Friday, February 28, 2014

So Satisfying!

This week I decided to a little thing to declutter my life, and it's been so satisfying! Years ago, I set up a junk email address to use for surveys and coupons. But, since I was checking it so often, I also started using it with friends and family. And I use it for chatting on Google Hangouts. I ended up connecting that email address to my phone as well.

I have been getting about a million alerts a day. And 95% of them were junk. Dumb.

So, this week I decided to make it a goal to unsubscribe from emails I don't want as I get them. I'm keeping my subscriptions to restaurants and stores where I actually shop (since those coupons can come in handy), but there are TONS of emails that I would never use at all. My original plan was to do three unsubscribes per day, but it really only takes a second. So, I've been unsubscribing to all of the unwanted ones ones I get.

It's the smallest thing, but it's so satisfying to declutter my email (and my life). It makes me want to do a purge this weekend in my house and physically declutter as well! I need to clean out and move a bookshelf so I can set up the crib in the baby's room/office. Perhaps I will make this my weekend project!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Making Progress

I just got paid today (I love direct deposit, means I get my money a day early), so I crunched the numbers for both our March budget AND for what we had leftover in February. We were actually UNDER budget by $271 in February! Holla! I put $200 toward student loan #1 and put $71 in savings. Then, I figured out March's budget, and even after paying my husband's car registration and budgeting for my sister's baby shower, I had another $200 to the loan and $191 to savings (on top of the minimum payment amount for the loan).

In total? I put $630 toward my husband's student loans today. Whoo-hoo! The total for loan number one is under $1600. We're in the home stretch (well, for the first of his loans that is). My goal is to have that first loan paid off by the end of April.

Even better news? My husband got a part-time job (he's in school, so part time is perfect right now) and I got a tutoring gig for three hours a week. Our income is going up, which means we can save and pay off debt even faster!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How We're Spending Our Taxes

After much hemming and hawing, calculating and recalculating we've decided on how to spend our tax returns. 

We got a LARGE amount back this year (more than I expected), but I don't know how my husband feels about me publishing the actual number on the internet. So, I am going to break down how we're spending the money by percentages, rather than dollar amounts.

Student Loan Payment: 41%
Savings: 36%
Roth IRA: 11%
Baby Furniture: 9%
Car Repairs: 3%

I'm happy with this breakdown. It beefs up our emergency fund before the baby comes (getting it to almost four months expenses), makes a big dent in our debt (should be able to pay off loan number one in April!), has us actually putting a little something into our retirement (which I suspended once we went to one income-I have a pension), and let's me buy baby furniture without stressing about how to budget for it.

Our California refund already came in, and our federal should be here by Wednesday! Can't wait to move forward on these goals!

How are you spending your tax returns?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thirty Years?!?!

My husband's student loans are split into five different loans. We will have the smallest one paid off in the next two to three months (hurray!). I was looking at the account and playing with numbers and saw that if he were to just pay the minimum, that loan would be paid off in 2044.

Until I got a hold of his loans and finances in general, he was paying the minimums. And I will say, since he went back to school we've been able to make a HUGE dent, since 3/5 accounts aren't collecting interest. But 2044!? That's FOREVER.

It made me smile to be able to say to him today, "Did you know we're paying off your first student loan THIRTY YEARS EARLY???"

How early have you paid off student loans?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Start Spreading the News...

I hadn't updated again because I sort of assumed I lost all my readers in my blogging absence (which I totally get). But then Jolie commented, wondering what was new with me. So, I assume at least ONE person is still reading.

I could blog about how we're doing with my husband's student loan payoff, or what my plans are for our tax returns, or how we had a frugal Valentine's Day, or any number of things. But, I figured maybe I should start with our biggest, most exciting news...

I'm having a baby in August!

I'm excited, and nervous, and planning up a storm (I finished registering three weeks ago), and I look chunky, and I have heartburn.

And it's all pretty great.

More updates to follow! (I hope...I'd like to find my blogging mojo if anyone is still reading).

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

An Update

Since I haven't posted in a while, I thought I would give a brief update...

My husband finished his first semester of his radio program with straight A's, so I'm very proud of him! He starts refereeing soccer games this weekend, so that will be a nice source of additional income to help us meet our goals this year (see yesterday's post). My vote is to put that money toward one specific thing, like his loans or our savings, but I need to see what my husband wants to do as well.

We went on a quick, cheap trip to Yosemite in November. It was SO much fun, and so beautiful. We drove up on a whim, stayed in a hotel a few hours away, saw the park the whole day (free entrance for Veteran's weekend), and then drove home that night. It was exhausting, but we LOVED it. I'm not very spontaneous, so it was a first for me.

Financially things are going pretty well. We've both been selling items on Ebay and Amazon (my mom gave me a ton of CD's to sell and I'm splitting the profits with her). So far I've made about $100, which has been a nice little bonus, especially this time of year. From here on out, I think I'm going to stash that money into a trip fund so we can go somewhere this year for vacation on a budget. We are making progress with his student loans as well. Nothing astounding, but chipping away at it each month. Now that the New Year is here, I'm hoping to get a little more gazelle-intense about paying off at least one of the loans (there are five total, so knocking off the first one would be a great step).

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Well, I'm officially one of those bloggers that posts very, very sporadically and then pops up when you least expect it. Lame. But, this seems like a good place to record my New Year's Resolutions, so I'm back!

1. Finish our name changes! We both hyphenated our last names, but only got as far as Social Security and the DMV. I want to take care of it with the bank, work, insurance, etc, etc.

2. Save $10,000 in our E-Fund by August of this year (We need about $1,500 more to hit this goal, assuming I don't have to use it for anything).

3. Pay off the smaller unsubsidized loan before my husband finishes school in December (This is about $4,900). My plan is to use $1000 from our tax returns toward this, $1,000 from summer school for it, and to put about $275/month toward this goal. Speaking of summer school...

4. Work Summer School this summer, even if I really don't feel like it. The money is too good to pass up!

5. Hit 3,000 miles on my Fitbit by the end of 2014.

6. Go on some sort of trip with my husband, either for Spring Break or for our anniversary. I don't necessarily need to go somewhere elaborate, but somewhere we haven't been before would be great.

I have a few more ideas rolling around, but I want to look at them a little more...so I will probably add three more sometime later this month.