05-10-2012 05:32 AM
FrugalRican - Yeah, sometimes it takes a bit of explaining and demonstrating to others how things can work. I am so glad you keep working with your gf.
DH does the hotel breakfast. I usually have to bring my own food (because of food allergies), but supplement when I can with the hotel breakfast offerings.
DH makes his lunch from the offerings. If the offerings are safe, then I also make my lunch from the offerings. At the very least, I try to supplement lunch.
For dinner, if I can, I will use what I can from the breakfast offerings. For example, right now, I am making chili in an electric skillet in the hotel bathroom. I brought two english muffins back to go with the chili. And for dessert - two apple turnovers. Last night, I brought up three pieces of French toast to go with our scrambled eggs.
Overall, the amount of food we consume and take from the breakfast offerings is about the same as what everyone else consumes and throws away at breakfast.
*** on a proud note, today is the 10th of the month and we have ONLY spent $80 on food this month!! Breakfast has passed, lunch is taken care of, and dinner is cooking!! Translation - we are $20 ahead of our food budget! Potential savings - $20!! That could be added to an existing Navy CD, earn good interest. For us, this is a HUGE deal! To give you perspective, usually by the 10th of each month, we have spent about $200.
05-28-2012 02:41 PM
I didn't forget to update! I didn't have good (or in some cases any) internet connection over the last few weeks!
Week seven and eight combined!
I stayed on track with the goal to save 100k.
06-17-2012 11:56 AM - edited 06-17-2012 11:59 AM
Weeks nine and ten, combined.
HOLY COW --- I closed on a house AND paid cash for a vehicle!
It's been a stressful month, to say the least.
* Bought a house, put 20% down, and was able to close in two weeks. Having the regular savings pattern helped. Having the CD"s REALLY helped!
* They lender forced me to "close" out three CD's, but I really didn't want to do that. They were larger CD's with excellent rates - 2% and 3%. I explained the situation to the bank (Navy Federal) and asked if I could do a withdrawal on the CD's, pay the penalty (very much an ouch) and leave the CD open. Navy said yes!!!
* I stopped buying the $100 or so CD that I was purchasing every payday for a month. Just to keep the cash and to get through closing.
* Paid cash for all of my inspections and insurance.
* Becuase I had to cash out three CD's and they weren't used for purchasing the house (read the post under mortgages), I had leftover cash. I knew I was going to need a new vehicle soon. Like real soon. So I shopped for a used one. Found it. Waited almost two weeks to purchase it. (The dealership put it on hold for me.)
* Guessimated my new expenses for planning purposes.
* Asked the utility companies what the last tenant paid in average yearly costs, so I could get an idea of my bills. Tripled it for budget purposes.
* Through ALL of this, my loose change still went into the bank.
* Surprisingly, the auto insurance increased. ** I asked to be on monthly billing - there is no extra charge for that. It will make the bill affordable until I can get ahead of the curve ball and actually save up 6 months worth of payments and pay the lump sum. Once I can do that, then I can go back to saving the monthly premium and earning interest in on it.
* Surprisingly, the house insurance increased. I definitely shopped around, but would NOT authorize anyone to pull credit. Found a company (local guy to the neighborhood) was the most affordable, by several hundred dollars, and did not require a credit pull. Bless his heart.
* Furnished the house with "freebies" from friends and neighbors. I lived in a studio, moved to a house.
* Bought USED appliances. Yes, used. So much cheaper than new! Perspective - gas stove, dishwasher, front loading washing machine, and a gas front loading dryer, to include the delivery fee - $600. Everything has a 6 month warranty on parts and labor.
* Moved myself - saving bucko bucks. I had help loading on one end and sometimes (most of the time not) help unloading at the other end. What I paid in gas for multiple trips is still much cheaper than having friends help me move.
* August 2012, I will be back on budget - a new budget with my new expenses. Not July 2012, becuase I am still paying cash for those odds and ends that I find myself needing to take care of.
I am not sure where I stand with the plan for a 100 grand. I will be updating that in the next month or so.
All though this sudden house purchase and vehicle purchase, I still did some of my basics -
* tried like the dickens to keep to my already established budget which included regular savings.
* although part way into the process, I did stop buying the paycheck CD's, I stashed that money into savings. (so it was still tucked away)
* I paid cash for the extras that go with purchasing.
* I paid 20% down and cash for closing costs.
* I staggered the costs of doing the utilities to my name. Went wtihout internet for 2 weeks!
* No cable/satellite.
* Used appliances.
* Used furnishings. <---- basically free.
06-30-2012 09:58 AM
Armissea - thank you!
* Back to buying a paycheck CD
* Still paying cash as I go
* Still eating many meals in hotel rooms
* Have 591 euros left of my original start of 800 (and I am at the end of day 4, 3 people). I prepaid the trip (saved money for it, so nothing new is coming out of budget).
12-17-2012 10:17 AM
12-21-2012 07:22 PM
Absolutely! I will post the update in a few days. Tomorrow, I am learning how to lay a new floor. After the home improvement projects are finished, I will be able to sit down and write the update. (Thanks for asking!)
01-24-2013 07:55 AM
Sorry for the delay in the update - internet issues. Apparently I am the only person who calls in problems...and this was after five days of issues! It took the company days to fix all the problems and here I am.
Bought a house in 06/2012. That changed things a little bit. I was very happy that I could put 20% down in cash. Had to purchase another vehicle - paid cash. We had to get a second mortgage (retirement loan to pay for some major things house related, like heat!).
First mortgage - interest rate 2.75%
* Right from the start, we were paying every two weeks, as much as we could, to get the balance paid off as soon as possible.
* As of earlier this month, we "paid" off the mortgage. Yep. Six months.
* Moved the balance to a zero percent, no fee, balance transfer offer.
* There were no tax benefits to claiming the interest on this mortgage loan, so why pay the bank any interest when I could pay it to the balance?
CC - interest rate 0%
* Asked for a credit limit increase to make this possible [to pay off the mortgage].
* Paying EVEN more than I was before for the mortgage, because literally every penny goes on the cards.
* Changed tax withholding to get the max from each paycheck to ensure that I get this cc paid off in time.
* Note - I would not recommend paying off the mortgage with a balance transfer unless you are absolutely sure you can handle it financially.
Second mortgage - interest rate 1.37%
* Five year term, deducted right from paycheck (allotment).
* As soon as the cc's are paid off this December (if not sooner), then I change how much I am paying on this loan.
* MY plans are to have it paid off by December 2014, several years ahead of schedule.
Retirement - 10%
* Still putting 5% of the paycheck into the retirement plan and the employer is matching 5%.
* Went to the banks and asked them to release the CD's early without financial penalty. Some said yes - that money went or is going on the cc's. Some said no - in some cases, depending on the penalty, I cashed them out and applied the funds to the cc.
* When it comes time to renew the CD's, those making a low return rate will be cashed out and applied to the cc. Those with a nice term (good bank, like Navy), I am pulling out everything but the minimum and letting them roll over.
* No new CD's no matter how great they sound. Must pay off the cc!!!
* Called every company that owed me any money and asked for a check immediately. The checks have been coming. (Some companies hold onto the credit and apply it to a future balance. I didn't want that and asked for an immediate refund. It's basically BS if a company says that they must wait 3 months before they can consider giving you a refund on a closed account.)
* Picked up all loose coins, except for a penny or two, and deposited it to the cc.
* I normally budget funds and save for car insurance, taxes, food, medical, etc all year long. I am still doing that for the most important things - property tax & life insurance & car insurance. Everything else is being paid as I go.
* My other cc which I use for everyday stuffs and have my utilities (the ones that will) charged to it gets paid off in full every two weeks. No exceptions.
* My cc (everyday use one) gets rewards. I am cashing out those rewards every month, if there are enough to get the cash back.
* This one was super hard to do, but I changed cell phone plans. I no longer have data and my bill dropped about $80-90 a month ($140 to $49+/-). And you know what? I don't miss being able to check email on the phone!!
* I bought timers for the lights. When the light goes out in the living room, it's time to get ready for bed. That is when the light pops on in the bedroom. When that light goes out, it's lights out. Bedtime!! My electric bill has surprisingly dropped a little by using timers! As the days get longer, I will be shortening the time that the lights are on.
* Using and eating what is in the house.
* Making more things from scratch versus buying them already processed. The food bill has dropped a little by doing this. So has my weight!
* Auto insurance - have one vehicle with the "storage" status (we are not driving it - only need it in winter time when it's bad weather). Saving more than $300 a six month period on insurance because of the storage status.
* I have 5k in reserves in case of an emergency.
* I have about 30 CD's (most with low balances) that I can cash out if I had to.
* I have credit lines I can tap into as an absolutely LAST resort.
By tightening up the belt, chasing down monies owed to me, changing cell plans, insurance plans, and utility usage, I am still going to make my goal, just in a different way. The house is definitely worth more than 100k!