Thursday, October 28, 2010

Payday Today!!!

Yay!  I love paydays!  I always have.  I even program them in my phone so I have a reminder in the morning.  My second payday of the month includes my commissions so I especially look forward to them.  The reality is that I do spend more on the weekends after paydays.  I usually do more grocery shopping and miscellaneous spending after paydays.  I try to not spend as much but I always do.  Not totally out of my budget, but still.  Do you tend to spend more right after you get paid?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We're officially moving!

We are officially moving.  Things were a little bit up in the air for a bit because there was a discrepency with the acreage.  Our original contract was written for 19.65 acres.  The seller signed off on it and later came back and said the the acreage that he was selling was 17.49 acres.  WTH!!  We would not accept that because we already had a contract in place.  Our realtors couldn't work it out so yesterday my hubby met with the seller face to face.  Hubby agreed to the 17.49 acres with a $6000 decrease in the price and a riding lawn mower. 

We are hopefully closing on November 17 on 17.49 acres for $109,000.  Our mortgage payment should be peanuts so I'm super excited.  We will have to save money for when we build our house.  We will probably build in the spring of 2012. 

Our biggest concern is finding a solution for snow removal.  We get quite a bit of snow here and living in the country, it drifts pretty bad.

Lots of big changes ahead!

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 3rd Week Spending Report

Sunday 10/17 Groceries 20.14
Monday 10/18 No Spend Day
Tuesday 10/19 No Spend Day
Wednesday 10/20 No Spend Day
Thursday 10/21 C-Store 4.71
                         Gas 47.00
Friday 10/22 Entertainment 10.27
Saturday 10/23 No Spend Day
Total Gas 47.00
         C-Store 4.71
         Entertainment 10.27
         Groceries 20.14

Yay!  I have 10 no spend days for the month!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weekly Money Check-Up

Over at My Pretty Pennies, she has a weekly money check-up.  Here goes.

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on daycare at $115 per week.
2. Today I feel ambivalent towards money.  I've been so worried about saving all of our money for our new to us home purchase that its kind of exhausting but there are so many things that I would like to buy.
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was went on a bike ride with my daughter.  She rides in the bike trailer and smiles the entire time.  We biked around the bike trails in our neighborhood. 
4. I will consider this week a success if I get my oil changed in my car.
5. My favorite cereal is Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  I drift away to other cereals but I always come back to this one.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Does Sam's Club really save $?

My hubby and I have this never ending debate on whether Sam's Club saves our family money.  To give you some background, it is him, me and our 1 year old daughter.  I'm not against buying in bulk.  I routinely buy in bulk from toilet paper to canned soup to all of our meat.  Regarding our meat, we even buy a quarter beef, half a pig, and our chickens by the case.  I recognize that buying in bulk if you have the storage space can save one money. 

The problem that I have with Sam's Club is that it encourages people to buy items that they don't need and may or may not use.  For example, my hubby likes to buy spices there.  He once bought a jumbo container of grilling spice.  Sure, we're still using it but we really didn't need it and I could've made do without it. 

When we did have a Sam's Club membership, we went about once every month or two.  We would on average spend around $100 each time.  We haven't went to Sam's for over a year and we spend much less on groceries now, around $100 less per month.  Also, Sam's doesn't take coupons and while they have everyday good prices, they don't really have sales.

However, Sam's Club has samples.  On a busy day, they will usually have a sample at least every 10 feet.  The samples are good, creative, and a great way to lure people to buy their tasty product.  I think that the samples are the real reason that my hubby loves that store. 

How about you?  Do you like warehouse stores?  Do you think they are worth the money?

October 2nd Week Spending Recap

  Sunday 10/10          Eating Out  25.56
Monday 10/11         Drugstore  6.61
                               C-store    6.72
                               Gas          50
Tuesday 10/12        Fundraiser  19.00
Wednesday 10/13  No Spend Day
Thursday 10/14      No Spend Day
Friday  10/15          Eating Out 10.67
                              C-Store  4.95
Saturday 10/16       Groceries  51.43
Total  174.94

The c-store is usually smokes and/or pop/junk food.  Yes, I know that its a bad habit.  I'm hoping for 3 no spend days this week. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Talking to Friends about Finance

Why is it that in real life I can talk freely to some people about money and not at all to others? 

I have 2 people that I consider very good friends.  One is my best friend and has been since we were about 10.  The other is a very good friend and we were actually roommates 3 different times before we were married.  I've known her since middle school and I know that she will always be there for me. 

I actually told Friend 1 about this blog so I know that she can and will actually be looking at what I have to say about money and personal finance.  (She's actually the only person in real life that I told about this blog. )  With buying a different place, I talk freely to her about how much it costs, what our payments will be, what we are putting down, and everything else.  She cares about money but is not interested in personal finance.  She didn't even know what a personal finance blog was before I told her that I'm starting one. 

With Friend 2, I told her that I thought we had a place lined up.  She asked me if it was for a good price and I replied that it was.  I described to her where it is and I know that she immediately went online and looked it up for the price.  I didn't tell her how much we offered or anything like that.  It annoyed me that she went online to look up the price and  I know that she did because she mentioned that she saw it online.  She has more schooling than me but makes less and I think that she's a bitter person about money.  She also has massive student loan debt because she refused to work in college.  It's almost like we are in a financial competition but we're not, right?

It's just interesting what a different dynamic you can have with friends about money.  Does anybody else have any experience with talking to friends about money and having mixed results?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Locked in Mortgage Rate

I met with the banker today and locked in our new mortgage rate at 4.25%.  That is with the .25% additional because it is a manufactured house.  Now we just need to wait to see how the appraisal comes back.  I'm hoping we don't have any problems with it.  I had so much trouble finding a bank that would lend to us because it is a manufactured house.  As soon as they heard that it was a manufactured house, they told us that they couldn't do it and we likely wouldn't find any bank that would lend us the money. 

I don't want to live in a manufactured house long term but for us this is a good thing right now because we will be able to live in it while we build our own house.  My hubby will do a good majority of the construction himself so a typical construction loan wouldn't fit our needs because they will usually only do them for 6 to 9 months.  Since he will be doing most of the work, I think that it will be longer than 9 months.  So, we will have to have a good chunk of money to do the exterior of the house on cash. 

In 3 to 4 years time, I will have a new house that I love on 20 acres of land in the country.  For that, I'm willing to do what it takes.

Do you have preconceived ideas about people who live in mobile homes?  Would you ever do it to get the end result that you want?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We're Moving!!!

Wow, we're moving!  We accepted an offer on our house on Monday so we are set to close on November 17th!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Helping Friends Out

My hubby is in a construction trade.  My hubby is very nice about helping people and is usually all about it.  He is in a skill that everybody needs and not just anybody can do without training.  His skill is usually billed out at about $100 per hour.  In the past, he has not ever billed his friends for his time and effort but usually people will pick up the tab for beer and/or food. 

Last May and June, a good friend our ours was remodeling his lake house.  Naturally, he asked my hubby for "help".  This help turned into about 6 full days of my hubby at his place and doing the complete remodel in his field of expertise.  That would be one thing but for 2 of those full days, his buddy wasn't even there.  He was fishing because it was fishing opener.  I thought that it was getting a bit ridiculous and I pushed him to ask his buddy if he was going to pay him.  This was no longer just helping out a friend when they expect you to be there to get the job done and they are fishing.  His friend said that he was going to pay him $300 in a gift card but now my husband ruined the surprise.  After working out the hours that my hubby had put in, he told his friend that $450 would be fair.  Well, he did give him $300 but never gave him the $150 because he was having "money issues".  Needless to say, he did this entire remodel to his lake house without taking out a loan but he apparently had money issues.  Sure!

Flash forward to this past Friday, he came over with his girlfriend with a check for $150.  In a way, I should just be happy that he got the rest of the money but I still can't help feeling a little bit used.  If he would have hired out what hubby did, it would have been about $6000.  He's not in the construction trades and maybe he doesn't know how much they bill out for but I highly doubt it.

Lesson learned:  When helping out a friend for anything more than one day, discuss payment upfront.

BTW, the $150 is going directly to our savings.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October First Week Spending

This is a little more than a week but it goes back to the first of October.  I already have 4 no spend days!  Yay!!!  My goal is for 8 no spends this month but I can always exceed that!

Friday 10/1      Gas  50.03
                        Groceries  153.94
                        Eating Out  7.59
Saturday 10/2  Eating Out 22.00
                        Haircut  5.00
                        Groceries  12.00
Sunday  10/3   Groceries 19.60
                       Drugstore  14.68
Monday  10/4  No spend day
Tuesday  10/5  C-store  6.52
Wednesday 10/6  No spend day
Thursday 10/7  Groceries  17.14
                        Eating Out  27.41
Friday 10/8  No spend day
Saturday 10/9 No spend day
Totals     Groceries  202.68
              Drugstore  14.68
              Eating out  57.00
              Gas   50.03
              Misc.  5.00
The groceries are a bit high because I hit a bunch of sales and stocked up for most of the things we need for the month.  I will just have to buy produce, dairy products, and bread for the rest of the month.  Eating out was higher than I thought.  It didn't feel like we ate out much but I guess that lunches out really add up. 
                      

October's Goals

I know that a good chuck of October is already gone but these are my goals for the month. 
  • Buy $100 in stock--retail account
  • Keep Grocery Budget under $350
  • Have $14,300 in savings at month's end
  • Have my daughter's pictures taken
  • Pay an extra $200 to my student loan
  • Have 8 no spend days
  • Get my oil changed

Friday, October 8, 2010

Unexpected Dinner Out

I received a call 2 days ago asking to show our house yesterday at 5:30.  I said that would be fine and I specifically asked about how long they would be.  Their realtor told me that they would for sure be done by 6:00.  Yesterday, I picked up my daughter from daycare (I have to pick her up by 5:30) and we went to the farmer's market.  I spent $12.50 there buying a couple pumpkins, squash, potatoes, garlic, and peas.  From there we head home.  At 6:00, they're still there so we head to a park for a little bit and snack on the peas.  We drive by our house again at 6:15 and again at 6:30.  By this time, we're starving so I head for the local pizzeria.  I wasn't expecting to eat out but what could we do?  I know that there probably were other options but they didn't leave our house until 7:15.  Total damage for the pizza, $21.15 (we brought some home for hubby, he had class last night).  I was just annoyed at having to spend the money.  However, anybody who spend over 1 1/2 hours in our house has to be very interested.  Hopefully we will get an offer soon.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hubby's Money

I always get the mail.  It's almost an obsession of mine.  I love it.  As soon as I get home, I get my daughter out of the car and walk to the mailbox.  Yesterday, there was a paycheck stub for my husband.  I often open up his paycheck stubs because sometimes there are real checks in there.  He is not a fan of me opening his mail.  In fact, this had lead to many fights in our household but I just have to know what's in there.  I refrained from opening his mail yesterday and low and behold, there was a check in there for $120.  At first, he said that he was just going to keep it but I thought that it should be deposited into our account because we are saving for our next house.  This morning he did leave it on the counter for me to deposit.

This is where I run into a bit of a moral dilemma.  I know that he would like to cash it and use it for personal spending money but he pretty much spends whatever he wants the way it is without regard to trying to save money.  I used to let him have "fun money" but he bought a $10,000 motorcycle this past summer and our current agreement is that he doesn't get any fun money because we are still making up that amount in our savings.  Should I feel bad about depositing the check into savings versus letting him cash it and do whatever with the money?

I should add that he fully supports us saving money for our next house purchase but he spends more than me on a regular basis and it annoys me. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome!!!

Welcome to my new blog about money and everyday life!  I have a few goals with this blog but first and foremost to obtain better control of my financial life.  I've had financial goals for quite some time but I find my world spinning like crazy lately.  We are in the process of buying a new house and selling our current house.  The seller's have accepted our offer and we just have to wait for an offer on our house.