Busy month

So I had two work trips in July about a week apart where I flew out on a Sunday and came back Thursday. Both trips were work related and allowed for some great networking but having to eat out all of those days definitely hurt the bank. My first trip was to the Baltimore area and my second was to Chicago for the NCMA World Congress conference. I’m happy I went but man did I drop some cash.

My mom, who lives in Florida, was in Chicago for a reunion and my brother, who lives in Costa Rica was in Chicago on vacation so we had two nights where the family got to have dinner. We had a great meal at Gibson’s Steakhouse and we treated Mom because she’s always treating us even though we’re grown and can pay our own bills. Everyone in my family has been there a million times but surprisingly it was my first time eating there. The food was amazing and even though my steak was $60 it was totally worth it.

I also have a cousin who is an event manager for one of the hotels downtown and she had the cast of one Emmy award winning show in there because they were filming in Chicago. Also had the dancers of another show in there as well so it appears my cousin is doing really good, plus she booked 7 or 8 hockey teams for when they come to town to play the Blackhawks.

Since its only been a few weeks since I posted totals I’m not going to bother this time but progress is always being made. Little goals that are being hit feel great and even though there is a ton of shit I would love to buy I stop myself 99% of the time. In fact the only thing I’ve bought lately have been t-shirts for working out since I keep dropping weight.

On the physical side of the house I’ve lost 15 lbs in the last month or so with CrossFit & diet and I know my strength has definitely gone up. Even on my trips I was very self conscious about what I ate and really only cheated once or twice. Now that I’m home and have no trips for the next couple of months I’ll just be hitting the gym, eating good and putting some money away for a trip for the wife and I.

Nothing more for right now so have a good rest of the month, all three days of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another one bites the dust

So I’m happy to announce that I made my last payment on a card this morning. I had to do the math to make sure I was good but $858.51 was made early just because of the fact that I have 3 pay periods in June. That just leaves me my truck and house now. With only the truck left the plan is to pay it off at $1770 a month for 5 months. The reality is I can do $1400 a month and pay it off by December and give myself some breathing room to buy some Christmas gifts and do some nice things for the wife the summer/fall.

Every time I make an update on my everydollar app I just feel like I’m in control of my finances and even when unexpected things pop-up it’s not the end of the world now. The wife and I can have a quick talk about it and move on because we aren’t struggling to find the money to do stuff.

Have a good 4th of July everyone and keep working for your own Independence day.

Last Payment

The Bills

Revolving Debt: $0.00 (last update $3,132.46)

Vehicle: $8,156.91 (last update $8,713.51)

House: $183,647.59 (last update $184,383.47)

Total: $191,804.50 (last update $196,229.44)

Difference: $4,424.94

 

 

 

My favorite month

So as luck would have it the month of June is great for a lot of reasons. First and foremost is that it’s my birth month. Second is the fact that there are 3 pay periods for me in the month. Lastly, I also got my bonus this month. So with the extra paycheck and the bonus I’m actually able to pay off another bill. When it’s all said and done I will have put $3132.46 since my last statement (15 May) towards one bill. I had to do my numbers to make sure I would have enough for food, gas, etc but this bill is done come 30 June.

So next month when I start I’ll have my truck and my house and that is it. All of my revolving credit will be at $0.00 balance. I will owe $8700 on my truck but with the snowball I’ll be putting $1800 a month on it for 5 months and it will be done and after that is the house. I plugged my numbers into the debt snowball spreadsheet that I use and I created a different spreadsheet specifically for the house so I could get my formulas as close as possible to what we were actually seeing with the way we put extra down towards principal. In a perfect world we would have a ton of money to put down at the beginning of the month and everything would be easy. Unfortunately, we each put $125 per paycheck throughout the month towards principal so even though the numbers for my spreadsheet are close it was just easier to do some computations and make up my own formulas and spreadsheet.

So the wife and I have been doing really good about planning all or most of our meals. At the beginning of June I went to a local butcher and they have a variety of meat packages for everything from family packages to grilling packages, etc. The wife and I got a variety package and a package for two that came with enough protein for her and I for the month. The really cool thing is if you spend over $200 you get another 10lbs of cut up chicken. So that is 3 whole birds, or 6 nights of dinner for her and I, already cut up that we can grill or throw in the dutch oven. The worst part about the meat is that everything comes wrapped in butcher paper so we have to unpack everything and put it in foodsaver bags. In the grand scheme of things it’s not bad at all and more importantly we have a well stocked freezer and we know where our next meal is coming from.

Since we know what meat we have now, our veggie shopping is a lot easier as well. We can do our menu for the week and do our veggie shopping on Friday/Saturday at the farmers market and pull what we need from the freezer at the same time. We do our breakfast and lunch food prep on Sunday together and after that we have some wine or a drink on the patio.

So around April 22, Ash started the whole30 diet. I supported her but I didn’t do it with her, I like my beer way too much. But a lot of what she was making was really tasty so I started making my meals more whole30/paleo friendly to support her. She stuck with it, which I’m extremely proud of her for doing, and she lost 11 or 12 pounds and 3 inches. So after her 30 days she did start drinking wine again in moderation but neither one of us has had a real craving for sweets or breads, etc. So I just started doing a regular paleo diet and joined a local crossfit gym. I go 3-4 times a week right now and I can see how it’s addictive to people but my gym is close to my job and not my house. So on days when I telework I don’t make it to the gym.

Taxes and the IRS

So we had a little stumble this week. We received a letter from the IRS saying we owe $2250 in back taxes from 2014.During next tax season we’ll actually refile and hopefully get some of that back, hopefully. The good news is they gave us until 14 November to pay (yeah, not really good). So since I was close to paying off my credit card it looks like I’ll have to put that amount on it. I guess if there is a silver lining it’s that by putting all my paycheck on my card it really did keep from spending money on anything else unless it was a necessity. I’ll keep doing this and I know this will only set me back about 2 months.

For the month of October I put $1,725 towards my card. I did use it, but certainly didn’t use it like it was cash.I also have a $600 payment scheduled for the 1st of November and a $1,000 scheduled for the 4th. Then depending on what I needed to finish it off would’ve been from my paycheck on the 18th. Now it seems like all of my 18th paycheck will go and I’ll just keep chopping away at it.

Awesome time of year

So the weather just started getting cooler which is nice because it means for one, maybe two months, we can keep our windows open instead of running the AC. The AC is one of Ash’s bills but I obviously want to help her as much as possible. We dropped our AT&T for internet and TV and went with Charter. That saved her a little over $100 a month and the cool thing with Charter is that there are no contracts so we can drop them whenever but they locked us into the current rate for 3 years which is unheard of and we can cancel at any time. She also dropped our membership at the gym (which we haven’t used in a while) and another one of her monthly subscription services. All in all she’ll be saving an extra $200 a month now which is awesome.

I’ve been doing really good with my budget and I’ve been knockout out bills and just trying to be healthier and spend more time with the wife and dogs. We actually noticed that by both of us cooking and doing what we’re doing we actually have more quality time together and we’ve been drinking a whole lot less (not that we were bad before). We did go to a local cocktail bar this weekend but limited ourselves to three drinks each. The bartender was super cool and gave us the recipe for one of our favorite drinks on their menu. We had most of the ingredients but still need one before we can make them at the house, but it beats spending $8-$10 a drink down the street.

We did our shopping at Costco this weekend and unfortunately she didn’t have a lot of money in her account at the time so I picked up that huge tab. The total was $240 something but we stocked up on all of our protein for all of our meals for the next month. The main thing that she needs to get or worry about now for meals are the little things. So for breakfast I usually make my eggs in a muffin tin, 1 per tin, that I scramble up before dumping on top of some ham and cheese or sausage and cheese, this week was ham and cheese to use the last of my ham up. So I usually get my hash browns at the store in the refrigerated section but I figured I would try the Golden Grill hash browns that they have at Costco. I was actually really hesitant but when I got home and read the reviews I was really happy, and taste wise they are really good. They are at Costco for $6.99 for the 8 pack and and although it says 7 servings per container I only got 4 servings but that is perfect me. So that comes out to $0.28 a day for me and I got our eggs from Costco as well so my breakfast each day comes out to about $0.60.

With any luck I should be able to get an extra $200-$250 towards my credit card with what I have left after everything is budgeted for.

The Bills

Revolving Debt: $6,445.76 (last month $7,214.93)

Vehicle: $13,056.92 (last month $13,578.77)

House: $190,073.17 (last month $190,908.72)

Total: $209,575.85 (last month $211,703.42)

Difference: $2,127.57

 

 

The Society

So tomorrow is the last day to renew my local brewery beer Society membership…and chances are I won’t be doing it. The Society releases a series of barrel-aged beers throughout the year. Last year was the inaugural year and I was able to join; current members have priority when the new year comes up for renewing their membership, but at $300 it’s pretty hard to justify it right now. I told the wife that I have the money but it would leave me kind of short for the rest of the month and that is exactly what I’m trying to get away from. Right now I have around $800 left to budget for the month but I’m putting an extra $300 towards my HOA to pay that off. Once that is gone I’ll have an additional $158 monthly snowball. I’ve been to every release of these beers in the past and there have been plenty of options to buy and taste them so I wouldn’t be missing out too much. It’s just hard to tell the wife that she needs to put more money away when I’m pissing mine away on beer. I would rather get to the point where I have an assload of money available to spend on beer or whatever else I want and not have to worry about paying bills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bills

So I didn’t know if I would post this but I just looked at another site and they posted the amounts on their bills so I figured I would do the same. I also think it will help me keep everything going if I have constant reminders that the amount of debt is going down as well.

So we have it broken down by revolving debt plus my homeowners association. Next would be my vehicle and finally the house. This is just my debt and doesn’t include the house with the obvious exception of the house. She has her own debt which I told her I wouldn’t harp on her about paying her stuff down until I made some real headway with my own. Her car is paid off and I think she only has a couple thousand in revolving debt. She makes more than me but with the raise I’ll hopefully be getting in November/December.

The cool thing is that we are both putting $250 a month towards principal on the house. Just by doing that we knock 11 years off of the mortgage but I’ll be snowballing the bills so one year from now I’ll have a huge amount going to the mortgage. I’ll show the amount at the end of the month/after the first off the month.

So here they are, the bills.

Revolving Debt: $7,214.93

Vehicle: $13,578.77

House: $190,908.72

Total: $211,703.42

I have $1200 a month going to revolving debt and my truck and that will get bumped up to $1750 a month in December (hopefully). I am also using Dave Ramsey’s Everydollar app/website and have quite a bit of money left that needs to be budgeted. I plan to save some amount monthly for emergency savings and then put the rest or as much as I feel comfortable with towards my bills.

Crazy to think I could have this paid off in 6-7 years but I’m going to do my best. Since I started this quest last month I really need to see how I’m doing after a full month of working towards the goal. I think one of the big things is that we’ve definitely limited the number of times we’ve gone out to eat or to grab drinks. I’ve spent some more money buying alcohol for the house but it’s nothing compared to what we would spend going out. We’ve also done great this month with food as far as not letting anything go to waste. It seems like a lot of the time we have extras from meals that actually sit in the fridge until they go bad. For instance, we made tacos the other day with flour tortillas and when it was all said and done I had 2 tortillas left that would’ve sat in the fridge for a while. This morning when I made our breakfast I put my eggs and potatoes in the tortillas and had some breakfast tacos that tasted amazing. I have leftover hash browns and those will go get thrown in with my breakfasts for this week or at least the first day or two.

We shopped yesterday for our food and our menu this week includes pork tenderloin for a couple of nights and thai red curry turkey meatballs. A friend that does paleo made these and they looked amazing and since we have a lot of ground turkey we thought it would be cool to do these. For tonight and tomorrow we are doing a grilled chicken that I have brining right now. She likes the white meat and I like the dark so it works out perfect for us. I’ll throw it on the grill later on tonight but I did a lemon pepper brine with garlic, onions and thyme also thrown in.

I really think that is it for this week, quite a bit I know but still working through what I want to put down on here.