July 2014 Recap

Copy of  Copy of  January 2014 Accountability

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Even though we’re no longer focusing on paying down debt as aggressively, I still love to see the total debt decrease number go up. Hopefully when life settles down a little, we can get back to focusing on this.

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Thank goodness we focused so much on paying off our consumer debt – I feel way better about taking a job that is overall lower-paying now that the biggest debts we have to deal with are our Student Loans (remember, that Citibank balance is actually a student loan we transferred to Citibank using a transfer check).


July 2014 Overview: 

July 2014 was a confusing month of upheaval. Given my changing job situation, we restructured our Debt Eradication goals and are now focusing on saving for eventual expenses. Our biggest goal right now is to save all we can (without going into credit card debt) for moving when our house sells. I’d love to have first month, last month, and deposit for a place to rent in case we can’t sell our house at a profit. We certainly can’t sell it at a loss, but we might consider breaking even if we don’t get much in the way of offers.

H has done some amazing work on the house and the yard. We also spent some time cleaning and purging. I took things to a consignment store and picked up a small check from a previous drop-off; I sold some books and cds to the used book store, and I cleaned out my classroom from my former job. I stopped in to the office to say goodbye to people, but there were only a couple of people there. I walked out and – not gonna lie – felt pretty awesome. I can’t brag about it too much, as I have other teacher friends who would very much like to move out of teaching and can’t. So, aren’t you lucky? You get to hear about it here!

All in all, getting the house ready to sell, getting it on the market, and even having our first showing has been a little smoother than expected. I do think it’s largely due to the fact that there isn’t much I need to do to get ready for my new job. No lesson planning, no freaking out about restructuring my classroom or curriculum… ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Some of the changes in our financials are:

  • Citibank Payment – We are still putting $450 towards our Citibank card (where one of H’s student loans now resides), and that should give us plenty of wiggle room to have it paid off two months before the interest comes due. (This used to be $525 per month.)
  • Emergency Fund Savings – The $75 difference between the new amount we’re paying on the Citibank card and the amount we were paying before is now going into our Emergency Fund. Hey, every little bit helps, right?
  • Snowflaking – Instead of snowflaking all extra money to Debt Eradication (the Citibank card), we’re now saving like mad. The paycheck I received from my side hustle is the second-to-last one I’ll receive. I’ll get one more at the end of August, then I’ll just get one regular check from my main (new!) job. This month, most of that check went to our savings account, though you can see below for more details of how it was allocated.

How I Allocated my Side Hustle Check (July 31/Aug 1): $1459.07

  • $800 to moving fund
  • $100 to travel sinking fund
  • $100 to car repairs sinking fund
  • $100 to L’s school stuff sinking fund
  • $100 to H’s business expenses sinking fund
  • $100 to gifts sinking fund (this one seems to take a beating more than we planned for). 
  • $159 – kept in checking account for cushion
  • $.07 to emergency fund (that .07 has to go somewhere!)

This makes for $4214.98 in our savings account! I’m pretty stoked. That’s more than we have had in, I don’t know, maybe 6 or 7 years?

July Snowflaking: 798.26!!!

  • 172.70 from camp in June (paid in July)
  • 200 left over from June’s budgets
  • 226.67 paid for Mary Kay products sold (I had to pay for them in June)
  • 33.94 statement credit from Chase 
  • 150 reimbursement from mom for buying a new vacuum (sweet!)
  • 14.95 interest on Summer Savings Account

    Notes: I snowflake as I go, throughout the month. I had no idea that I had snowflaked this much!

Money Accomplishments this Month: 

  • Made money $40 on books and cds sold to used book store
  • $24 from consignment store, but I spent it on taking my former colleague out to lunch
  • $845 from Opportunity – I participated in this great opportunity for teachers until I knew I was going to be hired elsewhere. Once I had accepted the offer at my new job, I emailed my resignation to the Opportunity people. They emailed back to say they were sorry to see me go (well, I’m sure they had no idea who I was, really), and didn’t mention whether I’d be paid for that first $1,000 installment. I didn’t know how to ask, and I figured, “Well, I’ll know soon enough.” On July 31st, the due date for the first payment, I received a direct deposit of $845! (That’s $1k after taxes, you know.) Instead of snowflaking it, we allocated it immediately for paying down the credit cards that we ran up last month doing household repairs and getting the house ready to show. I feel much better with those accounts sitting back at $0 again – whew!
  • Applied for a higher credit limit on one of our Chase cards (freedom card) and received it – now $11,700 – which should raise our credit score at least a tiny bit because we are now using less of our credit percentage overall…? We just got a notice in the mail that we could request a higher limit… so we did! Didn’t cost anything… I guess they think that if we have a higher limit we’ll be tempted to put more on the card and not pay it off? Ha ha on you, Chase! (Not gonna lie, though – it’s always nice to know that if we had an expensive emergency, we COULD put a higher amount on a CC….)
  • Somehow, despite going over budget overall, we still managed to have a net income of over $1,000 this month. 

Money Setbacks this Month: 

  • We went over-budget on food again. I am just raising the budget to $600 and am going to buckle down to focus on how to eat cheaply and actually meal plan. I hate meal planning, but it seems to be the only way to trim this number to something acceptable. There’s no reason that we should be spending more than $400 on food a month – I’m just lazy and we ate out more this month (probably due to traveling so much, but still). So, the budget is now set at $600 with a goal to come in more than $100 below that number.
  • We spent over $200 in house-fixing-up items from places like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Helpful and necessary, for sure, but it wasn’t something we had figured on.

Life (as in, Non-Monetary) Accomplishments this Month:

  • Accepted a new full-time (non-teaching) position!
  • Gave notice and resigned from my current position
  • Took more clothes, household items, and car seat to the consignment store
  • Took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill (and kept the receipts!)
  • Registered L for kindergarten (not easy, since we are an hour away from the school she’ll be attending, which is super close to where I’ll be working!)
  • Figured out childcare for the week that both H and I will be working but L has not yet started school (that was no easy feat! thank goodness for friends!)
  • Found a realtor and got the house listed for sale
  • Got the house ready to sell (H mostly did all of this, and it involved a LOT of yard work – ugh)
  • Developed a list of easy go-to meals that can be made quickly (and the ingredients we must keep on hand for them)
  • Got a very light (read: cheap) whiteboard and mounted it on the inside of one of our kitchen cabinets – I am now using it to meal plan, all of our meals are written down for the next week already and I know the few things we need to purchase to make them!
  • Cleaned out my stuff from my old job and consigned some of the books and cds at the used bookstore
  • Got L a new booster seat on super sale at Target, woohoo! (I knew we needed one, and I was just waiting for the right time/sale….)
  • Met my new boss for coffee and we had a fantastic 3-hour long conversation. I think she’ll be great to work with, and I really admire her.

What I’m Looking Forward to in August:

  • I begin my new job on August 13 – woohoo!
  • Setting up my workspace. Yes. YES YES YES. Organization! Decoration! (It even has a window in there! Not to mention the coffee pot….)
  • L begins daycare
  • We start our new one-hour commute (each way)… wait, this is supposed to be a list of things I’m looking forward to, right? Oops. Actually, I think that spending that time together in the car is better than spending it separately. We’ll see how I feel after a week… or a month.
  • MAYBE SOMEONE WANTING TO BUY OUR HOUSE?! That would be nice to look forward to.

Overall, our net worth continues to rise. Add to that the fact that we’ve had a positive net income the past 7 months, and I feel pretty good about things overall. We have a long way to go (I still don’t contribute more than $50 to my IRA every month, we have very little saved for our trip that we’re taking next summer, we don’t have much of an emergency fund), but we’re in a much more stable position than we were even 8 months ago. We’ll see how this new position changes things (I won’t be making that extra side hustle check, which is going to be quite a difference), so we’re going to have to work harder to stay within our budget and end each month with a positive net income. Perhaps a more detailed post this month about net income and net worth might be fun!

Have a great August!

– M.


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