Update: Extra Money Goals
October 25, 2008, 11:53 am
Filed under: Money Basics

In a previous post, I mentioned some goals I have for all the extra money that I’m making now. I thought now would be a good time to update you all on my progress:

-Increase the amount of money I put into savings every month.
I haven’t changed the amount yet since I’m waiting to see what things will look like once I get my second paycheck. I need to find a balance between personal savings, retirement savings, student loan repayment, car loan repayment, etc. I plan to change the amount within a few weeks.

-Contribute enough money to my 403(b) so that I get the full company match.
Done. I contribute $40 a pay period and my employer contributes $20. $20 is the maximum they’ll contribute. In a few years, I plan to bump up my contributions, but for now, I’m happy with the $60.

-Start a Roth IRA.
I’ve only done a bit of research for my Roth. I know I’ll probably need at least $1000 to start an account, so that will take at least a few months to get saved. Once I figure out the balance I mentioned above, I’ll set aside some money to start up my Roth. I need to research my options more as well.

-Pay my grandmother back monthly for the money she lent me to pay for my car.
I hope to send her the first of many consistent checks within a few weeks, once I figure out the balance I mentioned previously.

-Change my student loan payment plan so that all of my loans are on the “Level” plan (right now, 2 of my loans [the two beefiest] are on a graduated plan).
Again, this is waiting for me to figure out the balance. I have emailed Sallie Mae to ask them how much more it would be if I changed the plan and they said it would be about $60. Definitely doable.

-Pay for half of the grocery bill (Jake has been paying for the vast majority of our groceries since I’ve never had enough to pay for my share).
I have started to pay for groceries. I would like to set up an automatic deposit from both of our separate checking accounts into our joint checking account to be used for groceries so that it’s not a battle over who pays this time (we currently do this for our utility bills and when we go on vacation and it works great). I need to crunch some numbers and look at our pay schedules to figure out how much we should deposit and when.

-Slowly incorporate organic and eco-friendly products into our daily lives.
This is underway. A Whole Foods currently came to town and we’ve stopped in a few times to get produce, eggs, and cheese when we are in the area.

-Donate money to charities and organizations.
This is another one dependent on the balance. My employer is currently in the midst of a donation campaign and I plan to contribute a donation in the coming weeks. I’m leaning towards the local food bank since I know how much they’re hurting right now.

-Some new work clothes wouldn’t hurt.
I haven’t bought anything yet and I hope to put this one off for awhile. I’m not in desperate need yet, but with the colder weather upon us, I may need to buy a few nice warm outfits.

-Continue utilizing all the money saving strategies I currently use and continue to seek out new ways to save money.
Even though the drug stores have been a bit drab lately, I’m still couponing it up and nagging Jake to turn off lights behind him.


Frugal wedding surprise
October 23, 2008, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Wedding

The cost of having a horse drawn carriage deliver me to the ceremony and sweep Jake and me off to the reception: $0

One of Jake’s uncles trains horses for sleigh rides and carriage rides and is insisting on being at our service on our wedding day. How could I possibly say no to having such a fairy tale detail at absolutely no cost?!

The more and more I plan this wedding, the more I realize that it really is all about the people that you know.

Paychecks, fleas, weddings, oh my
October 15, 2008, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Money Basics, Wedding

I will be getting my first big girl paycheck tomorrow! Not only am I happy about this for the obvious reasons, I’m also happy because I can now afford to buy some Frontline for our dog and cat. Our dog has gotten fleas from our yard (which is a shared yard with other neighbors and their pets) and has lovingly passed them on to our cat. I’ve been spraying them with a concoction of lemon juice and basil (and bathing my dog with white vinegar) at an attempt to kill and repeal fleas the natural way, but I think there are far too many fleas to make it a feasible solution. Once my paycheck hits, I’ll be ordering them the good stuff.

I got my wedding dress in the mail and it fits! It’s gorgeous and I am so excited to wear it. I do need to get it dry cleaned right before the wedding to get all the wrinkles out of it from shipping. I’m so glad the whole dress hunt is finally over. One less thing I’ll have to worry about as the day draws closer. I also recently ordered our save the date cards and I’m expecting them to come in in about two weeks.

I’m hoping that this coming weekend will be a quiet one for me so I can catch up on studying for the GRE and writing posts. I also need to find some time this week to go to Rite Aid to pick up lots of free after rebate items. It’s a shame there’s only 24 hours in a day.

So, it’s been awhile…
October 7, 2008, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Wedding

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Jake and I went out to his brother’s house this weekend for some quality family time, so I wasn’t able to sit down and write up any posts like I had hoped to. My college roommate is coming for a visit this coming weekend, so I’ll probably be pretty absent then too.

As far as frugal moves go, Jake and I just bought a roasting pan and we’re roasting a chicken as I type. Buying a whole chicken is much cheaper than buying chicken breasts, so we thought we’d give roasting a try. We also bought some cloth napkins on clearance for $.74 a piece at Target.

As far as wedding planning goes, I’m currently stalking the bids on a wedding dress on eBay that I just love. It’s getting pretty close to my limit, so we’ll see (the dress I bought a few weeks ago was way too small, so I had to return it- bummer). I’m getting ready to order our save the date cards, I just keep forgetting to do it. Maybe I’ll just bite the bullet and do it tonight while it’s on my mind.

EDIT: I got the dress! 😀

Figuring out a new schedule
September 29, 2008, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Careers, Library Science, Money Basics

I started my new job last week and, so far, I’m very happy with it.

My health insurance starts the first of October and I’m lucky enough to have a great plan through the state since the university I’m working for is a public school. I’ve signed up online for my 403(b) account with Fidelity and all I have to do is turn in a few papers to HR when I go into work on Tuesday. After 5 years of working with the state, I will also be eligible for a pension plan in addition to the 403(b). I didn’t even know pensions were still offered now a days! The university also offers tuition waiver and tuition reimbursement programs so I could potentially get my masters for free. I’ll write more about this later, though. In addition to all my great benefits I’ll be getting, the people I work with are all really nice and laid back and it seems like the work I’ll be doing will be interesting.

I am now working Tuesday through Saturday 9am to 6pm which is a pretty big change from my past schedules. Sunday is the only full day that Jake and I will have off together so Sundays are going to be reserved for nice couple time. Mondays, I’ve decided, are going to be primarily for errands- the bank, the library, drug store shopping, doctors’ appointments. As a staff member, I can get a cheap membership to the university gyms and I would really like to start swimming again. I was thinking about going straight after work for about an hour Tuesday through Friday. That means I wouldn’t get home until after 7. I will most likely need to bring a post lunch snack to work to keep me from starving.

These past couple of days I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done since I get home later than I’m used to and I’m usually too tired to focus on anything that’s too involved. I think I need to make sure I get most of my to do list done on my days off so I don’t feel like I’m pushing things off and not accomplishing anything. I’ve also been meaning to clean the apartment for awhile now, but things keep coming up so I’m determined to do it today. Once my environment is tidier, I think I’ll feel calmer and more in control.

I just keep repeating to myself the saying that if you never change, you never grow. I think after a few adjustments and a new schedule in place, I’ll be happily growing in my new career.

CVS and Walgreens
September 26, 2008, 8:31 pm
Filed under: CVS, Deals, Walgreens

I had some ECBs expiring and the September free after rebate items to pick up this week, so off I went to CVS and Walgreens.

At CVS, I got:
Nivea For Men bodywash $4.99 minus $1 coupon= $3.99
Crest Pro Health mouthwash $2.99
Adidas deodorant $4.99 minus $1 coupon= $3.99
Minus $10 in ECBs
Total out of pocket $.97
Got back $10.99 in ECBs

At Walgreens, I picked up:
Water filter $6.99
Crest Pro Health toothpaste $3.79 minus $.75 coupon= $3.04
Lypsyl lip balm $1.99
Excederin Express Gels $3.99
Chemistry shampoo $7.99
Nivea For Men bodywash $4.99
Butter $1.19 (we were running out and I didn’t feel like running to another store just for butter)
4 packs of Swedish Fish $4 minus 2 $1 off 2 coupons= $2
Birthday card $2.49 (my best friend’s birthday is in a few days and I just happened to remember while I was shopping)
Minus $14.50 in Register Rewards
Total out of pocket $21.61, paid with gift card
Will be getting back $29.74 in EasySaver rebates and I am sending away for another rebate for a coupon for a free tube of Crest Pro Health tootpaste.

On feeling stuck and moving forward
September 23, 2008, 9:05 am
Filed under: Careers, Grad School, Library Science

I am getting to the point where I feel that studying for the GRE has taken over my life and that I must take it soon so that I can just move on. I am on the last study book that I got from the library, so the end is indeed near for me. I’m sick of vocab flashcards that gain me too much attention in the breakroom. I miss reading books and idle time spent wastefully. A Monday morning in October is what I’m aiming for. Possibly the second Monday of the month. Maybe I should just go ahead and sign up for it so that I’ll get an extra kick of motivation. Hmm right now, I’m feeling too chicken to do that.

Tomorrow is my last day at the public library. I really am going to miss the vast majority of my coworkers and some of the regular patrons. I know that I’ll make new friends at my new job, but it’s hard to wander into the unknown when you’re leaving a comfortable, familiar place. I’m just keeping in the mind the fact that I need this new job- the benefits, the pay, the tuition reimbursement that would pay for my graduate degree. There are way too many positives to focus on the negative of leaving friendly faces.