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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Day 41 and a Puny House Today

Tom went to the Dr. at work yesterday and found out he has strep throat. I started coughing yesterday, and woke up this morning with a deep chest cough. I wasn't running a fever, though, so I went ahead and went to the funeral and then came home (I didn't go to the graveyard service, didn't figure I needed to be standing out in the cold with this cough). Now this evening, I'm running a fever and coughing my blasted head off. Thankfully I got my other humanities paper finished up and submitted yesterday, so I just have to muster up the energy to finish this 8-10 page rough draft that's due tomorrow. It will probably be REALLY rough. LOL!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Day 40 and Everyone Makes Mistakes, Oh Yes, They do!

Do you remember that song? I think it was a Sesame Street song. That's what I've been singing to myself all morning in a desperate attempt not to let me natural propensity to beat myself up over every mistake I make take over. Here's the scoop on my latest stupid tax. We got another courtesy pay fee this morning. I mentioned in yesterday's post that Tom's car was making an awful noise, which meant he had to take my van to work yesterday. Well, that also meant that we had to fill the van up with gas earlier than planned. Well, Bob's didn't have any gas Wednesday night, so I couldn't write a check. I had to get gas at Co-op where I had to use the debit card. Well, the debit card transaction went through this morning BEFORE the direct deposit from Tom's pay and so we got charged $22.50 extra for that gas! As if gas wasn't expensive enough. The worst part is that I had a check here that I could have sent with Tom to deposit yesterday and avoided this, but I forgot. Sigh...

Anyway, on to more positive things. Here is an updated debt list with what we'll be paying today:

DLO: $14.40-PAID!
DLO: $34.11-PAID!
Radiology: $37-PAID!
Urgent care clinic: $46.15 (August 2007)-PAID!
Urgent care clinic: $40.55 (November 2007)
Dr. Office: $79.20-Paid $39.20, balance $40
ER Doctor: $97
dentist: $120-paid $20, balance $100
Auto parts store: $136.37-paid $36.37, balance $100
Josten's (Josh's Sr. Stuff, this has to be paid by March 1st) pd. $84.04, balance $0
Hospital: $261.16
Credit card #1: $2970
Credit card #2: $1104
Credit card #3: $990
Credit card #4: $899
Credit card #5: $908
Credit card #6: $2509
Car loan: $3051
My student loan: $12, 913
DH student loan: $53, 248
House: paid $335.06

As of February 8th: $1396.85 in debt paid off!

So I just have to remind myself of all the positive steps we've taken and try not to let the stupid mistakes upset me too much. Of course, that's much easier said than done, right? Let's see, we got the electric bill paid on time so we didn't have a late fee this month. That was $22 saved. We got the car payment made on time so there was no late fee there, that saved us $20.50. We got the house payment made on time, that saved us a $10 late fee. Then there's all the money we've saved not eating out and avoiding Sonic drinks. Our baby EF is at $485 and after we add the $50 from Tom's paycheck, and I get the money from the two books I'm selling to a friend, it will be at $550. Oh, and I should be getting another deposit next week, that will add another $15.

I have a very busy weekend coming up. I've got to get my grocery and Wal-Mart shopping done, I've got a humanities paper to write, and an 8-10 page rough draft for my ethics class to write, a funeral to go to tomorrow, and church and FPU class on Sunday. So, I will try to post this weekend, but they may be short and sweet. However, if I don't get to post, everyone will know why.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 39 and the EF may be taking a hit!

Tom's power steering started making awful noises last night, so we're going to have to get it looked at. Hopefully it's nothing too costly and we can work it out without having to use the EF. Of course it happened after he spent $42 to fill it up with gas. Isn't that how it always happens? Your car breaks down after you fill it up with gas? LOL!

In other news, I found out last night that there have been several deaths on my mom's side of the family. My grandpa lost his sister and his brother both in the last couple of weeks. So now he is the only one of the "children" left (he's 83). My uncle's ex-wife passed away on Tuesday. Although I was not really close to her, I am close to my cousins and feel for them. Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Day 38 and Using a Calculator

Several years ago, when Tom and I were first married, I used to take a calculator to the grocery store with me to keep up with how much I was spending. That way if I went over my budget, I'd know something had to go back. As time went on, I fell out of the habit of using it. So now the last few months, I'm back to using it again. It helps keep me on track in the grocery store, and also helps keep me away from some of those impulse purchases. I need to start using it in Wal-Mart because I always seem to spend more than I think in there.

I set up an automatic transfer on our checking account for the Fridays when Tom gets paid to go into the gift account. It will start this Friday. I've also set up several automatic payments to go out this Friday when Tom gets paid. I'll be updating the debt list at the end of this week. I have some money coming sometime in the next few days ($15), so that will go towards the EF. I also sold a couple more of my curriculum books to a friend, so when I meet up with her, I'll be adding another $15 to the EF. Slowly but surely, we're getting there. Baby steps, baby steps.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Added Some of my Favorite Links

I added a list of some of my favorite links down at the bottom of the page. I'll probably add more as time goes on.

Day 37 and It's Whine Time!

Ok, can I have just a moment of whine time? LOL! I woke up with a headache this morning. Not a normal headache, but a "it hurts so bad it makes you sick to your tummy headache". I've taken medicine for it which brought it down to an almost bearable level, but it's not gone away. As soon as the first round of meds wore off, it got really bad again. So, that's my whine. Moving on...

So, we're still doing great at avoiding Sonic drinks, other than previously agreed upon times (like on Tuesdays when Tom has band practice). When we went to the last basketball game on Saturday, we only paid to get in ($15 for 3 of us! OUCH!) and that's it. We didn't get anything to eat or drink at the concession, and although we looked longingly at the Sonic as we were leaving the college in Tonkawa, we didn't stop. LOL. Because we've been wanting to try the new BBQ place here in town, and because I think we deserve a small reward, I think we will plan to eat there on Friday night this week when Tom gets paid.

We still haven't filled out the student loan deferment papers for Tom, we have got to get that done this week.

I will be paying off the last of Josh's Sr. stuff (announcements, cap & gown, etc) this week. My next savings goal is to save up money through March to pay to either rent or buy his tux for prom in April. If we can find one to buy for a reasonable price, I'd really like to buy him one. I think he is pretty much done growing height wise, and it would be nice for him to have one for future events. After that, I'll be saving for his graduation gift ($'s) and for his reception if he wants to have one after graduation. OH! And I still need to do Sr. Pictures. Yikes! Well, at least I'm thinking about it ahead of time. We'll get it done. I need to do an estimate of what all this cost so that I can start saving for Tasha's Sr. year next year. It will be here before I know it. (boohoo!!!).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 36 and Happiness

Last night's class was great. It was called Buyer Beware and was about watching out for marketing ploys and being wise in making purchase choices. Probably the best lesson from the class is this: "Stuff cannot buy you happiness". Isn't that the truth? I think this goes back to my thoughts last week about being content with what we have. Sometimes, I find myself thinking "I can't wait until Friday" or "I can't wait until________ happens", then things will be better or I'll be happier. I'm wishing my life away! We have to choose to be happy now! Paul in Philippians 4:4 says it best: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" It's hard to always rejoice, but if we look at and remember all the blessings that God has given us, that makes it easier.

I've been reading in Exodus about the Israelites being rescued by God from the land of Egypt. As soon as they ran into the first little snag, they were whining and complaining about their new problems and wishing they were back in Egypt. At first, I was thinking, "wow, what a bunch of whiners, they've just seen what God can do, and now they're already griping about something else". Then I got to thinking about how often we're like that. We want to be rescued from a problem, but when things aren't like we think they should be after we're rescued, then we start missing our first problem and thinking it would be better if we'd stayed there. We must continue to believe in God and have faith in God, even when things aren't going like we think they should be.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day 35 and finishing up week 5

Tonight is already lesson 6 of our Financial Peace University class! It is just going by so fast! I hope and pray that the lessons stick in our hearts and minds this time, even after the class ends.

Today, we honored our pastor and his wife for 30 years of service at our church. Now, I'm still pretty much a newbie at the church. Our oldest daughter Serenity started going there almost 5 years ago. This was before she had her driver's license. Believe it or not, I would drive her all the way over there and sit in the parking lot while she was at Sunday school and church. But I never went in. Later, Josh and Tasha started going also. I've been going now about 2 1/2 years and Tom started a few months after I did. I can tell you that Gary & Annette have had an amazing impact on mine and my family's lives. If there is a spiritual question, Gary can answer it in simple enough terms that even I can understand it. LOL. Annette leads our FPU class, and has been such a blessing and support to us. So today's blog is dedicated to them and all they've done for our family. Thank you!!!