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).