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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 4:41 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
I am all about the thrift stores and consignment stores. Not sure about value village, but I get the vast majority of my clothes from TJ Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory. My mall has a BCF and some other similar store in it, so if I can't find what I need there (I have crazy long legs, so pants can be a problem), I can run over to Macy's or whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:58 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Time for a mid year update!

Debts:
ford $ 4,758.01
honda $ 3,719.14
sallie mae $ 6,851.59
sallie mae $45,678.26
case $ 2,424.63
sallie mae $ 8,130.78
$71562.41

Pretty soon we'll be below 70,000 total debt. Woo!

Savings:
BoA: $1000/$1000
ING: $6800/$15000 (45% complete - not bad for the wedding being in a year)


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:27 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
This is making me so antsy. My biggest problem with saving money is I can never commit to it. I always end up wiping out my savings to pay off debt. I REALLY hate being in debt like this. I have enough in savings to kill one loan and seriously dent another one. *sits on hands*

Fiance and I talked about it and decided when we hit $10k in the wedding account, we would switch to at least paying off that $2k student loan.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:43 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
One year from now, we won't have any car payments. One of my student loans will be paid off, and hopefully I can start putting a dent in one of the others. Even my fiance is getting on board with it, now that the reality of having an "extra" $800/mo is setting in.

Our monthly expenses are going to be going up a bit. Fiance and I need new phones, so we've decided to finally get off our individual family plans and start our own. The last time our contracts were up, we were utterly unable to take on that extra expense. Now we can and should. Being an adult sucks. :P

Good news: I decided I just couldn't justify paying over $1000 on a dress just for one day, so my mom is sewing my wedding dress. I found an awesome Vera Wang pattern which should arrive in the mail next week. Woo! Pattern cost: $20. Cost of fabric... less than a real Vera Wang, that's for certain. We'll see.

Just find out I'm going to have to buy a reception dress. The perils of an intercultural wedding. Fiance's mom wanted me to wear her dress from Taiwan, but as I am not 5'0" and a size 0, it did not even remotely fit.

Bad news: Fiance's mom might be out of a job. Whole situation there is a mess. They have no savings, waaaaaaayyyyyy more house than they need, and they support fiance's brother while he is in med school. I want fiance to convince them to sell the house and move somewhere smaller, but I think the IL's are holding on to the house on the hope that fiance and I will move in with them when we decide to have kids (hahahahaha...no). I'm not sure what the financial impact of this will be on us, but it likely will involve us having to help them out in some way.

Also, pretty sure my little sister is asking me to help foot a $10k bill for her to go to study in France. She's very used to me throwing money at her problems. Not gonna happen this time!

To sum up this post: family and money combined suck.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:14 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Wedding savings: $7800
Total debt: $69,700!!!. Getting below 70,000 looks so nice.

Financially, this past month was a nightmare. I tripled my allowed spending. My mother and sister came up to go fabric shopping. Unfortunately, my mother is not doing so well financially. She spent a full year unemployed, and the only work she could eventually get was well below her previous rate of pay. Practically, this means she really couldn't afford the mini-vacation at my place, so I covered meals, train tickets, etc. I don't mind it, really, since I am very fortunate that going 3x over my budget only results in a headache and not being able to put as much into savings as I would like. Still, ouch.

On the plus side, fabric + lace = $400. I need to send my mother an extra $200 to cover notions and muslin, but $600 < $2000 I had originally thought I would spend on my dress. I researched the qi pao reception dress. It'll cost about $500 to have one made for me, unless I can find one in Chinatown that is long enough. *crosses fingers*

The less said about how much I'm paying my photographer, the better. She's very good, highly recommended, and I'm paying for quality. Her $500 deposit has been budgeted in.

I am proud to say I told my sister good luck getting that $10k, because I was not giving it to her. She has had it way too easy with me bailing her out whenever she wants. I mean, she works hard and at multiple jobs, but she also has a wardrobe to rival a Hollywood starlet. It's time for her to learn that you have to sacrifice what you want (expensive new clothes) for what you need (education).

FMIL got a job, thank goodness. Of course, it was promptly followed by the news that FFIL is losing his job, but this is much less of a panic situation. He didn't make nearly as much as her anyway. It did lead to a frank talk between FH and his parents about their retirement. I guess through some poor investments, the stock market crash, and having the money in one account be outright stolen from them Madoff-style, the only real retirement savings they have is their house. I'm choosing to ignore the situation for the time being, since there isn't much I can do.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:26 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
My fiance asked me a weird question the other day. He was picking out his 5 year service award from his company's website, and being the awesome fiance he is, he wanted to check with me what to get. It was all very typical cheap crap: a 20(!!!) cup rice cooker, a low quality cookware set, mass produced jewelry. That kind of thing. He wanted to get the cookware set. I said no, because I already have most of those pieces, and the pieces I don't have, I would want to buy quality ones. He laughed at me and said that I won't, though. I've talked repeatedly about buying things like a quality knife set, liquid measuring cups, etc, but I won't spend my money.

He then asked me what I *would* spend my money on.

This really made me think. I know what I want to spend my money on. I know what I say I will spend my money on. But what will I spend my money on.

Fiance knows I have a weird relationship with money. Growing up, my parents were not the best ever with money. I learned very quickly that I couldn't spend my babysitting money, because it would be needed to pay the water bill. Or groceries. That kind of thing. It became ingrained in me that money is not for me; it's for the family. I would panic if my bank account had less than $2000. Even when I had up to $5000 in it (in high school, no less!), there was never enough. I still couldn't spend it on myself. I would drop a grand on my sister's theater camp while agonizing over buying a pair of $30 shoes when mine were falling apart.

Right now, I have more money than I ever have, and I *still* can't spend money on myself, even budgeted in! I tell myself it's because I want to save for the wedding, or pay off my loans, but that's only partially true. Fiance had to twist my arm to accept buying a groupon for a massage, even though my back is really bad and a massage is very desperately needed. I talked in an earlier post about all the things I wanted to buy this summer, and honestly, I haven't gotten a single one of them.
.
Okay, I did get a haircut, but even that was a matter of safety. I work with rotating equipment, and I can't have a ponytail that is too long. I couldn't even talk myself into getting it colored. ;(

I have a friend getting married in November, and I'm challenging myself to buy a good dress for it. Most of my clothes are cheap/falling apart/chemical stained.

Does anyone have any advice on coming to a healthier relationship with money?


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
There was another poster on here who hated spending money on heself, yet she has a ton of money saved for ??.

Similarly to planning a budget and putting your piles of money together, you should put a spending pile together. So, out of your paycheck put say $30 or whatever you think is comfortable into a spending pile. Once a month, BUY something just for you. Not for the household (unless it's a nice pot/pan. :)), but buy something you want. It could be the massage, it could be a great book you've been eyeing. It will show you that spending isn't bad, and you'll realize that you NEED something for yourself or you'll go crazy. I'm glad your husband called you out. He definitely knows you. :)

What's the point in dreaming of a fancy dress for your friend's wedding if you aren't going to buy it, even if you can afford it?

You're supposed to LIVE life, not worry about saving for everyone else. You can do it, and I'll be checking back.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 961
Perhaps your afraid of not having any money, so you freeze when its time to spend? You spent so long without, you probably just don't want to go back to that period in your life again.

I suggest alotting 10-20$ per paycheck to spend only on yourself.

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Wedding savings: $8800 - with the amount we've already spent, we hit our $10k! Now to build up that $5k buffer we want.
Debt reduction: committed to paying off my smallest student loan by January. Put $500 towards that for September.

FH and I had a long talk about what we want to do with our finances after we get married. Originally, we had planned to keep everything as it is; however, he has complained that it's hard for him to keep track of his "fun" spending with all the bills mixed in. Whereas I err on not spending any on myself, he prefers to spend money and will go over budget without realizing it. He has no interest in my obsessive spreadsheets. :p

We've decided to do a version of the balanced money formula. Both our paychecks will be deposited into one household account. 5-10% (haven't nailed that down yet) will go into his/hers accounts. That money will be our fun money. He can only spend that much. I'm free to spend that much. Both our problems solved! We'll get a joint CC to pay for groceries/dinning out/utilities, and anything "extra" will go towards debt repayment. I'll be the primary holder because well, see above regarding spreadsheets. I love them.

Now for the bad news.

I did allow myself to buy a fabulous dress for my friend's wedding. I gave myself $100 for a dress and came in well under budget for that. Hooray there. I was going to use the balance of the money to buy a bracelet, but...

I found out I'm spending the first two weeks of October in Belgium for work. *headdesk* I literally did not have two weeks worth of clothing, let alone two weeks of nice, conference-appropriate clothing. Off to the mall, where despite the fact that almost everything I bought was under $25 (except shoes. I have a weird back, and there are only a few brands I can tolerate), yeah, I stopped counting after $200. Thank goodness for Burlington Coat Factory.

On the plus side, I now own 3 pairs of non-chemical stained jeans for the first time in ... ever, actually. I really do hate spending money on clothes. Also some good tops that I can wear when I start visiting customers next year.

This splurge wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for a $350 dentist bill this month as well. Learned my lesson not to skip the dentist for 3 years.

At least for the two weeks I'm in Belgium, that's $75 in gas I won't be spending and about $150 in groceries. That evens out, right?

I have to take a step back and breathe about this knee-jerk panic over spending. In reality, I won't even have to dip into savings to pay off the bill. It just means that FH will cover more of the rent check and won't put any into the wedding savings - which is at our estimate for the cost of the wedding, with 8.5 months still to go for building the buffer fund.

We find out in October if FH is getting a raise this year. He has documentation to support how tragically underpaid he is, but that kind of negotiating is just not his strong suit. I'm crossing my fingers on a promotion for next year. If they do send me out to customers like they are threatening, I'm a grade level below that.

Side note, I really do love these fiscal fitness journals for giving me a space to work this out.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
I'm so happy that you bought the dress and some additional work clothes.
Don't skip the dentist. If you go regularly, you can find out about impending procedures that need to be done, and can budget for them, or you may not hvae problems at all.

I hope you can get a chance to see the sites in Belgium. It's no fun going somewhere new if you can't take in a little of the food/history/culture. Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:55 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Thanks Peachy!

Turns out it will be 3 weeks in Belgium and Austria. Now I'm extra glad I bought all those clothes. I'll have to do laundry, but who knows when I'll have time!

I decided I'm ruining my budget for next month, too. The company is too cheap to pay for any sightseeing, but no way am I spending my weekends in the hotel. I have day trips to Paris and Vienna scheduled. :D

In a way, I'm relieved that I've been so cheap lately. I don't have to worry even a little at some extra spending.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:11 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
First, the numbers:

ING savings: $9320
BOA savings: $600 (I had to borrow from it a bit, but that's what it's there for, no?)

Car#1 $ 2784
Car#2 $ 2057
SL1 $ 6686
SL2 $45114
SL3 $ 1244
SL4 $ 7853
Total debt: 65737

Retirement accounts and my investments just make me cry right now, so I'm not going to list them.

SL3 will be paid off by end of January. It was end of December, but my mom's purse got stolen from her car parked in her driveway. I'm helping her replace the locks on her car. We are just thankful that a) her bank immediately flagged the attempted $1700 purchase at Target as fraudulent and b) they didn't realize her car keys were in the purse. Stealing the car too would have been devastating instead of annoying.

Dear economy. Please stabilize. No love, me.

The powers that be were not pleased with the results of the reorganization back in May. The company's CEO indirectly told investors that my division is for sale. If there aren't any buyers, I have no idea what's going to happen, but I think I can safely assume it won't be pretty.

The up side is that for the wedding stuff, I'm only contractually obligated to pay $4000. Plus, our expenses are low enough that as long as I'm collecting unemployment, we could still manage to save money. If my job can manage to hold out until June, when the cars are completely paid off, I will be just fine. Even if it doesn't, as long as I can collect unemployment, I'll be able to pay my bills and even still save some.

Since getting laid off wouldn't be immediately devastating, I am very up in the air about what to do now. Do I ride this out, or do I jump ship? On one hand, it's easier to find a job when you have a job. OTOH, next year I'm supposed to start going on customer visits. Customer technical visits are a huge resume booster and are great networking opportunities. If I were to end up keeping my job and visiting customers, that would be really great.

Decisions, decisions.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:54 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
ING savings: $10320 <- over 10k!!
BOA savings: $750

Car#1 $ 2386
Car#2 $ 1373
SL1 $ 6654
SL2 $45004
SL3 $ 760 <- draws little hearts and stars for being under 1k. Die loan, die.
SL4 $ 7717
Total debt: 63894

Wow. When I look back at my post in Feb, I'm shocked. In the past year, we've paid off over $10k of debt and have saved over $10k. That's insane. In a few short months, we'll have no car payment. Oh, and we'll be married. :p

FH's bonus this year is less than half what he got last year. Such is the economy. I won't know mine until April, but I'm not expecting much of anything.

I finally got my iPhone 4S. FH gets his in January. Combined, we only pay $80/mo for 500 minutes each plus unlimited text and data. Of course we could do without it, but it's just so *nice* having a good smartphone. It essentially replaces SL3 (paid off in Feb) in my budget.

I kept Christmas spending at roughly $50/pp. That works for us.

Wedding spending. Ugh. I'm the only one trying to be frugal about the blasted thing. Seriously. My mother actually told me she was trying to save me from my frugality. Just because I *can* buy $350 shoes doesn't mean I should. No matter how cute they are (They are very amazing. The first shoes I've seen worth that price. Handmade so there is no chance of a cheaper version, though I'm debating DIYing them).

Next time Mom brings up the shoes, I'm just going to tell her that I'm not going to be wishing I had them when we are honeymooning in Greece, paid for with cash.


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:10 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
ING savings: $8334
BOA savings: $805

Car#1 $ 1987
Car#2 $ 1373
SL1 $ 6618
SL2 $44885
SL3 $ 0!!!!!!!
SL4 $ 7662
Total debt: $62525

I couldn't handle the existence of SL3 anymore, so when I withdrew money from the ING account to pay off a wedding purchase, I pulled a little extra to kill SL3. FH was not amused, but I just didn't want to have to think about that bill anymore.

Wedding rings ended up being a bit more than I was anticipating, but so far, we are staying well within our projected budget.

Is it just us, or are food prices skyrocketing lately? We've cut way back on our alcohol purchases, and I've started menu planning and shopping with lists, but the bill each week seems higher and higher. Maybe I'm just menu planning expensive foods...


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 Post subject: Re: Kaitlyn's Journal
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:10 pm
Posts: 14
Re food prices: it's not just you. I mostly get the same foods at the store (so I know it's not just "menu planning expensive foods") and I'm seeing my prices go up.


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