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It's been almost 2 years

May 30th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Well it's been a few years since I last blogged and boy have things taken a turn for the worst. I know right before I stopped blogging, I was talking about dh possibly being laid off. Well it happened. He was laid off for eight months and then the same company hired him back on but for less pay. During that time, not only did we blow through most of our savings but we also racked up a ton of credit card debt. It's been a real struggle but we really need to try to get back on the right path. We've also used way too much money at the casino. When we first moved here, we used to always win and now all the casinos are so tight that no one is winning. With the layoff and dwindling savings, I think we were a bit desperate for something to happen, but we just blew through more money we didn't have to waste. Now it's time to put our chins up and try to do the right thing.

The worst part of it all though, is that we are now going through a short sale/foreclosure process. We bought out house in 2007 for $186,000 and now it's only worth $79,000. With dh's paycut and no more overtime and with us losing our babysitter so I can no longer work, things are pretty tight and there is no way we could make our mortgage payments.

shopping and car refinance

July 13th, 2010 at 08:01 am

Well we decided to refinance our SUV. We had a 16.49% interest rate and now we are able to get a 9.1% interest. We put $1000 down and we decided to keep our payments exactly the same but we knocked an entire year of payments off so instead of 4 years we now only have 3 years left now. We did take that money out of savings but I feel it was worth it since it's going to pay off debt.

I absolutely love the outlet mall that we have. It's about 45 m.in. From us but we go down there every few months to check it out. When we went this last time I stocked up on shirts and shorts for the boys at old navy and the childrens place and everything I bought was under $4. I found a bunch of cute tank tops at gap for myself that were a whopping $1.50 each. I buy all my pants at american eagle because it's the only place I can find them small enough that fit right. Usually their about forty dollars but I found a pair of jeans and a pair of capris on sale for $15. At bath and body works I only spent $20 but I got 3 air fresheners, 2 hand soaps, a lg. Vanilla candle, a perfume, and bubble bath. I love when I can get a good deal.

Now we are trying to save for vacation. Next month my SIL is bringing her kids to my in-laws in san diego and we are going to meet her there for a week and take the kids to the beach, lego land, and whatever else we can find. I am hoping to save $1000 between now and august 13 so we don't have to take any out of our savings. This Friday we'll be at $275.

It's been a few months

June 9th, 2010 at 08:05 am

Well it's been a few months since the last time I blogged and luckily hubby still has his job and I still have time. Last time I was on here I was talking about how they were doing layoffs where hubby worked but it seems that work has now picked up for the rest of the year.

We amended our tax return when we recieved more mortgage papers in the mail after we had done our taxes. It was a good thing we did because we got another $1800 back. We are now almost at the $14000 mark in our savings. It's making me itchy to spend money though. Last weekend we went to Macy's and bought the set of Emeril's stainless steel pots and pans. I really love them but they are really hard to keep clean. We did get a great deal though. Usually they are $279 but we got them for $175 plus a free cast iron skillet. I have also been buying extra groceries. In the past few weeks I've spent about an extra $120 on food outside of our normal budget but we have really needed to stock up for a while. I bought a lot of meat for the freezer and a ton of fresh fruit and veggies. I am one lucky mama because my kids will choose fresh fruit over sweets any day. My oldest just turned 3 in April and my youngest turned 1 last month. For both of their birthdays I couldn't get them to eat their cake, they only wanted the fresh strawberry's that were in the middle of the cake.

Our hot water heater busted last month and that cost $642 to replace. We then had our air conditioner serviced a few weeks ago and we were informed that it's about to die on us and may not last through the summer. We're lookin at about $6000 to replace it. Boy am I not excited about that. It's something we'll have to do though because it's already 105 degrees and it's only the beginning of June. On the bright side we are now under $13,000 on our car loan. We are hoping to pay it off by the end of next year.

We really want to take a vacation soon. I'm a little worried about hubby taking a week off from work. I still don't think things are secure enough for us not to worry about his job. I just hate telling hubby no we can't go when I know he really wants to. We want to go to the beach but I looked on hotels.com and wow the prices are really steep right now for a decent hotel. The only hotels that were even near $100 had less than a 2 star rating.

Well hopefully I can curb my desire to spend our money like crazy and I can get over that $14,000 mark and maybe get up to $15k. I wish hubby was more of a saver though. He never spends anythng without asking me but whenever I look at something and say I like it he's always telling to go ahead and get it, that I deserve it. As much as I love him for that it makes it that much harder for me to tell myself no and that much harder to tell him no when he asks if he can get something.

Still up in the air

March 8th, 2010 at 07:33 am

The company my hubby works for has officially lost their big job and because of that they laid off the afternoon guy and cut the part time guy down to 10 hrs. a week. Things are looking pretty grim. Some of you said to try and apply for other jobs but if his boss ever found out he was looking elsewhere then they would lay him off immediately because it would look like he wasn't a loyal employee. There really isn't anywhere else to apply anyways because all the places he knows of around here are also doing layoffs or have completely shut down. Friends and family of ours in the same field have been trying for a year+ to find a job with no luck.

We couldn't possibly sell our house either because we owe $180,000 and the houses in our neighborhood are selling right now for $110,000. The best we could hope for is a short sell. We also got the $7500 tax credit for first time homebuyers and I don't know how we would be able to pay that back also if we lost the house. I would hate to use our whole savings on the house and then lose it anyways and be too broke to start over. Nevada no longer has extensions on unemployment and so we would only get about 3 months of unemployment pay and I don't feel confident in hubby finding a job around here in that short a time.

I was talking to my mom and she feels like we should just move to Ca with her as soon as he gets laid off and try and keep what money we do have. Anyways were still a little stressed here but still hoping for the best.

not sure what to do...

March 4th, 2010 at 10:37 am

Things have dramatically slowed down at hubby's job. They say if they don't get busier than they are thinking to lay off everyone at the quarry except for the foreman. That is definitly not good news for us. I don't make nearly enough to support us as hubby made 3x as much as I do. The last two weeks he has only gotten 32 hrs., which isn't bad and I would be happy if they kept him on even if they reduced hours because it will be next to imppossible to find a new one. My father-in-law does the same exact thing as hubby and he got laid off a year ago and still hasn't found a new job. Also all of hubby's friends and old co-workers who do the same type of work have already been laid off with no luck of finding a new job. On top of all this, the news reportedd the other night that there will no longer be any extensions on unemployment in NV, and instead of 20 wks. of pay, you will now only get 13 wks. They have not told him definitly what will happen, but it sounds like their preparing him to be laid off. Were not sure what we should do. Should we stay here and try to save our home and use up our savings to get by, or should we say good-bye to the house and pack it all up and stay with my mom? At least that way we can keep our savings to help us get back on our feet when things start to get better. It's hard to think of saving this house when we owe twice as much as it's worth and even if we use all of our savings it's only temporary because as soon as that runs out, then we will still have to leave it. It's tough thinking that we've made it through so much of this recession to now have hubby lose his job! In the mean time I will pray for the best and hope it all works out for the best.

opinions on new health insurance

January 20th, 2010 at 08:35 am

Hubby gets a new health plan starting Feb. 1st. We have two to decide from. The first one is an HMO and has no deductible or out-of-pocket-max. and costs $32/week, which is what we are paying now for his current health plan. The second is a HMO + PPO, where you can decide which to use, depending on what the doctor or hospital takes. The HMO side has no deductible or out-of-pocket-max. but the PPO side has a $2250 deductible and $18,000 out-of-pocket-max. It also cost $64/week, which is $32 more a week out of his paycheck, and that =$1664 more a year. Also, if we use the ppo side we still have to pay 20% of everything after we meet the deductible but the hmo covers everything. We have always had PPO and am not sure how hmo is. Does anyone have an hmo plan, and how do you like it? Would it be worth the extra money every week to get the option of having both? We are all very healthy and only plan to have routine check ups, but we do have two babies to think of.

all kinds of updates

January 12th, 2010 at 10:45 am

Well it's been a few months since i've updated my page. My youngest is now 7 months and a whoppin 22 pds.! My how time flys.

December was pretty good to us. We put an extra $400 towards our best buy card and we were able to put $1200 in our savings, thanks to my hubby's xmas bonus. We didn't spend too much on christmas, just around $150. We bought our oldest a few toys and i got hubby some new shirts and a pair of jeans from j. crew, his favorite store. Luckily we have a big outlet mall here and all the clothes were 60% off. That store is way too expensive to shop full price. My wonderful parents sent two full boxes of presents for all of us. My son now thinks his nana is santa claus!

January hasn't been too bad. So far we have added $211 to our savings. Our goal for the year is to cut back on as much excess spending as possible and try to save save save! Usually work is pretty slow for hubby at this time of year since he's a heavy equipment operator, but he's been lucky and not only kept his 40 hrs. a week, but has put in 16 hrs. of overtime so far this month.

We're now waiting to do our taxes. We have hubby's w-2 and our mortgage statement, but I don't get mine 'til the 21st. I estimated on hr block and it said we should get a little ocer $2900 back, so I'm hoping it's pretty accurate.If so, we need to use $1000 to register our cars with the dmv and put new tires on one of the cars.

Our computer is starting to slow down and our washer and dryer are getting a little louder, so these are things that will need to be replaced within a year or two. We figure we will use them until they just about die because I'm not excited about dishin out the money for new ones. Our appliances will be paid off in November, so if we need to get new things we will put them on our best buy card with 18 months no interest. We have plenty in savings to pay for these things but it makes me feel much more comfortable making payments, since theres no interest. As long as we keep enough in savings to pay it off if need be, I don't feel bad about using the credit card although I know some people would disagree with me.

We've done much better on our eating out these past two months. We had been averaging $200 a month on eating out, but the past two months have been around $75. It's still not great, but much better. We have, however, been spending more on groceries. I used to try to stick to $100 the first week of the month, then $50 a week after that. We now spend $80 a week. I do include diapers and household stuff into this, and i guess with two kids we don't do too bad.

The only things we've done to the house is get a new computer desk and chair. We did get them on clearance at office max and spent $150 on a small dark wood desk and brown leather chair.

We are planning to take the kids to disneyland next spring. The kids will be 4 and 2, so they will be old enough to enjoy it. I know some of you have recently gone to disneyland and I'm wondering about how much it costs so I can try and save throughout this year so we'll be ready to go next year. I'm thinking about $1500-$2000? We'll probably go for about 3 days and we'll drive since we only live 5 hrs. away.

Well i think that about sums it up. Hopefully I won't wait so long to do another update.

workin on paying off the credit card

November 3rd, 2009 at 09:44 am

We took our boys to get their pictures done on Friday. We were only going to go and do the $8 package so we would have pictures to send to family. Well they took such cute pictures that we wanted to get more than just one pose. We ended up getting a 20x24 mounted and framed wall collage, a cd with all the pictures plus the copyright so we can print pictures anywhere, and 12 full sheets, including 2 calenders and 2 collages, all for $330. They lady did give us a discount though. She took $100 off the wall mount, $30 off the cd, and then 25% off our whole order, and she didn't charge us the $80 for the collages. However, I still felt guilty spending that much money just on pictures, no matter how adorable.
We decided instead of buying family christmas presents, we would send them pictures instead. Both my family and his were fine with this and since we had budgeted $300 for presents, it pretty much equalled out.

Well while I was feeling guilty about spending so much money, I figured we get ourselves into these situations by keeping too much money in out checkings. I like to keep an extra $1000 or so in case something comes up, or they decide to cut hubbys hours all of a sudden but it seems like we tend to use it by eating out or buying clothes or something for the house. I decided to start only keeping $100 extra in checkings and then if something comes up put it on our emergency c.c. and pay it off at the beginning of the month with extra income for that month. Hubby agreed this was a good idea.

Earlier this year we bought all new stainless steel appliances at best buy with their 18 month no interest credit card. We have until next December to pay it off but we are hoping to pay it off sooner so we can start paying down our Suv because hubbys work car is about to give out and we don't want 2 car payments if we can help it. Well we took $500 from our checkings and put it towards our best buy card. This left us with $150 in checkings after paying for the pictures. I know we wont dig into our savings for misc. expenses but we will only if hubby's winter hours get cut and we need it to pay bills with. However, I think by puttin excess money to the credit card, we will be able to stop "wasting" money on things that aren't necessities. My in-laws are suppose to pay us back $100 of the $800 they borrowed from us on Wed. and I will put that to the c.c. too. Wish us luck sticking to this plan and not going back to our old ways!

Halloween funfest & misc.

October 20th, 2009 at 10:01 am

We took the boys to our halloween festival this weekend. Our 2 1/2 yr.old had a blast. We took him last year and he refused to go on the rides. This year he couldn't get on them fast enough. He is obsessed with cars and thought it was so cool that they had car rides and he was able to go on them all by himself. However it was a bit pricier than we thought. We had to pay $3 each to get in, except for the baby. But then you had to buy tickets to go on the rides, which were $1 each but it took 3 tickets foe each ride. We were there for about an hour and spent close to $40. I can't imagine how expensive things will be once the little one is old enough to do stuff. They also had carnival games but they were $5 a game so we passed on those. The only good thing is that the proceeds went to autism and my son had so much fun that it was a good treat for him.

We also made our last payment to our student loan tis month which will free up $50 a month.

We did the fha streamline program this month and our interest rate went from 6% to 5.25% and we will save $115.00 a month.Right now we are putting all our extra money in the bank because my hubby is in construction and it always slows down this time of year. Last winter he went down to 35 hrs. a week for 4 whole months, from Dec. to march. When spring rolls around and we know hubbys hours will be stable again, then we will work hard to pay off our best buy c.c. before the interest rate goes up.

car repairs-$411 down $600 to go

September 22nd, 2009 at 09:40 am

Well my hubbys work car needed some work done to it. We've known for a while but we thought we would just wear it out and then buy a new one at the end of the year. My hubby dreams of having a brand new truck. We have decided though that we don't really want another car payment since his car is paid off. We have decided to pay my suv off first and then in 3 or 4 years get a truck. As much as he wants one, he really hates having extra bills. So we took the car to the auto shop on Sat. and they put a new axle on, did an alignment, and one new tire. The total came to $411.08. We now need to go chane all the fluids, spark plugs, oil, and air filter which they said would be about $600. Since we've done a lot of extra spending and lending these past few months our checkings is about maxed out so we had to use our savings for the $411. luckily when i went to check our mail that day we had a $190 surplus check from our escrow account which i will put back in our savings. Next month we get an extra paycheck since it's a 5 wk. month. I will use $220 to put in our savings so we'll be back to where we were and then use the rest to pad our checkings again. We use our checkings for paying bills, entertainment, extras, and emergencies. My hubby will also get his quarterly profit sharing check and we will use that to finish the car repairs. Anyways, i am very glad hubby brought up the subject of holding on to his car so he won't feel like it's my fault he didn't get his truck. I would much rather spend $1000 on repairs than $15,000 on a new truck and worry about another bill.

I don't know if you guys get these but where I live we can buy these coupon books for $20 and you get 3 free oil changes but $10-$15 on most auto services plus $20 off if you spend over $100. Besides the $90 we saved on oil changes we also saved:$20 for spending $100, $15 off alignment, and then $15 off each fluid; trans., brakes, radiator, and power steering. So this $20 coupon book just saved us $185. Not bad!

Vacation went wayyy too fast

August 12th, 2009 at 09:33 am

So we returned from our vacation on Saturday and everyone had a great time. We took the kids to Monterey and the beach for the first time. My oldest had such a blast and didn't want to come in from the water but the little one didn't like the sun or the wind too much. Lucily he slept almost the whole time but we had to hold me A LOT. Luckily with my parents and sister with us we had 3 extra sets of hands to help with the kids so everything went very smoothly. We came in way under budget. We planned to spend $1200 and only spent $700 for the whole trip which was really awesome. Most of it though is thanks to my parents. They paid for some of our dinners out and when we were at my moms she always cooked for us...which was just as good as eating out. When you cook every night it is so nice to have some one else doing the cooking, plus it always seems to taste better when your mama makes it. We didn't go out as much as we thought, instead we had friends and family come visit us at my moms house which was just as fun. Me and hubby had wanted to spend a day by ourselves but the little one didn't let that happen.I am breastfeeding him and he refused to take a bottle and would just cry and cry until I held him. However, it did save us a few hundred dollars by not going out of town. Well with the extra money we used $300 of it on groceries when we got home because our cabinets were bare since we were trying to save grocery money before we left for our vacation. We should be stocked up for a month now besides milk, eggs, and fresh fruit. We also sent flowers and chocolate to my parents as a thank you for all their help, which cost about $50. So overall it was a wonderful vacation and we are already starting to plan one for next summer.

Vacation time!

July 30th, 2009 at 09:36 am

So tomorrow we are leaving on our 9 day vacation to california to visit family. It will be the first time my hubby has taken a whole week off in four years so he is very excited for a much needed break. We've budgeted $1200 for this vacation and hopefully we can stick to it. We were going to use $2000 but with all these med bills we decided to cut it down a little and instead of taking it out of savings I just saved all of dh's overtime and bonus check. We are staying with my parents for most of the trip so we don't have to pay for lodging. We are going to spend a few days in Monterey so the little ones can see the ocean for the first time, but my parents are going with us and were generous enough to pay for our hotel room along with theirs. I figure we'll spend about $300 on gas as its an 8 hour drive from vegas to northern cali and then we'll need gas to get to monterey and back, and for any driving in town. Then about $100-$200 on entertainment.We want to take the kids on a boat ride in monterey plus we are giong to spend a day taking them to the zoo. Most of our budget will go to eating out. We have already made plans to eat out with my two sisters and their dh's one night and another we are going out with my best friend to meet her new fiance. Plus dh and i would like to go out alone one night and then the 3 days we are visiting monterey/ocean we will have to eat out and we would like to take my parents out to a nice dinner since they paid for our hotel room. I am going to take a notebook and keep track of our spending so we don't go crazy and go wayyy over budget without even realizing it! Anyways i am so excited to get out of town but must now spend the rest of the day cleaning and packing.

So I didn't meet my goal...

July 20th, 2009 at 02:13 pm

Last week I said I would try and not eat out at all until I went on vacation next month but I didn't make it. We went to my in-laws on Saturday, and my father-in-law got laid off about six months ago so their living off of unemployment, and they told us they didn't have much food in the house. So we went out and got food for all of us. However, that was the only time we ate out all weekend, which is much better than usual.

We did get hubby's quarterly bonus check on Friday which was $646.13. We used $100 towards getting our transmission flushed and an oil change and will use another $100 for our extra large electric bill and the rest will be added to our vacation.

I got another unexpected medical bill from when I was pregnant and the medical claim said we still owe $504.00. I am so glad we have a savings but all these bills are going to take a big bite out of it. We are thinking of cashing in my hubbys second week of vacation to help with some of the bills but were not sure if thats the best idea because it might be nice for him to have another week off later in the year.

On the bright side, when I talked to my mom, she told me she bought us a box of diapers and box of wipes from costco! That will get us through almost a whole month. Yay for mom!

A bit of a spendy weekend

July 13th, 2009 at 11:00 am

Well I used to wear a size 0 before I had my youngest son but I'm still a good 10 to 15 pds. over my usual weight(at least thats my guess, i haven't been on a scale yet), and now I am wearing a size 4. Needless to say, none of my clothes fit me now and since we are going on vacation in 3 weeks to California, I decided it was time to buy some clothes that fit.Also, we only have onesies for my son and I wanted to buy him some cute outfits for our trip so I went to Old Navy. I think I did good though. For $57.00 I got, 3 tops and 2 pair of shorts for myself and 3 tops and 2 pair of shorts for my son. Then we had to get my oldest son new shoes, which cost $35.00 for a pair of DC's and I went to Carter's and got 2 more outfits for the youngest for$12. By the time we got everyone showered and dressed both days it was almost noon, so we had to stop for lunch after we were done shopping which added another $30 to our spending.