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Still can't seem to get ahead.

July 30th, 2007 at 01:58 pm

Are we ever going to get anywhere?

Lee got paid today. He kept out $100 cash (which will be gone before I know it). I have either scheduled or will schedule the following bills:

Mortgage $1070
Car pmt. $410
Car ins. $145
AMEX $250
Power co. $160
BP $140
Health ins. $422 automatically deducted
Discover $95

I also have a medical bill to pay, the newspaper subscription renewal, a few back-to-school things to buy, not to mention groceries, gas, etcetera.

He is all hyped about a notebook computer but I have already told him that even if he does get a percentage check - which he's not sure about because the woman who does them is out for part of the week - we can't afford one this month. We'll need that money for expenses and I refuse to put a computer on the credit card (or, if I do, I need to have the money in the bank to cover that charge right away).

For crying out loud. It doesn't seem like the regular bills used to get on top of us so much, even before we had his withholding adjusted. I think maybe I used to pay some of the bills with the previous month's paycheck (ie, car payment is due on the 4th, so I'd pay it with the paycheck received on the 15th of the previous month) but we've not had the money for that for the last few months.

I decided to do a $1000 balance transfer from my Wachovia card (12%) to Discover, which has a promotional rate of 2.99% through December, then 11.99. It probably won't save me a whole lot, but every little bit helps.

I swear I am tempted to withdraw a couple thousand dollars from a retirement account and throw it at a bill, but I know that is probably not a good idea. Besides, I need to save that option for our city property tax bill due in December, since we haven't been able to save a damn dime for that yet!

Doggone it.

July 7th, 2007 at 01:47 pm

I got a message on my answering machine from Dish Network that there was "a problem with my payment." I called them back and it turns out it was returned because I put in a wrong number somewhere when I made my online payment. I've been paying them online for a few months now and I don't remember having to input my bank account and routing number every time, but I had to this month, and obviously I got something wrong. And it cost me $10. I asked the customer service guy to switch me back to a paper bill.

Money is tight AGAIN. I'm trying not to stress out about it, because payday is either Friday or Monday (with any luck, it'll be Friday). I have very few bills due after the 15th, so I'll (hopefully) be able to do the catching up I've wanted to do. Right now all that's due is Bellsouth ($40), Working Assets Wireless ($41) and our life insurance ($335). I'll also try to pay a few bills that I typically pay after the 1st of the month, so that I don't find myself in a bind again.

I had forgotten that I had car insurance due, and I had to put the payment on my credit card, which made me want to hurl. I have never done that before. But if I'd paid it from our bank account, that would have left ZERO for groceries or anything for the week. I have one of my handy sticky notes right here, listing the things I charged on Visa to be paid off as soon as we get paid again.

It also occurred to me that I need to start socking away money for the city property tax bill in December, which'll be $2000 and some-odd dollars.

I need to buy lottery tickets or something. ;-)

My parents will be here next week with my nieces to take us to the aquarium, and I'm going to need to feed them on Thursday night. I've just been through the pantry and freezer and I think I have most everything I need - we'll grill burgers and hot dogs (both of which I stocked up on within the last two weeks), homemade baked beans (I have a bag of pinto beans to use up) a big salad (I'll need to pick up a few things, but we have a garden full of tomatoes), and a peach cobbler. The grocery and market are loaded with awesome, sweet, juicy peaches, and I have all the other stuff I'd need for cobbler.

Paycheck withholding revisited

June 26th, 2007 at 02:21 pm

Finally, DH got an answer from the accountant about changing the withholding on his paycheck. We took the number to 8 from what the w-4 calculator had told me, which was 16. I feel pretty confident that this should be okay. If not, we'll adjust it again at the beginning of next year.

Changing the withholding gives us an extra $158 per paycheck, plus more of his percentage checks. So, an extra $316 a month, at least!

I'm not sure where to start with that extra money. There are a number of things I need to catch up on first, having gotten sidetracked this month - my BP card, which I have always paid in full, is carrying a balance right now which I'm going to pay off. I've also charged some stuff on my VISA that I normally wouldn't charge, so I want to pay those purchases off. We also used $500 from our equity line at the beginning of the month, which I definitely want to pay off. I have the usual bills, in addition. I also need to order filters for our air conditioner system; car insurance is due again on the 8th; county property taxes are due on August 15 and termite bond is due on the 30th of this month.

It feels good to be getting back on track, though. The trick is not to let our expenses expand to fill that extra income!
Maybe I need to look into automatic weekly transfers from our checking account onto my VISA card.