Thursday, July 31, 2008

August Goals

July is already over and another month is about to start. I am excited because I am doing well. Granted I am broke (no going into emergency fund no matter how bad I want to), but I am getting up to date on most of my bills. So here are my goals for August.

  1. Get my kids savings accounts opened. I am so proud of my daughter. She saved $6.00 to put towards her 1st deposit.
  2. HAVE A YARD SALE! I have been fuming on this for a month and I hope to get this done. It will do so much for me financially because I can get rid of 2 storage bills which are ridiculous. If I think of how much I spent it would be $2000 in storage fees for 2 years. That's stupid.
  3. Get my raise and put it in savings. Supposedly I will get my raise in August. I have my fingers crossed on this one. If I put my raise in savings I won't miss it because I will live on what I'm being paid right now. Good idea?
  4. Pay double on my car and change the due date. This is a big one because the mail system is working against me. I will mail my car payment 3 days in advance and because it gets there one day after the due date I am slapped with a 30 day late payment on my credit report. This ticked me off because I was one day late and I sent it off early but the envelope didn't get to the office by close of business. I think they never opened the stinking envelope. I am fighting this big time.
  5. Stock up on groceries. I need to have the necessities and plan meals. My kids are still eating me out of house and home but if our meals are structured I can save money, and give them a healthy meal.
  6. Quit smoking. This is my vice. I smoke when I am stressed out and when I have a cocktail. These days I've been soooooo stressed out about finances. I just did an analysis and I spend $123.60 a month on cigarettes ( if I smoke a pack a day). That's crazy, not healthy, and again stupid. Quitting sounds great and my insurance will pay for the smoking cessation prescriptions (they average $150.00 with no insurance).
  7. Be a part of Pay Per Post. I had to wait one long month to reapply for Pay Per Post. I want to be a part of the IZEA team and I have been very patient. Hopefully they approve my blog this time.

So those are my main priorities for the month. I wish you all a happy August.


I need to focus on the task at hand. Payday is coming up again and I have to be very careful. I have made a template budget about thirty times. I went to rehearsal and brought my notebook with me. I should've been paying attention but instead kept writing my budget over and over again. I kept adding little things like toilet paper, and detergent. I wanted to decipher between wants and needs. We need toilet paper because we are down to 2 rolls. I made a 12 pack last a whole month. There were times where I was able to get toilet paper free. Now a days I am finding that my coupons do not double. Worse yet I am finding that I am in LOND zone at some bargain places like Wal-Mart and K-mart. They offer 2 packs of 24 rolls of toilet paper for $12.00. Coupons are now $.25 off for name brand toilet paper. That is disgusting to think about. I wonder if anyone suffers from finding paper goods pricey as well as food and gas? Anyways I need toilet paper for next month so I wrote that as part of my budget. I have 4 birthdays I have to budget for, rent, and electricity bill. They made a big mistake on my bill so I need to get in aggravated mode to get them to come down on how much I owe. There are some wants too listed in my budget. I want a new slide for my Lia Sophia necklace. I really don't need it but I would like one. I know this is an unnecessary want but it's my birthday month and I thought I could get a little treat on me. As I said before I need to focus on my task of getting debt free and if that means putting my piece of jewelry on hold, then so be it. I just think it would be nice to have.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Survey Says

I say that surveys are driving me crazy right now. I think I told you that I applied to several survey polls. There is one I really like and then the rest are a waste of my time. I just wasted 45 minutes filling out yes or no questions that kept going. Pop-ups started filling the screen. It was utter crap. Excuse me for speaking that way but enough is enough. If you wanted to give me a $500 gift card to Wal-Mart make it simple. I recently called a 1-800 number for a free vacation. If I went along with it then I would receive $40.00 for my time. Yeah right. I spent another half hour telling this young man that I was not going to book a hotel stay and give him my debit card number (even though I don't have one). I never did get credited with the $40.00. My time wasted away again. Here are my comments to these survey places.
  1. Some things in life are free. But there is so much out there that is not.
  2. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably isn't true.
  3. A sucker is born every minute (ie. I was a big one for wasting my time)

Don't get me wrong, I like doing surveys that really ask me questions about an item, or service. What I don't like is marketing jargon? I don't like nonsense pop-ups, and promises of a wonderful gift card. Has anyone done this?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


My goal for this week is to use up all the food in my freezer and cabinets. This is a difficult task considering all I have is beef steaks (we ate all the chicken tonight). So I sifted through the cabinets and found a jar of pasta sauce, ramen noodles, soy sauce, cake mix, a can of sliced carrots, egg noodles, and a can of tuna. I plan on making tuna casserole tomorrow. My kids fortunately like to eat it because it is noodle based. I don't tell them it's tuna because kids are kids and they think tuna is gross. I believe that using what I have in my cabinets and refrigerator, I will be able to shave off some on my grocery bill this week. That means I will be able to save $100. Typically I buy as much as I can at bargain rates but I thought this week I can be a little bit more creative. Does anyone have any good recipes for beef steaks? I have thick cut, and thin cut, and a steak roast. I also have fajita powder, burrito powder, and a bunch of spices so I hope that I can make dinners a little bit kid approved. Has anyone tried this before? I found a can of spiced apples (I don't think I bought this) but I think I can make a nice dessert for the kids.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who I Work For

My family is my life and I wanted to show you the two main people I work for. I get paid with hugs and kisses. If I do a good job I get an I love you. I will work as hard as I can to keep my family from hardships. Who do you all work for? Who or what motivates you to get financially fit.

Decluttering (is that a word)?

Have you ever noticed that when your home is a mess and cluttered your life seems to be affected. I am talking chaos. I finally found my gas bill while trying to declutter the house. It's amazing at the junk I sifted through. for the past hour and a half I was able to take out four bags of plain old trash. My kids like to break things from plastic hangers to rolls of toilet paper. You would think I had a little puppy but I have two lil rugrats. Anyhow, this sparked a glimmer in my eye and now it's a full blown project. My goal date is this Friday. I am going to clean out the closets one by one and put stuff out for my yard sale. I am so excited because I took the day off to get this done. I need to stop paying for storage and start decluttering my life. I cannot believe how much we accumulate and how much "stuff" we do not use. This is so disturbing, how can a person throw out four bags of trash in one day. It was full of misc. papers, coupons for places I never heard of and kids drawings. I love my kids but how many mommy and me drawings can you keep. I am sentimental but there was way too much. I feel a sense of liberation from my efforts.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Love My New Mother In Law

My hubby's parents are divorced and his dad married his high school sweetheart in February. I have a weird relationship with my hubby's mom who is not 50 yet, so she is still single and looking. My father in law's new wife has opened her arms to the 6 grandchildren she just inherited. She has been sweet and kind. I feel like she was the boys' mother all along. I was stressing on what I was going to do about back to school clothes for my daughter. My new mother in law had no idea, but do you know what she did? She bought all the girls in our family 3 pairs of shirts and shorts for school. Isn't she fabulous. I got a bit emotional at the gesture. Well my hubby's mom does not like being upstaged so she offered to buy my daughter a new outfit for school. I thought it was funny how jealous she got. I just think how gracious my new mother in law is. She has no ulterior motive, she's just good. I love her.

No Checking Account

I wanted to share a little tidbit about myself tonight. I have no checking account or credit cards! Many people ask me how can I function without a debit card. It's pretty simple. I take my paycheck and have it cashed. 5-10 percent goes into my savings and then I begin my envelope system (again I'd like to thank Dave Ramsey for turning me to this system) I pay for cash for everything. I had a credit card once when I was 18 with a $250 limit and fortunately that is all paid for. Since then I have not had one. Even though I have no credit card (believe me I have filled out offers) I still do not qualify. I have no checking account because I was careless with it before. I am now on ChexSystems. I overdrafted one too many times before on my account that it caused several checks to bounce (not a great highlight in my life). I made a lot of mistakes and I have learned my lesson. The good thing about not having a checking account is that I am aware of the cash I have at hand. I am trying very hard to keep up with my budget. I see my forecast for my future and it looks promising. How many cards do you juggle, or are you debt-free. Why do banks charge so much when you bounce a check? Is there any forgiveness?

Collection Calls

It's Sunday and I am in gripe mode again. I previously posted that I am behind on my car payment which really blows but I am trying to get current, slowly but surely. The loan company called me at 8:30 this evening. Now, I don't know the rules about collection calls (even though I am not in collections) but I think they are only to call Mon-Fri maybe Saturdays at certain times, but this was on a Sunday. Sunday is a day of rest. I had a good weekend and this car company totally irritated me. I cannot wait to pay off this doggone loan off and not deal with car payments ever again. I am that more motivated to get out of this as fast as I can.

What Did I Do?

Well, I belong to a survey panel through Inbox Dollars which I really like. I get paid to do surveys, read emails and play games. I decided I would branch out and do other survey panels, panels that were legit. So during my search I stumbled through Valued Opinions, and Zoom Panel. I thought I was limited and that would be it. I opened my email after I signed up for these 2 panels and found 16 emails of various survey panels. Now I am confused who I signed up with and are these affiliates with the other panels. Has anyone been this confused? I know that I am trying to make some extra money in my spare time but I know that there are some surveys that I don't fit. So, how do you choose? Yikes. I am still sifting through my email and I think I will unsubscribe many of these but I will let you all know. Inbox Dollars has been great and I know I will stick with them because my brain can handle simplicity. If you want to try them I recommend it.

Potty Training Problems

My son will be 3 in November, but I am eager to get him potty trained. Listed are reasons why he should be.

  1. Diapers cost too much money! His size diaper runs about $.29 a piece.
  2. He pulls out all his wipes out of the box.
  3. He's almost 3.

He has been good about telling me he's wet or dirty. I wonder if anyone has some good tips to help move this along. I am going to invest some money on a potty chair. I bought him one that he was not so crazy about. It even scared him because it looked like a monstrosity. I think this effort will save me some money too, because diapers are so expensive. I bought him some Spider Man underwear and he responded well to wear them. I bought him some training pants and he ran like the wind. Does anyone have any suggestions? How much do you all spend on diapers? I get $1.00 coupons for diapers but $1.00 does not make a dent in the total price of a box of diapers. I tried to go on but that too is expensive.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Still Playing on the Computer

I'm still tinkering on the computer and trying to add some bling to my blog. I unfortunately am not a professional nor do I try to be. I did stumble onto a great graph creator from NCN (No Credit Needed) Network. It's nice to see how far I am coming along on having savings, paying down debt. It has taken a whole lot of space on my blog but that's okay. I am using this blog to help me focus on the task at hand and that is to stop living from paycheck to paycheck, gain savings, and get out of debt. The tickers I chose on the sidebar are just nice to look at. I have seen other blogs where they have a ticker type thing on how much they have saved or put towards debt but guess what? I don't know how to do that so I am experimenting with other things. I hope it isn't too flashy, but I do like how it looks.

Gambling is Bad

I have been on the computer for so long today. I have started to play Texas Hold Em online. I'm playing for play money but can you imagine if it were real money. I think these disillusions of gaining money quickly by luck it really getting to me. Dave Ramsey would be very disappointed in me. But, again I am playing for fake money, so I am safe. I do not endorse gambling anymore. I really do like playing for fun. If I win it would be a nice bonus. I just have to remember not to get caught up in gambling again.

I'm Griping Again

My hubby went to buy a pizza just now. I laid out some flat steaks to cook and there was a hole in the plastic. Well to make a long story short, I had a pile of dishes with gunk all over them. There was a big yucky pot soaking in water and SOMEBODY put the meat in it. I about died when I discovered it. I had no idea how long it was sitting in that filth. So now I have wasted meat (money) and now the hubby has to spend money on a pizza since it's so late. More money down the drain.

Looking for Part-Time Work

There are MANY scams out there for work at home jobs. I searched for data entry because I do have experience in that. I also looked as far as a mystery shopper. To even look at a mystery shopper data base it would cost me $17.95. I do not know if there is a legit work from home job unless you are an entrepreneur. Has anyone done mystery shopping? I don't understand that if you go on the big job search engines they provide you with so many gimmicks for work at home jobs. I think it is ripping off honest people who are looking for work. It is a shame.

Friday, July 25, 2008

On to a Lighter Note

You may think I gripe too much but I have good reasons. I plan on having a great weekend with the family. I work this Saturday and after work I plan on going back to the library to check out more personal finance books. Does anyone have any recommendations? I have read The Total Money Makeover, and two of Suze Orman's books. Who else is there?

Raise Hooplah!

This is a big bummer and huge disappointment. I know that my office manager (who is my boss) has no control over the situation, but she told use we probably won't see our raises until August. This makes me feel like crud right about now. I gripe about not seeing it and now I really won't see it until August. I just don't understand why it is taking so long. I adore my job but I am seriously going to start looking around. If this raise becomes smaller than I expected I will consider leaving. I had to think about the pros and cons about leaving. The one con I have is my wages. I started from the bottom, even though I had all the schooling and experience. Four years later, I am a guru in what I do. It saddens me because I know I am a good asset but I have to think of my family and our future. Ugh!!! I hate this feeling. It makes me and ugly person.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Do You Have Growing Children?

Do any of you suffer from growing children who like to eat a weeks worth of food in 2 days. I have two little rugrats who like to eat like savages. I understand that they are growing but they are constantly eating. This dilemma has increased my food budget tremendously. It seems each time I go to the grocery store and bring home the goods, they open every cupboard and start digging for another delight. Now I do not carry a whole lot of sweets (I work in alternative medicine and I know what goodies do to a body). I buy fruits, several types, but my kids like to eat 2 peaches or 2 bananas at a time. The funny thing is that they eat and eat, and not gain weight. I look at a few items and I gain 1/2 a pound. I do clip many coupons, print coupons, watch for sales but I do not know how to keep up with 2 growing children. How does everyone deal with multiple family members and working on a TIGHT food budget. Yikes!!!

What I'm Up To

I have a love of Lia Sophia jewelry. I think it is very classy and for a good price. It seems expensive at first glance but guess what? Have a party and earn free jewelry. I am sure we have friends, co workers, and family who love jewelry. I earned $300 in jewelry credit and got about 10 different pieces. I unfortunately do not sell Lia Sophia, but I do endorse it. Visit them at The reason I am mentioning this is because my boss is getting me a piece of jewelry for my birthday. I am happy that I will be getting a present. I'm not a child anymore so I do not have parties, or receive multitudes of gifts. A little something from someone makes me feel a bit more special inside.
I also signed up for eHow, writing articles on how to tie a shoe from how to bake a cake. I did not know that you can monetize your articles if they are picked through engine searches. I am a bit new to the Internet world so there are many people who are doing this. I suggest it because many of us know HOW to do something, we can now write it down.
July is winding down and I will be at a month of blogging. I am excited because I can finally apply for Pay Per Post. I hear so many great things from so many people. Does anyone have any good stories to let me know how PPP pays, makes you feel, etc.? Well those are a few things that I am putting my hot little hands in.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good News

I just got off the phone with the people who deal with my car loan. Good news, they granted me a 30 day extension to catch up. I have only had this car for 3 months so getting behind really sucks. I am so excited.

Looking for Hope

My hubby, the poor thing, has had back pain for quite some time. He finally made it to his Chiropractor appointment and they told him he had 2 bulging discs and he needs an MRI. Although we have fabulous insurance he told me that he will owe $100 some odd dollars for all this. I feel really sick to my stomach because he may also have to quit his job. He sorts and loads packages for UPS, its been a great strain on his back. So, my hopes for financial security are looking very dismal right now. My hubby called during the middle of a work day and dropped this bomb. I had to step out and cry in the restroom. To make matters worse I am behind on my car payment and I received a letter today that I have 5 days to pay or they will take my car away. I already had one car repossessed 3 years ago and this car was supposed to boost my credit scores. I posted awhile ago about getting the walls of my financial freedom better but it seems like they are about to fall down one by one. I really don't know how to get out of this. I have no one to watch my children if I get a part-time job unless I pay them and a part-time job would mean losing time with them as well. Then the point of working a part-time job would be to pay a babysitter so I am really, really searching for some hope. I am looking at Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book for some guidance. I have also said many prayers, I know this is part of God's plan. I wish I had family to help me but I don't. Anyone have any suggestions? I am really down now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


School is around the corner and I am freaking out. My daughter will be in the second grade this year and I have had the school supply list for 2 months. Smart me bought some of her school supplies here and there. Staples and Office Depot had a 1 cent sale on some of school supplies which I scored a great deal. Walmart was as usual fantastic because their school supplies are generally on the cheap side. I tried the Dollar stores in the area but they were more expensive (ha-ha $1.00) than Walmart. I have a few more items to purchase maybe $5.00 more to spend.

My problem now is trying to get her new Back to School clothes. My baby girl has grown so much she needs everything ( not new, I need to think frugal ). I plan to take her to a consignment shop, and the Goodwill. Luckily she's at the age where she is not ashamed of shopping at these places.

I See the Light!

Earlier I mentioned that I wrote my first budget. Here are the numbers so far:

Car- $350.00/$352.10
Storage- $100.00/$100.00
Gasoline- $50.00/$50.00
Gas Bill- $65.00/
Food- $100.00/$100.52
Savings- $85.00/$85.00

I haven't paid my gas bill yet because I lost the bill. I have no idea where I misplaced it. I made a mess of the house searching for it. So far I was on target and I was able to put money away in savings. Below is a forcast of my next budget in 2 weeks. Funny thing is I get paid on my birthday, but no birthday celebration for me. Being 30 is really important to me. I am realizing that this is the start of my life and I need to get financially fit to have peace, and be happy for the sake of my family. I had plans of having a big 30th birthday bash, but why? What am I celebrating? 30 years of money mistakes? I have made many accomplishments and I am proud of what I have done. Okay enough of my sappiness here's the drumroll for next paycheck.

Rent- $600.00
Electricity- $100.00
Student Loan- $100.00
Gasoline- $50.00
Food- $50.00

I made my food budget a little lower because I have some time to talk to my hubby and have him go in with me on the food budget. If he doesn't he will have a wild, fiery, 5' 1" little missy to deal with. Wish me luck.

I Did It!

In light of payday today, I actually sat down and wrote myself a budget. I am so proud. I even had money for savings. I am getting a hold of my finances slowly but surely. I went to the library again and checked out Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. I am waving this book in my husband's face in hopes that he will read it. I'm trying with him. I hope it work's. I'll have numbers posted soon on how great I'm doing. Thanks everyone for your support.

Monday, July 21, 2008


For several weeks I have made a plan to improve my financial situation. It seems that the money gods are working against me. My husband went out and went to one of those rental places and got a 32" flat screen TV. My heart broke because he told me that I wouldn't miss the money. In the end the payments total over $1000. I am sick of worry now. I get paid again tomorrow and I have made a budget but now my hubby is broke. He has no spending cash and probably no gas in his car. I am already behind on some bills and working on a food menu for the week. I do not llike careless spending and somehow it has happened. I looked in the Sunday paper last night and saw a TV that was similar to the one he got. It was priced at $269. If he just saved his money he could have paid cash for it. Now he's buying the TV 4 times over. How can I get him to be on the same financial thinking I am in? Does anyone know an answer? I try to communicate but sometimes I think he is not listening. I don't make a whole lot of money, and unexpected expenses screws my peace of mind. I made the comment that I will be broke the day I get paid and the hubby's comment was, "What's new"? What's new? I don't want to be broke HELLO! I have decided not to include my husband's income in my journey to financial peace. Is that wrong?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Looking Forward to this Weekend

I'm looking forward to this weekend. I am totally busy and hopefully I don't have to spend any money. Let's see Saturday morning I head to the office for a short 3 1/2 hour shift. I'm excited because I like working Saturdays. For some reason I like the responsibility of being by myself. I see it as a way to show my boss and others that I am capable of working on my own. Next the fam and I are headed to a wedding for an ex co-worker of mine. I plan to watch the ceremony, say hi at the reception and peace out. Then we'll be heading to the bowling lanes to do "Bowling for Boobies". A great fundraiser for Breast Cancer. We will be spending $20.00 a piece, which goes to a worthy cause. My mother passed away from breast cancer and this is a meaningful event for me.
Sunday is jam packed family fun. We are taking our family pictures with my husbands side of the family. He has two brothers, they're married, and we each have a boy and girl. So that makes 12 people in the picture. It usually takes us 3 hours to get everything said and done. It's nice to bond with them and the kids always love getting together. I hope the pictures don't cost that much.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I'm in community theater which is so much fun. Unfortunately I have one line, I sing from the wings and I have to go to most of the rehearsals. Has anyone heard the saying "don't murder a minute"? I think I murdered 120 of them tonight. I had my good friend watch my kids (I love you Mal Pal) and her compensation was me cooking her favorite dish, tuna casserole. Not only did I not spend money on paying for a babysitter I also was able to have dinner too. So rehearsals just started and I can't wait for it to be over because I want to start working on getting a part-time job. I know I keep talking about it but I know I need to sacrifice my time away from my family to get us in a better situation.
I still don't know about my raise yet. I'm terribly upset about it. I'm reading Suze Oraman's book, Women and Money. She poses the question of : Why is it that women, who are so competent in all areas of their lives, cannot find the same competence when it comes to matters of money? It made me think of how much I want this raise and how much I really deserve it. I bust my butt everyday and I get a lot of recognition for it. So what am I waiting for? Should I talk to my office manager and demand a substantial increase? My answer is I don't know. The economy is fluctuating right now and I know that I can be replaced. I'm scared to ask. I'm worried that I may be asking for too much even though I deserve it. I'm so confused. I hope Suze has some advice because I sure need it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Getting My Four Walls Up

Today I wanted to discuss Dave Ramsey's 4 Walls:

1. Food
2. Shelter
3. Transportation
4. Utilities

1. Food is essential to every one's life. It is vital to eat. I take food very personally. It tugs at my heart when I see people hungry. I thank GOD everyday that I have enough to eat, and it shows :) So I looked at how I can shave my grocery bill. I am an avid coupon clipper. I look for deals all the time but yet I fall a bit short. My family devours everything I buy. Sometimes we run out of food too quickly and I stress out about how we will make it. Has anyone had these issues? My mind races thinking of the next meal for dinner. When I get no input from the hubby I get terribly upset because I'm making all the decisions and it's a lot put on me. One time I cooked chili, which my kids loved and my husband hated. I felt inadequate as a cook and saw the food in the pot wasted. (The hubby works during the night. When he comes home dinner is waiting for him. There are many times he does not put the leftovers in the fridge.) I am all about leftovers. That's extra money I can pocket by bringing leftovers for lunch. Many times there are no leftovers. I hope to save more and start making a lot of casseroles to live off of day to day.

2. Shelter. It takes a lot to make a home. It also takes a lot from me to pay my rent. But this is something I have always paid on time, so I don't stress much in this area.

3. Transportation. Gas prices now are sucking the life out of me. It takes $50 to fill up my little Jeep. My insurance is pretty good for full coverage. My payment on my car sucks too. I plan to pay this debt off fast. I am lucky that I live close by to work. I really save on gas. I want a bike but saving for one is like pulling teeth right now. I'm working on it.

4. Utilities. Last month my electricity was turned off. I owed $160 for my bill. Well since they shut it off I was required to pay a security deposit of $220, $65 for the month's bill that was past due, and $25 for them to turn the electricity back on. I was heated because I never received a bill. I tried to fight this but ended up losing because of my bad payment history. I learned that in order to have a home you must pay to have the lights on. I also signed up for budget billing and I know how much I owe every month.

The moral of my post was to see my mistakes and what they are doing to me. I still have not achieved financial peace but I am aware of what I did wrong. I am keeping myself accountable. It's going to be a long journey but I'm going to make it and I'll let you all know.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I took great advice from other bloggers and utilized Ebay as a source of income. I was able to sell an old textbook. I listed it for $15.00 and it sold for $17.50. I know it is small amount but guess what? I have never sold anything on Ebay before and I am $17.50 richer. The small things make me happy and this is a sweet accomplishment.

Not Bad, Not Good Yet

Networthiq has helped me check what my net worth is. I was kind of disappointed because I really am not all there. I did get some help from kinless on Networthiq. He told me that my car should be valued at something not just $0. So I looked up on Kelly Blue Book to see how much it costs and it's $11,190. I updated my badge which was -$48,220 before and now it is -$36,921. That's a difference of $11,299.00. That makes me feel a little better, but not by a whole lot.
My plan is to figure out another way to generate money in my spare time which is not a whole lot of time. I like to type and I am signed up to start medical transcription courses online. I plan to use this education to get a second job in medical transcription from home. I value my time with my children so I need to be home with them because I cannot afford a babysitter to get a second job part-time, so I feel stuck. FYI I have no immediate family where I live. My husband has plenty but they also have children and lives of their own. So who do you call for help? Does anyone live like this? I'm sure there are single mothers who can't afford to lose their time with their children. I do not have the luxury of dropping my kids off at Grandma's because my mother is gone. I miss her. *sigh*.

Monday, July 14, 2008


This weekend was a blast! I spent it mostly with family which was fun and EXPENSIVE! Saturday I tried really hard to get stuff out of the storage unit and yet I came out losing again. The heat was getting to me and I only managed to get 2 sea bags, a duffel bag, 2 boxes, a garment bag and a huge plastic bag. Each and every storage container had mounds of clothes in them. Seriously who wore all these clothes. I was devastated when I didn't make a dent in the storage unit. There were still 18 boxes, 7 storage tubs, and gazillion plastic bags in it. Not to mention that I have another storage unit filled to the max with more stuff. It is literally draining my energy level. I have a couple of more days until I have to give them another payment. I WISH someone could help me get this stuff out. Agh!
So the afternoon was more exciting. The kids swam and we grilled out some good barbecue. The evening came and we decided we were going to play Texas Hold Em. I love this card game and have watched many people get rich by playing this game. The only downfall is that we play for money. The buy-in was $20.00 ($10 for me and $10 for the hubby). I was really hoping to win at least once. But of course I should know better and stay away from gambling. My sister-in-law won a whopping $60.00. It hurt not to win. I haven't won once so why would I have won now. So there went $20.00 down the drain.
Sunday was even more fun because we took the kids to the water park. Parking $6.00. Entry FREE (we have season passes). Food $25.00. My father sent me $200.00 for my birthday and I blew it on gas $50.00 and a few groceries that we needed. So my free money that was supposed to be used to celebrate my birthday was spent right before my eyes. I am so depressed. I was supposed to learn my lesson, I learned it alright.
I checked out the Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey from the library. I am hooked again on the right path of working towards paying debt down. I just hate when the weekends come. We love to have fun but I do not know how to make it cheaper. Yes, I know there are free things to do to have fun but where, how, when? What do you all do to have fun with the family? Where are the cheap deals?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's Early!

I had a goal last week to get my stuff out of storage and have a yard sale today. I woke up early and was so disappointed in myself that I have no strength to get out the door. I am waiting for my husband to get up so he can help me. It's really early (my internal clock is set to 6:00 a.m.) so I'm catching up on reading and looking around the house to see what I can sell. I have a lot of junk and sometimes I think that my stuff is not good enough to sell. Does anyone have any suggestions? When you have a yard sale what do you include besides the typical worn clothes? I have a lot of clothes and children's toys but what else can go into a successful yard sale?

Friday, July 11, 2008


I just went to and you have until September 24, 2008 to sign up for the benefits. There is also a cash payment (if possible) for those who sign up. So hurry.

Consumers to Get Free Access to Their Credit Score

July 11th, 2008

I was just sent an email about how Transunion (one of the 3 credit reporting bureaus) is giving a free 6 month credit watch because of allegations that they were selling our credit information to marketers which is against the law. I am urging all of you who are interested in getting in on this go to I am quite appalled. Transunion denies that they have been sharing our information to anyone so that is why they are offering the credit watch.

Well I have been offline for 2 days and I felt ripped in half. I told my husband about my blog and he was okay with it. It's a better hobby than to gamble. I was really bad at one time. I'm glad that I learned my lesson because I could have lost everything. You know there are some people out there who spend their mortgage, car, student loan payments at these casinos, betting with the ponies, or some sporting event. Some others lose so much that they get desperate or worse end their lives. It's a sad disease. I'm glad I got out when I did. I do enjoy going but I will only go if it's a special occasion and if I have the money, which I don't so I won't be going anytime soon.

So in the last 2 days I was offline I read 2 books. One is by Suze Orman Young Fabulous and Broke. She is brilliant but I got contradictory information from her. It's because I read Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace first. So I just have to pick a plan that works with my situation. Anyone have any opinions on whose plan works? Suze says use your credit cards. Dave says pay down your debt and don't use your credit cards. Who is right? I'm so confused.

The second book I'm reading is Moeny Can Buy Happiness by MP Dunleavey. I liked the front of the book so I picked it up. I'll let you all know if it's a good personal finance book or not.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Never Give Up! July 8, 2008

As the clouds gathered, the sky turned black and gray. That's how I feel right now. It's payday and I can say I feel that I worked like a dog for this paycheck. I take a lot of pride in my job and have that wonderful satisfaction. I wish I can say the same with my finances. I budgeted and I did it to the penny. I bought more groceries (went to Sav-a-lot, and did pretty well), I broke down and bought dinner at KFC because I didn't feel like cooking, and paid the landlord the rent. The majority of my check went to rent $600.00, then $37.00 at the grocery store, a whopping $25.01 at KFC. Remember that I contributed $5.00 for a birthday, well I get to do it again for another co-worker's birthday. $10.00 goes to the wedding gift (we're chipping in with everyone else to buy more stuff). I have to pay the electricity $150.00. I am left with $40.00 for the next 2 weeks. My hubby told me he has no money ( he and I have a bad habit of smoking which I pray I can quit, but if he doesn't have any he has conniption fits). I am a bit infuriated because there is no way I can live on $40.00 for 2 weeks. I see others not spending money for 7 days. I can do it for 13 because that's what I'm going to end up doing. $20.00 of that $40.00 has to go into my gas tank. I was told that I will get profit sharing in August. There's still hope. I'm not giving up. I can't now. If I had some help or additional funds heading my way I could really save for my future and that of my children. I dug in my purse again for change and took an old candy dish to put it all in there (I have to thank Chicky Finance for her idea on the Snowflake jar). I have $6.19 (not bad for searching my purse). I plan to use the change in the jar to do something fun for my family. I hope they appreciate it.
I have been fuming about bills and my payday. I about died when my son poured coffee grounds on the dryer, smashed the bread (FLAT) and sprayed starch all over the kitchen. I was in the bathroom. I was so angry because I imagined change flying all over the place with all the waste everywhere, money wasted on those items that can no longer be used. The stuff he damaged felt like a personal attack. I am thankful for what I have because countries are starving and wishing they had something remotely to what I do. So the anger subsided and I can move on.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Day to Think July 7, 2008

Today my wheels are turning again. I think I am obsessed with paying off debt. I dream about it and how happy I am not worrying about how I'm going to pay for things. Then I wake up and shrug. Slowly I get up and make myself ready for an 8 hour session at my job. It's the end of a long holiday weekend and I knew it was going to be busy (not bad). So I mentally prepared myself with a cup of coffee (I make my own now because I can't afford to go to the local coffee shop anymore even though I love helping out the community by giving them my money). I turn on my computer and start reading as many PF blogs I can before I make it into the office. I am in awe of all of you out there. I do not feel alone. Some blog titles intrigued me with their titles.
Some include broke, debt, dollar. I wonder if some people out there know what broke is? To me broke is having no money. I mean nada, none, zilch. I am broke. I'm awaiting payday tomorrow. This is a list of today's expenditures. I did well, I meant well but inside I feel like I failed.

Birthday Fund-$5.00- This is not for me or anyone in my family. One of my coworkers is having her birthday tomorrow and we pitch in $5.00 for a gift. It used to be $10.00 last year. It killed me to give this money away. (I am a bit awful because we will have 2 birthdays this month , a wedding to pitch in, swim party at the end of the month. Oh yeah one of our dear patients is very sick and we are attached to them so we're donating money to get them a gift card for gas. I think work is breaking me because that's $50.00 in gifts and misc. I don't have enough money to be spending extra, I sound selfish but OMG $50.00)

Panera Bread - I decided I would go out with some of my coworkers and chat it up. It cost $8.46.
Groceries (partial)- $36.77 - I save $18.43 in coupons but I still felt cheated at the checkout. I made a list prior and deviated by one thing and it cost me $2.00. My son accidentally pulled a box of Cheez-its and put it in the cart. I was in such a hurry to get out of the store that I was not paying attention to what was going on.
That's it, no money left. I don't even have change. I wonder all the time about how I let this happen. Most of the blog sites shows how much they have saved. I have nothing. Honey, I have no checking account, no plastic, or retirement plans. So instead of dreaming I am taking action. I am thinking of more ways to save and I'm getting some good input. Dave Ramsey has helped me by writing a wonderful book. My life is changing and it feels good.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bummed Out, But it's Going to Be Okay

I was really bummed today when I opened my email and I couldn't join a club that I really wanted to with this blog, because I'm still a rookie. It's okay though, I'm just getting my feet wet and I'm learning. I have already decided that I want to do a lot of blogging because I have so much to say. I am an interesting person *grin*. I've lived a lot of life but I know there's more out there.

This Morning
I was reminiscing this morning about my family (cousins especially). I visited their blogs to catch up on their lives. My favorite cousin in the world has always been successful, full of grace and just plain wonderful. I felt a twinge of jealously because we lived parallel lives. We were born into a family that immigrated here from the Philippines. Her mother and my mother were both nurses. It was because of her mother that my parents ended up together. Anyways, my cousin's mother worked hard as did my mother, but she seemed to want more out of life. My mom was okay with what she had. Sometimes I think my cousin and I were swapped at birth. I think like my aunt and want more. My cousin is content with what she has. Moving on, our families both moved to California. She ended up moving into what seemed like suburbia at its best and I to L.A. (where the gangsters hang out I should say). My father eventually moved us to suburbia wanting more out of life and we had to go (we had no say so in the matter). My cousin lived the high life, big house, mom bought her a car, paid for college, and I scraped by holding a job at 14 and applying for a student loan on my own. I finally got sick of everything and decided to go into the military and make it on my own at 19. I have never been bitter towards my cousin, but I think that I would want to do the same thing my aunt did for her. She taught her that money doesn't grow on trees. If you want something you have to work hard to make it stick. My cousin is content because she is working hard and gains satisfaction in doing so. I hope to one day learn, and instill those values to my children. In actuality she did not grow up with a golden spoon in her mouth, she grew up smart.

This Afternoon
The day got better. I decided to take my daughter to a theme park today. We already had season passes and we haven't been able to have a mommy and me day in a long time. So we ventured off and had a blast. I of course got soaked. I forgot to bring our refillable cup for drinks (it costs $.99 with a season pass for refills). My little girl was good and didn't bother me about drinking anything. Thank God because I know it was hot, but to pay $12.99 for a cup of soda is unbelievable and unethical. The theme parks know where to stick it to you when it's flipping hot outside. After our day we stopped at the gas station where I bought her a drink that was $.50. We had a blast.

What I spent money on:

Superman and Supergirl Capes: $10.00
2 Big Lollipops : $3.13
Drink at gas station : $.50
Total :$13.83

We ate at home before going out so our tummy's were OK. If we did eat at the park I think we would have puked everything from all the rides we rode.

I'm going to pick up the Sunday paper and prepare for Tuesday to go grocery shopping. Work, work, work.

Update: I just learned that I need to blog for at least a month to get paid with PPP. I think I can hang in there. My hubby said what do I have to talk about, I have plenty to talk about. I want a Wii and now I have to save some money to get that. Maybe hubby will get it for me for my 30th birthday. It's wishful thinking. He can get me a Wii or a pink Schwinn bike that I really want too. I like "stuff". I think that's why I'm hurting financially because I like "stuff". I am on the last chapter of Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. I am taking big time Baby Steps. I wonder how long it takes for a budget to actually work? Anyone have the answer?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I Like Sharing

This blog is making me want to share a lot, hopefully I don't divulge too much... I like to buy things like any woman in their right mind does. My brain is working overtime since I'm trying to save. Today, I thought I was going to spend money but I didn't. I went an had an eye exam to get my contacts renewed. I needed to get this done because glasses are not my thing. Sure they're cute and functional and give me the gift of sight, but they are a drag. One day I took a nap with them on and my 2 year old decided he was going to dive off the arm of the couch and use my face as a landing path. To make things worse my cute classes smashed against my face making them nonfunctional.

I like the fact that I have good insurance. We do not pay for insurance because my husband's job has great benefits. Luckily my office visit cost nothing (score) and they were willing to pay $100 toward my contacts (big score). So right now I am grinning ear to ear because not a penny came out of my wallet. Look at your insurance closely. Make sure it will cover the necessities plus the things you think you wouldn't need. The hubby does not wear glasses, but he's going to get an eye exam soon. Working in the medical field too helps to know that there are deductibles to be made with every insurance out there. I dread that. I remember I had to ask a patient to pay $500 to pay towards their deductible. I wanted to cry. I'm so sensitive about giving money like that away. The patient whipped out their credit card like it was no big thing. I was in shock, but hey, if they want to give their money away who am I to argue. Credit cards make me cringe. I don't have one because I would be in big trouble. Purchases like that are so large I wonder if a person pays the minimum amount or their whole credit bill in full? Something to ponder. What do you all do with credit balances? I would like to know when I do get a credit card (IF I get a credit card).

The hubby gave me some good news. He was offered a supervisor's job! I am so proud, that means he will be bringing in more money. I am so excited. Things are looking up.

About Me

How I Got Into This Mess
I have finally realized that I need help. Along the way of this blog I will learn lessons, and make plans to "snowball debt". How it started:I attended many colleges in the past ten years. Medical school (had to drop out because of lack of family support)that left me with a heft $8,000 student loan to payback. I then joined the Marine Corps to help pay for school. While serving I attended a total of 3 more universities and never finished what I started (again I attained a total of $16,000 of debt in student loans). I finally went to a trade school where I received my medical assisting and phlebotomy license/certificate. I am still trying to pay that off. Then I got lazy and forgot all those statements being mailed to me because if I was still enrolled in school I could defer my payments. Well after my mother passed away I was in a brain fog and dismissed everything all together. I was in default on 2 of my loans and when I received a refund from the IRS, it was taken away. This year they took $5500 to pay on my defaulted loans. They wanted to take away my wages too but I finally wizened up. So now, I consolidated my loans into one hefty payment and I am learning my lesson. Debt does not go away and you have to pay for services rendered even though I didn't finish. That's stealing, and I am not a thief. So to all the student loan companies, "you will be getting your money, a bit at a time." Phew!

Not a Blogger But I'm Trying
I'm trying to find a blog template that I really like and works for what I want to say. I am having difficulty because I don't understand html and all the jargon that goes with it. Slowly I am learning so bear with me. I want to try new stuff, gain people's interests. Know anyone?

I Do Not Like to Procrastinate
The hubby told me today that he wants to get our storage stuff out tomorrow (forecast is rain). I was geared up for going today. I'd do it all myself but there's a stainless steel refrigerator and stove in there and I'm 5' 1" and 117 lbs. So really there is not point in me going by myself. I still have the yard sale scheduled for next Saturday. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Learning More Day After Day

Happy 4th of July everyone. Let freedom ring.

Just want to let everyone know that today I have not spent any money. Granted that I have none to spend, my hubby did. In light of the holiday the hubby went with his brother to get the goodies for our light spectacular tonight early this morning. To my dismay and uncomfortable issue on SAVING money he told me that it cost him $75. Excuse me. I think I just had a baby-barf episode. I just thought in my head quickly how much groceries we would've bought with that money and what amount we COULD HAVE put towards the cable bill. Money wasted, money being burned tonight as I look up at the sky *sigh*!!!

I've been floating in Internet space reading blogs from those who are in my type of situation. I'm happy to know that I am not alone. Various blogs I have added to my Blog Roll because they are so insightful. I'm thinking of asking permission to use some of their ideas on this blog because they really are helpful.

I have learned that you can earn some type of monetary notes for advertising, although that is not my idea of this blog but earning something while spending time on here sure is very helpful. I'm still working on a budget and I'm awaiting my next paycheck to see what I can put away and what majority of it will be spent. I am trying to hold true to my title of my blog "Living Paycheck to Paycheck No More." I understand that it will take some time for it to happen but I am very, very hopeful.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July Goals

Catch Up

Now that I have the right mind set in place, I have settled on playing catch up because I am behind on a few bills. I hope to pay off the deposit left on my electricity (they shut it off for a few hours and now are requiring $220.00 as a security deposit. Who knows if I will ever see that money again. Plus I am on budget billing so I should now have a set amount to pay each month).

Pay some on my student loan (minimum is $182.00, now please tell me this is not too much. I re consolidated so hopefully this will help my credit score.

Now I paid off one of my storage units (I have two of them). I plan on taking the stuff out, getting rid of a bill, and selling what I can out of it. I can't believe I threw away so much money in that money sucker.

Did Anyone Say Raise

Ooh I love July sometimes. It means that I am up for an annual raise. I wonder how much I will get? I always sell myself short but inside I know that I am worth more than a 4% raise. I am hoping for an 8%. So I will let you know how it goes. I plan on saving my raise and pretending that it never happened.

Set My Kids Up

I need to open my kids a savings account. I think my 7 year old will be very excited about this one. She gets an allowance, if and only if she does her chores. I am trying to teach her the value of a dollar. It will be fun to go to the bank with her and have her deposit her money into a savings account.

These are some short term things. I am still positive and motivated to get out of this debt.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Great Book

We all have heard of the man Dave Ramsey. I went to the library (a frugal way to read without spending money) and checked his book "Financial Peace". I am glad I did because my goal seems much more attainable. I learned how to set up a budget (I am still working on this). I try to clip every coupon I can and the ones that expire I send overseas because a deserving soldier and his/her family need coupons too. I am now scouring every single coupon website I can. Make sure you have ink in your printer because you will be printing like a mad person. Some personal websites I find valuable are and These websites offer cool insights on how you can find deals in your local grocery to score big on savings. I have played with it for 6 months and there is a great difference. I need to concentrate more on clipping since the state has taken away our food stamps. Back to Dave, he says to have your 4 walls of your house up. Utilities, food, home and transportation. How true is that? Without a home you would have no where to live. We all need food and water to survive. What's the point of living in your home when you can't turn on the lights and transportation... with gas prices on the rise that pink Schwinn bike is looking more and more better everyday. Pretty soon school will start again and my daughter will need a lot of new clothes because she is growing like a weed. I found a lovely consignment store that will take a look at her old clothes (provided that they are not stained) and will either trade you money or store credit for her old but salvageable clothes. This is great. Why have I been so blind for so long when I have been doing so much already. I really want to know where my money is?

Today is a New Day!

It is one month before I turn the big 30. Since that is on my mind, I have had time to reminise about my life and my downfalls. The main reason I started this blog is to give me a wake up call. I live in a great town, I have a great husband and 2 beautiful children who absolutely drive me bonkers, and I work at a medical office that I love. So... my life revalation hit me when I looked at the gas pumps today and looked into my wallet and found not one red cent. I took a glimpse at my children who were oblivious to my dismay (which is a good thing), and decided that today is the day that I start saving my money. Right now I live paycheck to paycheck. The state just sent me a letter this week that they were going to cancel my food stamps. I had a baby heart attack when I opened the mail. Then I realized that I am behind on my student loan payment($32,000 total) and my car payment (I won't reveal this number because I am really embarrassed about it). So all in all I have around $45,000 in straight debt. My credit sucks so we don't own a home. We rent one now and to my calculations 3 years of paying rent is $21,600. That is a lovely down payment for a great home in my area. Gosh, I have made some stupid mistakes and for my children's sake I am going to work hard and get myself out of this predicament. I will have to make some sacrifices and I'm giving myself a deadline. My son is 2 right now and I hope that when he is 5, we will be living a little bit more comfortably. I will give some insightful tips because I know that there are many like me out there and maybe together we can work together in saving ourselves from this pity.