Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Goal Recap

I think that overall 2014 was a good financial year for us.  I will recap personal goals in a different post.  My income stayed very close to 2013 which is a huge blessing for us.  

  1. Increase regular savings to $10,000-- we achieved this early in the year and have stayed fairly consistent but we only have $9000 in there now because of my BP and Conoco impulse purchases.  
  2. Pay off car--sorta pass.  We paid my car off in July only to turn around and refinance Y's pick-up.
  3. Increase retirement to $100,000.  We blew this out of the water but I won't know final numbers until the end of year.  
  4. Get mortgage under $200,000--I never paid extra so this goal was pretty much let go in favor of others.  It is currently around $202,000.
  5. Increase giving by 10%--we definitely achieved this.  We have given more this year than ever before.
  6. Stick to grocery budget of $500 monthly.  FAILED!!!
  7. Open retail investment account and fund it to $20,000.  I actually added this goal in July.  While I didn't make it to $20,000, we do have just over $17,000 so I'm pretty happy with this one.
I will be happy if 2015 ends as well for us :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Terrible Day

Ugghh!!  I had a terrible work day today.  It started off with a bad phone call at 8:15 this morning in which I was hung up on.  It went downhill from there until I decided to leave early at 4:30.  When I have days like this, I really wonder if I am going to work until I'm 60-65.  If we liquidated and moved to a much smaller, paid off home, we could probably work part time at jobs with less stress.  I like my job but after a day like today, I'm not eager for tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Finances

I bought 54 shares of BP stock today for a total of just under $2000.  BP has plunged with gas prices so I thought it would be a good buy.  I guess this is my own hedge for current gas prices.

Y's boss was fired a couple weeks ago.  His position was posted this week and Y's bosses talked to him about applying.  It would require additional testing for him and one of his bosses even looked up the testing criteria and test sites.  We are hopeful.  We don't know how much of a pay increase it would mean but I'm hoping for about $6000 annually.  If it is less than $4000, we would have to evaluate if it would even be worth it as it is more responsibility.  His boss was making $12,000 more than Y currently makes but he had been passed up for the last few merit raises.

Christmas has been expensive in our household.  I haven't added up the total damage yet.  I am probably about 80% done at this point.  I do need to get my Christmas cards made and sent out.  I did go to a seafood sale today to get Christmas dinner.  I bought King crab legs and scallops, 2 pounds of each for about $60.  Expensive but we rarely go out and we love seafood.

I did finish out the shopping for my needy family of 3 kids.  I got each one an outfit.  The two little boys got a monster truck and the 9 year old girl got a satchel she can color and bling up.  I talked to a couple other members in the group about what they bought.  One guy said that he always gave clothes because he figured that kids in that situation needed those the most.  My first thought as that every kid needs a toy for Christmas.  Another said that he went to Walmart that morning and dropped $120 on gifts for 2 kids because those poor kids needed some good toys.  I gotta say that I agree more with the second guy (but I prob wouldn't spend that much, I spent $90 for 3 kids).  Either way, it does feel good that this group gives back as part of our Christmas party rather than doing some silly gag gift.

Do you think gas prices are going to keep going down or will they go back up?  Maybe I should buy some shares of Conoco.  Hmmm...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bought an ATV!!!

We are the proud owners of an Arctic Cat 650 ATV.  I'm so excited.  It was used and we got it for $3000.  I can't wait for the weekend to go sledding behind it with my hubby and kiddos.  I love living in the country because we have the space to have fun the way we like :)

Anybody else like riding 4 wheelers??

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What I'm Thankful For

  • My wonderful husband who is an awesome father
  • My two perfect (in my eyes) little children.  Lil Punk who is so smart and funny and Baby G who is so easygoing and adorable.
  • A warm cozy house that is so comfortable for our family
  • My job which allows me to provide well for my family
  • Enough food to eat so my kids nor I ever have to go to bed hungry
  • Having the acreage to plant a big garden and having a husband who helps me plow and plant
  • My good friends who support me even if they don't always support my decisions
  • Good health for my family and myself--this is so often taken for granted until one doesn't have it
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stay at Home Day

I am at home today with Lil Punk because she threw up last night.  However, looking at her now, one would never guess she was sick last night.  We have had fun today.  We've snuggled on the couch, colored pictures, sent Daddy a cute picture text, and been a whole lot of silly.  She told me that she likes being sick so she can stay home with me.  I do miss our quality time together.

We are going to Y's folk's house for Thanksgiving.  I'm bringing black and green olives with a corn dish made with homegrown frozen corn.  It should be good.  Thanksgiving is very nice at their house--no yelling or getting mad, no panic about the food.  Everything is very relaxed with good food, football and a nap.  My mother-in-law will take my kids while I nap afterwards.  I think she likes having the individual time with them.

I have a pretty good start on my Christmas shopping.  I still need to get a gift for Y but I think I will get it on Black Friday online.  I'm looking at getting him Beats headphones. I do also want to get a large black sled for the kids.  I need to sit down and make a list.

We are working on eating the rest of our beef before we get more next month.  I have a roast in the Crock pot today.  Then we only have 7 pounds of hamburger and a couple packages of steaks left.  I'm trying to spend less on groceries so I can build up some cash to help out with the price of the beef.

I've been thinking about goals for 2015 already.  This next month will fly by.  Anybody else thinking about the new year yet?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Financials

  • Last payday was a very good one for commissions for me.  My check had about $6000 just from commissions.  Y commented to me that I'm paid well for an easy job.  My job is anything but easy.
  • I decided not to put any in our retail investment account as we have some large expenses coming up.
  • We have half a beef coming which should be about 350 pounds of meat and it will cost a whopping $1350 approximately.  Yikes!  It comes out to be around $3.85 per pound.
  • We are going to Florida in January.  Plane tickets and hotel are taken care of but we will need spending money.
  • We decided to buy an ATV, up to $3000.  We really want this.  Y is researching used ones.
  • Christmas shopping has been started and we have a good chunk of it done.
  • I usually volunteer to buy a needy kid a Christmas gift.  This year we got a family of 3 kids--little bit more money but we are fortunate in that we can afford it.  I wonder if they only get these presents?  And who they are?  
  • I signed up for the Amex reward of spend $10 at 3 small businesses on November 29th and they match up to $30.  I will definitely be doing that.  If you have an Amex card, I would encourage you to sign up.  
Happy Friday!