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Wow, it's been a long time!

August 23rd, 2011 at 06:36 pm

Can't believe my last entry was almost 2 years ago. Quite a lot has changed. Baby M is now over 2 years old, and Mystery Baby #2 will be making his/her appearance in approximately 9 short weeks.

DH and I purchased our first home in May--since we were quickly outgrowing our old apartment.

In my last entry, I was debating between 2 jobs. I ended up switching to Job #2, which was a 24 hour position at a local hospital. Best decision I ever made!!! Wish I did it MUCH earlier. Benefits are much better, the $$ is better and I now have a grueling 5 mile commute. Smile Plus, I seem to never work 24 hours. (40+ is more like it)

Financially...eh...still pretty scary. Going to tally up the numbers, so I can see how scary it is in black and white.

Glad to be back!

5 weeks old already!

July 27th, 2009 at 09:46 am

Hard to believe Baby M is already 5 weeks old. Went in for the c-section on June 17th, and had a beautiful baby boy!! He was 8 lbs, 7 oz, and 21.5 inches long. Now, he's over 12 lbs.

The past 5 weeks have been quite an adventure. It a whole new life to get used to. The sleep deprivation is the easy part for now!

Now the challenge is to make our dwindling maternity leave fund last. DH has gone back to work, and has also picked up a little part time gig at a local coffee house. Early morning hours(3.5 hours), 4 days a week. Every little bit helps!

Here's a couple pics from when he was 2 days old. He's filled out quite a bit since then! Smile The sweater/booty set is what DH came home from the hospital in when he was born.

Don't think we'll reach our goal

June 5th, 2009 at 08:07 am

We now have less than 3 weeks until my due date. And we're $1456 shy of our goal. The only thing that has put a crimp in our savings, is that I finally told my other jobs that I'm all done until after baby comes. It was just getting to be too much. Still pulling my regular 40 hour job too. We still have a little time and DH is working as much as he can also. I still think we'll be ok-I won't need much gas money if I'm not commuting to work everyday, etc.

I've also been spending some money(mostly from my HSA) for Chiropractor appt, accupuncture, massage, etc. All the 'alternative' therapies that may help turn this breech baby. Trying to avoid a c section-I know, I know, it's not bad, blah blah blah. But it's something I would like to avoid. Baby is really wedged in there, so I also don't think s/he'll turn at the last minute either.

But either way, we'll have our little bundle of joy pretty soon! Smile

Getting closer...

April 10th, 2009 at 09:14 am

Cat ended up being ok. He's now on thyroid meds, which is, um, wreaking havoc on his delicate intestinal system. (To put it mildly) It's getting better though, thankfully! Although, DH is on litter box duty, so I get the easy way out! No idea what that tongue growth was. Vet didn't seem concerned--"oh, that, we got rid of it". $258 for his follow up visit.

We've finally hit another savings record-$5001.35! Still about $800 behind schedule, but we're definitely making progress.

We did end up getting a $3000 personal loan for those 3 small credit cards, with 22.9% interest rates. Our new loan has a rate of 13%, so better than the CCs. So, now with that interest rate lower than my scary Discover card, we can start paying off that ridiculous balance.

Feels like we're making progress. I'm still working a lot of hours, and hoping to cut down a bit soon. I ended up picking up perdiem hours at the hospital that I work at in another department, who pretty much give me whatever hours I want to work. So, for me, it's difficult to find a balance between working like a madwoman (just can't say no to $$) and doing what's best for my body. Having a lot of Braxton-Hicks, so I think it's time to slow down a bit.

I splurged on an appointment for a 3D ultrasound on 4/25. Looking forward to 'meeting' our little one! Should be a fun, relaxing day for me and DH. We both need one.

Personal Loan?

March 19th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Still frantically trying to save for leave, before baby comes. We have 14 weeks to go, if I carry to full term. We're about $700 behind schedule, but we'll get there. We still have the biggest savings account we've ever had!

Since we've been focusing on saving, we haven't been putting extra towards the CC debt. It kills me to just pay minimum, so I have been doing extra on the highest APR card. But now it seems everyone is jacking up the rates.

We have 3 small cards(still have a very ugly Discover card balance at 13K at 17% and a 2500 Visa at 7.25%) Our BOA is $1080, at 19.99%; Capital One $830 at 22.9%, and Home Depot $1100 at 22.4%.

My question is: would it be in our best interest to get a $3000 personal loan from our local credit union, and just pay off those three? The CU website has 'rates as low as 7.25%', but I figure even if they were 10%, it's still lower than the credit cards. I feel like it would be some load off of our shoulders to pay something off. Or just keep paying minimum and not stress until after baby comes and we see what THOSE expenses are like!

I did recently pay off our Care Credit, and only owe 2 more $200 payments on one loan.

We're making progress, just not as fast as I'd like.

A fun little payday game:

February 13th, 2009 at 11:50 am

It's called "Who's Wants Our Money?"

We have $684.25 to divvy up. But VW credit wants $406.84, "personal loan" needs $200, student loan wants $250, maternity/baby fund should be paid $200 as well. Haven't paid the oil bill either. Oh, and we need money to live for the week: gas, groceries, etc. I didn't go grocery shopping at all last week, so cupboards are pretty bare.

It's so hard to figure out who should get what, and when. None of them will give big late fees or interest hikes if we're a week late. I ended up paying "personal loan" because if we don't, they'll be a warrant out for DH! $90 for living money, tranferred 250 to ING for leave fund(gotta pay ourselves first, right?)

That leave $144.25, which now isn't enough to pay oil bill, car or student loan. Ugh. My head hurts.

On the baby front, things are going well. Told boss about 3 weeks ago, and she took it well. We've already started training someone to help out when I'm out. Boss actually said 'we need to start training now, because you may not be able to work until you're due'. I hope I don't get put on bedrest or anything like that, but at least she's thought of that possibility. I am now almost 22 weeks along, feeling movement(finally!)and getting bigger every day!

My good brother (that lost his house, etc) just started his new job this Monday.
His wife got a yearlong temp job as well. They are both kind of stressing about logistics of driving one car, 2 jobs, and a kid in daycare. I think honestly that his wife was thinking of NOT taking a $22/hour job, because the only way they could work it out is to drop her off at work an hour early, and she'd have to hang around after her shift for 1/2 hour, while my brother runs to daycare to get baby. I talked to brother today and basically said: Suck it up, bring a book and deal with it. You need this job, you need this money, and it's just a temporary inconvenience until you can buy a POC car, or move closer to both jobs. I hope she realizes that's what she has to do. They were going to try to talk to temp place today about changing hours. Well, if they won't, then you'll have to put up with it, because there's 50+ people in line behind you that will do ANYTHING for a job right now.

Raises! (and a layoff) :-(

January 11th, 2009 at 11:00 am

Well, first the good news:

I had approached my boss at my fulltime job right before Christmas regarding my annual review. She quickly shot me down with "after my vacation". (She was out of the country for 2 weeks). I very timidly approached her this week, and after "We'll talk on Monday", she called me into her office on Thursday. We spoke about how well the past year has gone, but she very quickly changed her tune and spoke about how Medicare reimbursments are down, expenses are up, can't give raises like she used to, has to help staff at bottom of payroll, etc. I soon felt, as I smiled and nodded, that I didn't have a chance for any kind of raise. She finally sits back in her chair and says "so you tell me, what will you let me get away with?" (Ooh ooh ooh, I do have a chance!) "Is 75 cents out of the question?" She didn't even raise an eyebrow-I got my $0.75 raise just like that! (Of course, DH said I should've asked for a dollar, like I have gotten before. But with the way I first felt, I didn't want to look greedy and push my luck)

I also got paid for one shift at the hospital, and noticed it was a bit more there when I called my bank. I checked the hosptitals online paystub system and saw I got a $1.04 raise there! Unfortunately, I spoke to my dept, and no shifts available except for one on Jan. 30.

Now the bad news.

I got a phone call this morning from the restaurant that I work at. I've been laid off, hopefully just for the winter. I have worked there for 15 years! This was the money we lived on-groceries, gas, laundry, etc. This job pulled in anywhere from 400-800 a month.

Now, we don't have the hospital job going into maternity leave fund. We don't have the restaurant job to live on. So all of that has to come from my fulltime job and DH's. I wish that extra $30 a week would cover that all, but it's not going to.

So, essentially, I've gone from 3 jobs this week, to 1. I haven't worked 'just' 40 hours EVER! But I do know, that in this day, I'm lucky to have even one stable job.

We've really got to play with the budget tonight. I don't know where to cut back, and still sock away $1000 a month for leave. We're going to have a hard time just paying the minimum bills.

Savings have hit a record!

January 2nd, 2009 at 09:05 am

Our savings have reached $3070.94. That is a record! We've never had over 3000. We've never had over 2000. We rarely have had it over 1000. Yay us! I did notice that ING has dropped rate to 2.5% though. 38.3% of the way towards our goal, although we won't stop then either.

Now if my per diem job would just offer me some shifts for January, we'd be all set. I know someone will call in, be sick, take a day off, etc, but I like to see some definites inked out in my planner, rather than the last minute "can you work tonight?" ones.

New Year's Eve was pretty mellow (i.e. "cheap") because of the snow...NSD. We made pizza, watched a few movies, then the ball drop, then went to bed.

Hope everyone had a great holiday. Happy New Year!

Spendy week, baby update

December 21st, 2008 at 01:58 pm

I've finished up the Christmas shopping. I tried to stay on track, but did spend 51.47 more than anticipated. My budget was $180(4 people at $25, 1 at $5 and DH at $75) Ended up going over for hubby, under for others, and bought gift for DH's brother who will be visiting up from the 26th til Jan. 3rd. He wasn't in the original equation, so I'm still pretty happy with how I did. Cash for everything. No scary credit card bills come January!

And that's the end of the good news. Got together with a college friend for dinner and spent $25. She's a smart girl, but trying to watch her figure out her portion and calculate a tip is PAINFUL! We took up this poor girl's table for 2 1/2 hours. Our check is 32. I am not leaving less than 40. Just give me the darn check,I'll tell you how much to give me!! Also spent last Saturday out with DH and got Chinese-$20. And Wendy's(I cracked) for $15. $60 spent eating out, and $38.66 on groceries. We ate out almost 2 weeks of groceries!

We also had our '1st Trimester Risk Assessment' this week (13 weeks). Ultrasound looks good. Baby was moving around like crazy, at one point did a half-way backward somersault. Like he was on his back, walking up a wall and flipping over. Cute! Blood work was good, except for "PAPP-A" level. More follow up tests because of this low result. (When abnormal, it can indicate risk for late fetal loss, or stillborn). DH is not worried about it at all. I'm trying not to. It's probably just that we have access to too much information and gives us more to worry about. Then Wednesday, I had appt with OB. First time meeting the doctor. DH wasn't able to come because of his work schedule. I've heard great things about this doctor, but this appt wasn't too great. He told me I was "packing on the pounds". I cried all the way home, like dry-heaving, crying so hard. Hubby must've thought I was nuts when I came home! Oh well, I knew those carbs that were so great for nausea would catch up to me.

Well, tonight I'm sending an email to my boss requesting some time to sit down and discuss my annual review. (She's leaving for 2 1/2 weeks on Wednesday). So keep your fingers crossed that I get a raise!

Hubby's $70 Laundry Habit

December 12th, 2008 at 09:22 am

I've been working so many hours this week, 4 doubles, plus work training during the day on Sat, and waitressing Saturday night. Can't wait til Sunday, my day off!

DH has been great this week with stuff around the house, dishes, cleaning, etc. He's doing laundry today. I usually budget $20 for this. But sometimes the laundromat can be an expensive outing for him. First, obviously, the laundry itself. Then, his buddies own a floral shop next door. So while he's waiting, he goes visiting. He's come home quite a few times with flowers, and they're just beautiful. I 'assumed' that he was getting the "friend/these were extra" discount. But the other day, he was fixing the ones (he got them before thanksgiving) on our coffee table, and taking out the bad ones. He mentioned something about the cost...it turns out that he spent $50 on them!! You know what we could do with that money? But I know he feels like he's doing something nice for me. I feel like a jerk complaining that my hubby buys me too many flowers! But $50! Please don't make me do laundry on my one day off!
(He wouldn't even let me, he doesn't like the way I fold) :-)

This Week

November 19th, 2008 at 07:29 pm

Divvied up our paychecks on Sunday.

Income(10.38 in checking to start):

Job #3--209.11

Bills Paid:
5.00-Christmas Club
50.00-ING Savings automatic
28.00-Home Depot
200.00-Personal Loan
75.00-Student Loan #2
406.84-VW Credit--(only 14 payments left)
209.11--Transferred Job #3 to ING

Balance in checking is 20.38. Bills remaining this month is 1777.00, unless something else pops up.

We had a doctor's appt on Monday. It should've been our first, but I was having some stuff go on a couple weeks ago, so they saw us then too. They keep changing the due date, first it's June 21st, then the 26th, then the 23rd, then back to the 21st. Does it really matter? This baby's coming whenever it's ready. "Oh, I'm sorry, I can't have this baby on the 23rd, I have plans. Can we make it the 21st instead?"
They didn't do an ultrasound this visit, so it was more just a regular 'girly' appointment. You know-"Scoot down, scoot down." Poor Hubby was probably mortified to be there.

Everything looks to be going well. I do have to go for a 1st Trimester Risk Assesment at Yale, I guess because I'm so old! This will be a 3D ultrasound, where they can tell if baby has any genetic abnormalities or Down Syndrome markers. That appointment is on Dec. 15th, and next OB appt is on Dec. 17th. Should have some new pics just before Christmas! Christmas Eve will be when we make the big announcement to my family.

All those jobs...

November 15th, 2008 at 08:44 am

In my first post, I mentioned that we had 4 jobs between the 2 of us. What I didn't mention is that I have 3 of them. Now, before you think I'm crazy, let me explain. Fulltime job for me is with kind of 'iffy' boss. I've been there for almost 7 years, but she's been known to fire people at the drop of a hat. That job is $28/hour. I'm due for my annual review on 12/24. I definitely won't reveal my secret until after that. Job #2 for me is perdiem at a local hospital-a shift is 4 hours. That is $32+/hour. Available shifts vary greatly. I can go for a month, and get one--very rare. Or I can get 3 a week, which was the case this week. Double Wed, Thurs and Fri-ugh, but $$$! Job #3 is at local restaurant. I've been there for 15 years, and only work Sat nights. (One of the best nights) I can make from 80 on a horrible night to $220 on a great night in an approx 6 hour shift. The average would be about 140. DHs job pay 9+/hour. I get paid about 3X as much as him. I'm not bragging by any means, I'm just saying financially, it's more worthwhile for me to pick up an extra shift or 2, than for him. What I have been doing is using the restaurant money for living-gas, groceries, spending money, etc. I have a whole spreadsheet that I use, depending on how profitable the night was. What I'm planning on doing with the hospital paychecks is put that directly into my ING acct. Each shift=approx $100. I have 10 in Nov, so that should be $1000.00 towards my goal.
I figure I gotta make this money NOW while I still can!

I'll divvy up our paychecks from yesterday later, and post our progress. Let's see if I can figure out some tickers too.

OK, bear with me...this may be confusing!

November 12th, 2008 at 07:41 pm

Hi everyone! Long time lurker, so I know that you all have great life experiences and will give great advice. I don't know where to even start. My DH and I have been together for 10+ years, married for 5. Due to some personal issues, DH racked up 14K in CC debt back in 2005-2006. I was not aware( in denial) of the problems he was facing, and didn't know about this debt. However, things have cleaned up nicely and we're back on track as a couple since Aug. 2006. We've managed to pay about 11K off, but still have about 22K left to go. I had my own debt as well. (We also had a big car repair, and various 'life happens' events occur, with no EF in place)

We now have about 2K in EF. We have 4 jobs between the 2 of us. My position does pay higher, and I have the health insurance for both of us.

Choices to make for now: Do we try to find a cheaper place in our area to live? Rents seem to be going down in our area, but for first, last and security, (plus various moving fees), it would probably run us about 3K. But that would wipe out our EF.

Do we stay where we are, and focus on debt, or try to get EF bigger because…

On October 22, I gave my husband "the best birthday gift ever"---a positive pregnancy test. We are both very excited. I'm about 8 weeks along. I know financially, we're not ready, but I’m 32, and are you ever financially ready for a baby?

He would be staying at home with the baby, so in the next 7 months, we need to decrease our bills the equivalent of his salary. (Usually brings home $800 a month). It's not much, but he does all the household stuff, cleaning, laundry, errands that I can't do while I'm working.

My job is also an issue. I work for a small company, which only has about 15 employees. The boss/owner/president is a real tough cookie. She does not give maternity leave. The last woman to have a baby had 12 weeks unpaid, had to sign some paper that terminated her, and paid COBRA while she was out. That mysterious paper had to be signed that day…couldn't be taken home to discuss with husband (or lawyer). She left with the knowledge that she would be back, and she is still with us. I have 4 weeks vacation that I'll have by June. If she even allows me to take 12 weeks, that would mean 8 weeks unpaid, plus maybe 1K/month for COBRA. Is that even legal? She has less than 50 employees, so FMLA doesn't apply.

So stay put in current apartment, save up 8 weeks salary, plus another 2K for possible insurance? Or try to pay down debt now before baby comes? Too many choices and this first post is too long!

I didn't want to get down to the nitty gritty with actual figures of debt and salaries on first post, but any advice would be greatly appreciated!