Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Transfer Tuesday and Paying Down Debt 1/28/2020

Hello Tuesday!  It is that time again to transfer some money around and pay down debt.  It is  an ongoing process to get rid of the HELOC we have that is a result of home improvements (privacy fence, pool, screen enclosure, generator and that is enough, don't you think?)

I am sitting here at the Hyundai dealership getting my car serviced which involves oil change, tire rotation,  new front brakes, and something else for the brakes.  I bring it to the dealership because of the warranty on the engine.  The warranty is good for 10 years, so I will keep bringing it in.

  Honestly, I like the work they do, it is completed in a timely manner, and they back up what they do.  If they need to keep the vehicle (which has happened) they provided me with a rental at no charge.  It won't be cheap when all is said and done, but the peace of mind is worth it.

I had a chunk of cash to put on the HELOC, but some of it went to my husband's vehicle repair bill.  The rest ($675.00) I am applying to the debt.  There were also some Credit Card reward points to apply as well.

Previous Principal Balance $82,931.86

  • $675.00
  •   $26.12
New Principal Balance $82,230.65

If you need motivation to join Transfer Tuesday for paying down debt OR saving for the next big purchase, head over to Pennies Not Perfection 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Frugal Friday and Moving Money to Earn Money

What have we done this week that has been frugal?  We have had all of our evening meals at home.  My son in law and I share the cooking and meal planning by putting together a meal plan for the next couple of weeks and post it on the fridge.

We chat daily and confirm if we are still sticking to the haphazard menu planning or going in a different direction. A different direction means we will probably have grilled hot dogs/chili dogs instead of what is on the schedule.

Not eating out is big for my husband and me.  We used to do it a lot and I would justify it by saying I worked hard at work and I deserved to treat myself.  I said that more than once or twice a week. Sigh. I am pretty proud of our efforts to save money by dining in as opposed to dining out.  Since I resigned from my position with the school board in October 2019,  I have been better able to prepare meals at home.  It is a really good feeling.

CVS lured me back with a 40% off one item coupon, so I used that coupon, a digital coupon for $1 off of any Oil of Olay products and bought a bottle of Oil of Olay lotion.  Original price was $11.99 ( overpriced, to begin with) and with coupons the after price was around $6.50.  Then a 20% coupon printed out  $2 CVS Bucks and a $3 off a $15 dollar shampoo purchase.  So.. I went back and picked up 3 bottles of Loreal    Pantene shampoo, conditioner, and a pre blow dryer condition for $15 (CVS sale) used the $3/15 CVS coupon, the $2 CVS buck coupon AND a newspaper insert coupon for $5 off Loreal  Pantene Hair Care.  The final price for me was $5.65 for all three items. 

I moved some money this morning.  It was a bit emotional, as the money was the last of my mom's cash from her burial account.  (She put money away so that when she passed her final wishes of being buried in Wisconsin with  a service  headed by her pastor from Florida and family attending would take place)  That journey took place in 2014, a year after she passed.

Anyway, there was $10,000 left in the account that I have been sitting on.  It has been in a regular saving account earning nothing and up until lately, I could not even decide what to do with it.  The money was and is a BIG emotional anchor that I am trying to get off my back.

So, 6 years later, I decided to put the money in laddered CD's.  When all is said and done and it will take some time.

An example of what I am working towards
EVENTUALLY the CD's will renew monthly (after they are on a 12-month schedule).  It may sound confusing and I was a bit confused, to begin with, but I think I have it down now.  I started with 3,6,9, 12 months CDs, and next month will repeat the process and a month after that, I will again repeat the process.

When the 3 month CD is going to mature, I will switch that to a 12 month CD and will do that until all CDs are maturing at 12 months.   Since I only have $10,000 I won't be able to fund all 12 months, but you work with what you have.

So, now the last bit of my mom's funeral cash has a plan to earn a better interest rate and I still don't know what I will do with it.  The emotional attachment is still there, and well....  I just don't know.

My hubs is unaware of this money, as we know he would have made plans for it and it would all be gone just like that.  I am not ready to spend it.   Not on him, not on debt, not on anything.  At least now, it will earn a bit more until I can decide what to do with it.

So there you go. Frugal Friday shenanigans are accounted for.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Transfer Tuesday and Paying off Debt 1/21/2020

Transfer Tuesday is here and it is time to move some money around to pay down debt!

We have made a couple of purchases with the rewards card, mostly items for my husband's church.  They have several upkeep projects on going, and my husband uses his tithe money for such projects.  He put about $370 dollars on the card for electrical wire and stuff.  This month we are getting 3% back on purchases from Lowes, Home Depot, etc so that will be a few more dollars we can put on our debt.

Back to the cash envelopes and maybe opening a Capital One 360 account with multiple savings accounts to track sinking funds, I still am on the fence about it but after this week, I may go ahead and try it in moderation. 

I made two purchases for the yard, see the Firecracker plants I bought, and I debited the purchases.  Meanwhile, I have the CASH for the purchase at home in an envelope, but it was kinda spur of the moment and I have been looking for those plants forever. If I had the digital sinking funds on Capital One 360, I could slide the money over easily instead of driving to the bank to make a deposit, or finagle some way to redistribute the cash for the envelopes next week. The struggle is real!

So tomorrow, I am going to the bank to deposit CASH for what we spent on the yard and then I will apply that to the balance of the HELOC. 

Old Principal Balance $82,999.46

  • 20.53 (Home Improvement)
  • 47.07 (Home Improvement) 
New Principal Balance $82,931.86

How are you doing on your debt?  Successfully whittling it down, I hope!

Monday, January 20, 2020

I Found Firecracker Bushes!

When I worked at the elementary school one of the teachers had these wonderful bushes that had long slender branches that would fill with orange red blooms during the summer heat of Florida.  She said I could get a cutting or two to use at my house, and that certainly would be more economical. 

It did not happen as my schedule was slam full and I just never found the time.  Yesterday, after church I went by a locally owned garden business to scope out what they had. 

Kim's cabbage patch has a great selection of plants and inside there are fresh fruits and vegetables.

The business is a converted gas station.  If you are ever passing through Clermont, stop by.  Kim is a wonderful business owner that supports many causes in the area.  

I love bougainvillea but they have thorns that will pierce your foot and will take over a yard if left to its own devices. 

Jackpot!  Firecracker bushes!  

I loaded up FOUR of these babies and they will be planted this week.  I am so excited that I found them.  They are great for bees and butterflies.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Cash Envelopes: Maybe A Change

Back in November, I watched a bunch of YouTube videos about budgeting, paying off debt and cash envelopes. There are a TON of videos about all of these topics and one can very easily get sucked into watching them ALL day.

There are also lots of Etsy stores that will sell you pretty cash envelopes, but for now, I have managed to avoid that purchase.  I went the generic route and made my own using scrapbook paper I picked up at the GoodWill and clear packing tape.  This was easier for me and less expensive AND will allow me time to decide if ALL 12 envelopes are necessary.


Budgeting for the categories is necessary but is it necessary for me to pull out the cash and stash it in the envelopes.  To date, I have used $40 cash from the hair cut envelope and $30 cash from the medical and dental envelope.  On the flip side, I do have an envelope for dry cleaning, but I debited that amount when I picked up shirts last week.  Oops. 

There is an auto-tag envelope and tags are due in a couple of months, I can either go to the Tag agency and pay cash or purchase them online and debit it.  The latter is much easier.

But, since I have been pulling out cash for the envelopes and for groceries, tracking the cash is much easier.  Well, until something comes up and I have to make an impromptu purchase.  I LIKE having cash envelopes, it makes me happy to pull out the money and count it.  I know, that may sound a bit weird but I do like it lol. 

There is the option of using Capital 360 Online banking and having 15 or so sub-accounts to use as virtual envelopes.  That may be an option, but I need to see how fast money moves from one bank to another.  I say that because I use a different bank for eBay and when I transfer money to OUR bank for payments, etc it will take 7 working days!  That's a little worrisome when you are under a time crunch to get a payment made on time.

Back in the day when ING was an online bank, I seem to remember having multiple savings accounts.  Didn't Capital ONE buy them out? 

There is no decision yet about what to do with the cash envelopes that I really don't use in real life but would use it in virtual life via online transactions.
What I do like is having cash stashed.  :-)  But, I need to figure out something that works for the future.  Sigh...

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Transfer Tuesday and Paying Off Debt 1/14/2020

Transfer Tuesday is here and it is time to move money to pay down debt!

The final tally on the water pump replacement on the truck was $1400.00 and that was covered by eBay funds.  Now we have to put money away for his brakes which are evidently just as expensive.  Sheesh!

I did not have any credit card rewards to send over to the HELOC this week, mostly because I have been paying cash for just about everything.  Woo Hoo!  Since I have been paying cash for groceries (pulling out $220.00 every two weeks for groceries) my grocery shopping has definitely been more focused and with intent to stay under budget.   Amazing how that works.  I ended up with $4.00 leftover and just rolled it over to the next two weeks.

To be true to transfer Tuesday, I moved $500 from my hidden RMD account.  Shhh.... I have to hide  some money from the hubs or he will SPEND it  in no time.  It is just how we (or I) do things.

We do have a ways to go, don't we?

Last week was a blur!  I spent a lot of time on figuring out how to coupon at Walgreens and then going to Walgreens to shop and reap the benefits.  It is a complicated process and takes diligence and patience.   I have managed to stock up on make-up that I will use this year and still am ahead $5 in register rewards.

I also spent time chasing down sales at Publix and Winn Dixie, all to keep the grocery spending under control!  It takes time, but I am hopeful that with a bit more experience I can whittle down the time it takes to save the money.

For now, when a store has BOGO on items that we WILL USE, I will typically buy two deals for a total of 4 items.  This has allowed me to stock up and slows down my need to run to the store.  Well, mostly.

I will work on doing better posting next week.  PROMISE!!

Old principal balance $83,499.46
  • $500 from RMD 
New principal balance $82,999.46

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Transfer Tuesday and Paying Down Debt 1/7/2020

It's  Tuesday and its time to move some money around and reduce our debt.   Last week the hubs took on the job of replacing the water pump on his 2014 Ford truck.  While he had everything torn out of the truck he went ahead and replaced hoses, did an oil change, and there may have been something else but I don't really retain truck talk stuff.  The final tally on the parts for the job is at $1400.00.  Sheesh! That will be covered by eBay funds.

I did implement cash envelopes/sinking funds back in November 2019 for such events, but there certainly was not enough to cover that in the envelopes.

This Tuesday we are sending $20 to the HELOC balance.

I sold a stroller on Facebook Marketplace for $20 and that will go straight to the debt.  There are no credit card rewards to transfer this week.  So, the $20 is it for this week.

Old principal (Heloc) balance $83,519.46

  • $20 from the sale of a stroller 

New principal balance $83,499.46

Last month we were able to send an extra $1534.48 to the HELOC balance.


As stated previously, I set a 2020 goal of reducing the Heloc balance by $20,000.   Theoretically, I will be counting on eBay to help a great deal with the debt reduction by applying at least $1000 a month from eBay earnings. That leaves approximately $667 a month to earn/find/reduce other spending and apply that to the Heloc balance as well.

Here is how we did last week on Transfer Tuesday

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Cash and Carry

There are still kinks to work out in my budget and ways to save and do better.  Yesterday, I took a leap of faith when getting cash for my cash envelopes, I took out an extra $120 for groceries for the week.

 Typically I would use a cash reward card for groceries, but I am pretty sure that concept gave me mental permission to spend more. So, I decided to try the cash and carry approach.

Well, actually I took out too much.  $180 for cash envelopes, $120 for groceries and I somehow thought I needed to pull out $400 instead of $300 so I ended up with an extra $100 cash.  Good grief.

Anyway, I put the $120 in a homemade cash-carrying envelope, stuck it in my purse and off to the grocery store I went.  First I went to Aldi's and I was amazed at how empty the parking lot was.  Come to find out they were closed.  So then I went ahead and went to Target with my list and managed to stay on task and spend $46.00 of my weekly allotment.

I have flyers for this week's ads and am planning accordingly.  Publix has a couple of BOGO's I am interested in, Reynolds Heavy Duty Aluminum Wrap being one of them.   Publix also has a digital coupon for $1 for Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (I think) and it is also BOGO.  Winn Dixie has Tide and Downy on sale with Digital Coupons available.

I purposely left about $30 in our checking for groceries that my husband will stop at the store and pick up.  Mostly milk and Powerade is what he will stop and pick up and it is easier for him to use a debit.

This experiment in spending only cash for groceries will be a great tool for me to reduce my grocery spending and putting extra cash towards our debt.  It may not always work out and be enough but in the long run I am hoping it will retrain me in how to shop more with purpose as opposed to shopping for instant gratification.

The extra $100 that I took out is tucked away at my desk waiting for next week. Some days I need to take my time when it comes to money management.

Check out this money-saving app.  It was recommended to me by a FB friend.  If you try it out, let me know what you think. I have accumulated $10 in saving so far.


Use this link or enter my promo code LISA22752 to get an extra 15¢/gal cash back on gas on your first fill-up: https://upside.app.link/LISA22752