Wednesday, January 27, 2010

February 2010 Budget

Here is our budget for February.

My husband will actually be starting a new job on February 1st. His base salary will remain the same ($75,000) but his commission potential (on target earnings) will go up (to $150,000), so we will hope for the best but plan for the worst. In other words, to start out I will plan our budget without planning for any commission at all.

(On the other hand, he will probably be getting some extra money from his old job for vacation days he didn't take, etc. And, we are waiting to see how much his last big commission check will be - maybe as much as $10,000, which will finish our Emergency Fund with a little left over. So, we'll see how it all pans out.)

I have also budgeted low ($100) for my Jewelry Income. I am only doing one craft show in February (there aren't that many around) and I can't allocate too much of my earnings for income because I need a lot of money up front to sign up for the many craft shows throughout th year.

So, basically, I am planning our budget very conservatively.

The Misc. of $250 is for the bridesmaid dress I will be getting to be in my sister's wedding. The Kid's Misc. of $52 is for my daughter's dance lessons.

AUTO-Excise Tax $0
AUTO-BR Gas $160
AUTO-Insurance $119
AUTO-Maintenance $0
CASH-Clothing $0
CASH-Dining Out $120
CASH-JR Gas $120
CASH-Gifts $160
CASH-Grocery $450
CASH-Kids Allowanc $48
CASH-Parties $0
CASH-School Lunch $36
CASH-Spending $160
HOME-Cable/Phone $160
HOME-Electric $140
HOME-Mortgage $2,345
HOME-Oil $350
HOME-Water $0
HOME-Trash $0
HOME-Snow Plow $40
KIDS-Bball $0
KIDS-Misc. $52
KIDS-Piano $0
MISC. $250
PERS-Cell Phone $0
PERS-Contacts $99
PERS-Life Ins. $0
PERS-Newspap $12
PERS-BR Nasacort $0
PERS-BR Prilosc $0
PERS-Cat Enalapril $0
PERS-Braces $100
PERS-BR Sports $0
PERS-Vacation $0
TRNSF-to Savings $0

TOTAL $4,921

1st Paycheck $2,261
1st Commission $0
15th Paycheck $2,261
Church Pay $0
Jewelry Pay $100
Babysitting $100
Other $0
TOTAL $4,722

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still Working The Plan

Well, I got a nice comment on an old post from a new reader. He asked me a little about my story and how we got out of debt. I told him a bit and suggested he look back through my blog by category (such as "debt", "earn money", etc.) - so I actually did this myself.

It was actually really fun and inspiring to read many of my old posts and to see how far we really have come.

We started on our journey in February 2008. We became debt free (except for the house) in April 2009. As of today, we are a little more than 2/3 of the way in saving our Fully Funded Emergency Fund of $30,000 (we have $22,500 so far).

My husband is expecting a very large commission at the end of the month, maybe close to $10,000 - so there is a chance we could finish the FFEF then! (This will only be the second commission check my husband has received in the last 6 months, and the last one was much much smaller.) So, I'm hopeful but trying not to count my chickens before they hatch.

The other problem I will be facing is - my husband.

Every week he talks about something else that we need to do around the house. He wants new windows, a new heating system, finish the basement, we'll both need new cars soon, etc. The list goes on and on.

I fear that when the big commission check comes in he'll want to spend it instead of save it.

In some ways this has been an ongoing problem. He isn't completely on board with the whole "get/stay out of debt" thing. He is happy that we are out of debt but I think he is skeptical about weather or not we'll be able to stay out of debt. (I am determined!)

Most likely, I will need to give in a little and spend a bit on some household upgrades that we do need (want) and are important to him. I'm just hoping that there will be enough money to finish the FFEF and do something he wants. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Simplifying Life

. . . . aaaaahhh . . . . this is always one of my goals for the New Year - to simplify my life. Well, this year is no different. In fact, I think I need it more than ever!

I feel like my head has been spinning for the past several months. Trying to keep up with the schedules and activities of my three daughters, run the household and the budget, and keep my Scrabble Pendant business going - it has been busy, busy, busy.

I often feel an underlying stress pulsing through my body, when what I really crave is peace.

I don't have a set of goals outlined yet, to achieve this simplified life. But I know that I will begin by reading up on the subject.

Here are some of my thoughts in no particular order:

1. I need to improve my Calendar system. I am not prompt in recording things on the calendar and this results in things slipping through the cracks. (And causes much stress!)
2. I am not proactive enough. I leave too much for the last minute. I am overly confident about how much I can accomplish in a certain amount of time, usually resulting in frustration.
3. Frustrated and stressed is probably how my family would describe me a lot of the time - and this is NOT what I want. I want to be a source of peace for my family.
4. My Scrabble Pendant business has been a great source of pleasure and income for me, but I must put limits on the amount of time I spend on it and be sure the needs of my family are met.
5. I must plan carefully which craft shows I will attend, and more importantly, how many craft shows I will attend. Balance is essential.
6. I spend far too much time returning items, or organizing things to be returned. It is fiscally prudent to return items you don't want or need, but this is a time consuming and stressful process that needs to be weighed in terms of costs and benefits. Many returns result from things given to us by others (gifts, etc.) but many are self induced - and I must refrain from making purchases if I am unsure. I want to change my habit from "I'll buy it and return it if I decide I don't need it" to "I'll think about it and come back if I decide that I want it".
7. More attention needs to be paid to planning and reviewing the Budget!
8. Planning meals and grocery shopping regularly will help relieve Dinner Time Stress!
9. A clean (and organized) house goes a long way toward putting me in a peaceful mood. I need to make the time to clean (and organize)!
10. Less stuff means less clutter, less cleaning, less stress!

Well, that's a list that should keep me busy for most of 2010!

What are your goals for the new year?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hello Blogging World

Happy New Year Everyone!

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. I really can't believe that it's been since November!

Things have been going pretty well. 2009 was a really good year for my Pendant Business. It was very enjoyable and profitable. I am looking forward to growing the business even more in 2010.

My record keeping hasn't been the best during this busy time of year, but I'll post the details when I get all my financial records in order for taxes.

I'd like to keep blogging and hope that I'll find (make) the time to do it. My finances will most likely revolve around my business, so I hope I'll have interesting things to share.

Many of you know that we became debt free in 2009. We are now working on building our Fully Funded Emergency Fund. Our goal is $30,000 and right now we are at $22,500. There is a chance my husband will be getting a very large commission soon that could boost us right up to our goal - but I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch.

With all the money I made selling at craft shows over the holiday season you would think that we could have contributed more to our FFEF, but my husband received very little in commission over the past 9 months - so my extra income largely just replaced the commission we had thought he would make.

I think 2010 is going to be a great year! Look forward to sharing it with you all and catching up on what you have been doing.