that, yeah, my Food: Dining Out was pretty high. But, for the past 2 weeks, I've turned that around. I've been trying really hard to pack my lunch and cook dinner more.
I then noticed that I was spending a lot at Walmart & Target. This was all clothes and other household stuff (also known as JUNK). But I also noticed, I haven't gone shopping for clothes or JUNK in almost 3 weeks.
Pretty much, I noticed that although I've MAJORLY cut back spending the last couple weeks, I still haven't gotten ahead at all.

Then I realized...those darn taxes are still kicking me in the butt. I ended up owing a total of $694 to the government. For me, that is a LOT of money. Almost a whole month's income!!

These taxes just really messed me up. I finally decided to get my finances together and I've been working so hard to save money. And now I have nothing to show for it.

I now see the benefit of budgeting money for things. Had I set aside money every month for my taxes, I would not be in the position I am in now.

Here we go!

April 25th, 2006 at 06:55 pm

This is my first posting on my blog! YAY!

My journey began a few short weeks ago when I first found savingadvice.com. My original plan was to transfer my limited amount of savings into an Emigrant Direct account. I spent about a week looking into this and the day I finally decided to do it, things changed.

Apparently my dad isn't too fond of the idea of taking my 1992 Nissan Sentra on the 100 mile trip everyday to school. Which means, it's time for a new (used) car.

At first this seemed like the end of my savings. However, my sister is studying abroad this summer and brought up the idea that I use her car while she is gone! Great idea!!!

I still need to buy a new car, but this buys be a little more time. I think I'm going to reconsider the idea of putting my savings into a Emigrant Direct account. Smile

On a side note, here are my upcoming expenses that I'm trying to save for:

Very Short Term: (within the next couple months)
1. Summer semester - ~$500
2. Fall semester - ~$800
3. New Car - ~$7000
4. A few minor medical expenses - ~$150

Short Term: (within the next couple years)
1. Wedding - ~$5000
2. Honeymoon - ~$2000
3. LASIK - ~$2500
4. Dental Work - ~$5000
5. Tuition for my last semester in college - ~$3000

Long Term:
1. Retirement
2. Home (purchased with cash)

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned because I plan to keep updates on the progress of my saving for all my goals.