Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So overdue!!!

Ugh... These big balances are slow-moving, but I'm chipping away. Baby steps...

The girls and I moved in with my fiance and his son a few weeks ago. The kids are all settled in. The girls are looking forward to painting their room. My old apartment is the only place they remember living, so choosing wall colors and having a small yard is a lot of fun for them.

I started talking about my methods of handling finances before we were even engaged, so this hasn't been a shock to him. We have decided to keep our finances separate until after the wedding, though we may open a separate joint account solely for wedding saving and spending. Our current challenge is that my fiance is unemployed every July (he works for a local school district), so in our first month living together, I am the sole wage-earner. It's a challenge, but we held a garage sale one weekend and raised a good chunk of change in the miserable Minnesota humidity. I also had a nicely-timed bonus that helped us out and I have been working as many extra hours as I can without sacrificing family time (or my sanity). We're going to get through the month just fine and I think our emergency fund will survive unscathed.

The next challenge is going to be the school year. We've decided to put the kids in full-day kindergarten rather than continue daycare. Kindergarten tuition is not tax-deductible, nor can it be paid for using my FSA (don't get me started on how backwards this seems to me). I had a short mental debate about whether or not we should opt for half-day kindergarten and part-time daycare given these facts, but decided that I'll pay taxes for the kids to be in an educational environment all day. The cost for our local public school for full-day kindergarten is about $4,000 per child per year. We have to work that into our budget as well as saving for our wedding and continuing to pay down debt. This will be a challenging year, but we're a team and we're going to make it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One year later...

This post is a little belated due to various factors related to family and work and general business. Regular scheduled posting is still a dream that I hope to one day achieve.

Without further ado, after a year of working toward a goal of paying off $15,000 of debt (save for about 6 weeks where I fell off the wagon), my debt load has been reduced by a total of...


I still have a $1,000 emergency fund in the bank. My net worth has improved by $17,806. My stress level has decreased by a billion percent. My happiness has increased, to quote one of my children, "one hundred million a jillion times."

Here is a balance update:

Direct Deposit Advance - $0/$550
Store Card 1 - $0/$323
Credit Card 1 - $0/$400
Line of Credit - $0/$510
Credit Card 2 - $0/$685
Store Card 2 - $0/$2,798
Auto Loan - $0/$4,140
Credit Card 4 - $1,933/$5,150
Credit Card 3 - $3,564/$4,577
Student Loan 1 - $1,705/$1951
Student Loan 2 - $2,046/$3,148
Student Loan 3 - $4,926/$5,614
Student Loan 4 - $5,538/$6,048

I'm almost half-way done!! According to my debt tracker, I'm currently scheduled to pay off my debt in July 2012 which, coincidently, is the same month in which my fiance and I intend to wed. As I've gone through this process, that date has moved up more and more, so I'm actually hoping to be able to pay everything off prior to the wedding and still pull off a great celebration without any debt. How awesome would it be to enter our marriage without these financial burdens?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Apologies for the lack of blog posts lately. It seems that 55+ hour work weeks on top of 24/7 parenting keeps a girl busy!

The good news is that I've been making progress and still hope to reach my goal. There was an autumnal slack for a month or two where I didn't try as hard as I could/should have.  I also could've been stricter with my holiday budget.  I am proud to say that I did budget to give to some causes over the last few months.  I was thrilled to be able to donate when a few friends who teach in low-income areas needed items for their classrooms.  These incredibly dedicated teachers are able to raise funds for needed supplies using DonorsChoose.org.  It has been wonderful to see these fundraising projects reach completion and know that my donations have made a difference not only in the lives of hundreds of students across the country, but also in the lives of my friends who care so much about these kids that they are putting forth personal time and effort where their schools are falling short.

Now some exciting news: I'm gettin' hitched! I got a beautiful sparkly (but budget-friendly) Christmas present and am thrilled that my family of girly girls will be gaining TWO dudes as my fiancé comes with his own miniature version of himself who just happens to be a mere 17 days younger than my girls. I saw a news article recently that referred to a pair of sisters born in close succession as "twiblings," so I guess that will make our brood "tribblings"?

There will be more updates coming soon. Overtime is slowing down a little, so there will be more time for blogging. Yay! The impending nuptials bring with them many new budgeting issues, so there will be plenty to blog about!  2011 is going to be amazing!

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