Recent Divine Discussions

Friday, October 26, 2007

National Family Week

It is National Family Week. I plan on taking my daughter to a couple of the festivities going on around and about Orlando. Here are a two that we are going to definitely hit up.


Winter Park's 4th Annual Family Fall Festival

Subject Winter Park Fall Festival
Description

The City of Winter Park will proudly host its 4th Annual Family Fall Festival on Saturday, October 27, 2007, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Central Park. Winter Park’s Family Fall Festival is the kick-off event for Orange County’s celebration of National Family Week which runs October 27 - November 3, 2007, and focuses on strengthening the community by strengthening families. Mayor David C. Strong will lead the kick-off ceremony at 11:30 a.m. from the main stage in Central Park and 13 year old Winter Park resident Michelle Raymond will sing the National Anthem.

Fun and exciting events for the entire family will include inflatables, a children’s costume parade, old-fashioned hay rides, pumpkin patch in the park, art workshops by Crealde School of Art, cookie decorating by Young Chefs Academy, reptile petting zoo by Zoo Mom Science, swimming pool safety tips, musical art-making by Central Florida Music Studio and hilarious entertainment provided by The Outer Toons™ on the main stage.

Winter Park Police and Fire-Rescue Departments will offer valuable fire-safety programs, bicycle safety tips, and free candy and trick-or-treat bags. The Winter Park Health Foundation will also be on site to help families establish a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition, smart recipes and healthy activities.

Guests will be welcomed at the information booth by Miss Winter Park 2007, Lisa Van Alstine. As patrons are invited to enjoy free popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy, hot dogs and beverages, they are also strongly encouraged to donate non-perishable food items to the Week of the Family Food Drive in support of Second Harvest Food Bank. All donations will be accepted at the information booth.

Additional activities will include family history information and interactive displays by Winter Park Historical Museum. And don’t miss "Trick or Treat on Park Avenue" as local merchants welcome children with special treats at each storefront between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Special thanks to the Winter Park Police Department for supporting Winter Park Families for a Drug Free Community, Progress Energy (Winter Park’s wholesale power provider), the Kiwanis Clubs of East Orlando and Winter Park, and the city’s Parks & Recreation Department for making this event possible.

Date 10/27/2007 - 10/27/2007
Time 11:00:00 AM 2:00:00 PM
Location Central Park at the City of Winter Park See Map
Price $0.00
Note For more information regarding the City of Winter Park’s 4th Annual Family Fall Festival, please call 407-599-3506. For information regarding additional City of Winter Park events, please log on to the city’s official Web site at www.cityofwinterpark.org.




Family Fun Day @ Blanchard Park

Outdoor Event Tell a friend about this event
Subject Family Fun Day
Description

5th Annual Orange County "Family Fun Day"

Bring the whole family out to celebrate our 5th Annual Family Fun Day.

This year we've changed it up with more rides, games, live entertainment and plenty of activities to keep the whole family busy. Bring a picnic basket and join us for Food, Fun, Family and Fellowship.

Date 11/3/2007 - 11/3/2007
Time 10:00:00 AM 2:00:00 PM
Location 2451 N. Dean rd.
Orlando, 32817 See Map

Price $0.00
Note Contact Todd Rowley at 407-836-6249

Check with your city or county and see what fun stuff they have planned. If you can't find anything then create your own fun.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Wish List

Two days ago I started developing a list of things that I want. Not necessities but wants. Why?
Because I do want those things. Of course I am not going to acquire more debt in order to get these things. Dimples has wizened up when it comes to money. At least I'd like to think I have. My plan is to get things off my wish list one at a time, when they are on sale, using coupons (if applicable), and when I have enough in my Misc Fund. The money in the fund will come from my side hustles and any left overs in my budget at the end of the month. And I am still sticking to my initial constraints on that fund....debt comes first. This is like a little project for me. And it is going to be so much fun. With that said, here is my Wish List (in no particular order):

  • Camcorder
  • Living room set
  • Bedroom set for Dimples (mahogany/dark chocolate color)
  • Sleigh or Platform Bed (Dont know which one I want yet)
  • Shredder
  • LCD TV - 20in
  • Bedroom set for Sweet Pea (lilac or periwinkle in color)
  • LCD TV 26in
  • Dining room table set (mahogany/dark chocolate)
  • Desktop computer (just the PC)
  • projector
  • projector screen
  • Wolfgang Puck cookware set
  • Microwave (black)
  • Grill
  • Techie cell phone - Palm pilot or iPhone type (I am so tired of the cheap azz free phones)
  • All Tyler Perry's Plays that are on DVD
  • Transformers DVD
  • Why Did I Get Married DVD
  • Rolling File Cart

I bought myself the rolling file cart today at Office Depot. It was a two-tier cart and it was on sale for $30 (original price was $49.99). I received my $12 cash back reward gift card from Office Depot yesterday and I also got an Office Depot coupon in the mail for $10 of $30 about a week ago. :-D My total came to $8.56. This is the exact method I plan on taking with everything else on my wish list. I mean I may not get it for $8.56 but it will definitely be way less than its original price. And if I can't find a way to get it at an awesomely low price.....just means that its not time for me to buy that item yet.

This is a big change from how I was prior to getting financially smart. I would have just bought whatever it is I wanted. This time I am working towards it. That way I won't feel so guilty when I do bring my shopping home.


:-D

Night yall.

Wachovia Free Checking Promo

Looks like Wachovia is joining the bank bonus biz. They are currently offering a $50 bonus for opening a free checking account. You must open the account with $100 deposit and keep the account open for six months. There is no minimum account balance, no direct deposit requirement, no monthly fees, and includes free bill pay. The offer code is ATM2 and you must open an account by 1/30/08.

As you all know, I have been in search of a bank to open a spending account with. Wachovia is a pretty good bank and their current promo is good. All other bank promos out there require too much and I don't need that much hassle for a little ole spending account. I called their 800 number and opened up an account with them. I also qualified for their "At Work" program because my employer banks with them. So I got my 1st checks for free and I get bonus rates on any loan I may take out with Wachovia. Not bad.

They also have a referral program. You and the person who refers will receive a $25 Visa Gift card. Check here for more details. Hit me up with an email @ dimplesdivine at gmail dot com if you wanna get that on top of the promo.

Enjoy

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Extra Income, My first Biz, and an Investment Opportunity

It's been real busy in Dimples' world. I have a couple of things in the works. I'll do separate post on those later.

I am doing good on my budget. I realize that I need to a lot more money in the miscellaneous department. I may actually need to break that up into smaller, more specific categories. I spent $65 bucks for maintenance on my car. Of course I did not have that expense accounted for in my budget. I also had to take my daughter to get her yearly physical and flu shot. The copay was $15. Budgeted?? Nope. I was hoping that the amount I allotted to my miscellaneous category would take care of this stuff but it is not. So I need to work out a way to direct more money towards that category without touching the money I set aside for my debt repayment. Touching this would throw my snowball calculation off track and most likely add a month or two to my payoff due date.

So I am in big time hustlette mode.

Cash Duck is back in business. They are working with a whole different system. You get feathers and can redeem them for gift certificates or a check. It a very reliable "pay to" site. I have been with them since February or March. Based on my earnings history, their new system, and how much time I plan on dedicating, I know I can bring at least $75-$100 in a month. Either it be in the form of a check or gift card to Walmart (which I could then use for groceries).

I joined Vindale Research about a couple of weeks ago. It is a typical "pay to" site. You get between $5-$75 per survey. The site is similar to Cash Duck.......some of the offers are similar also. Payouts are done twice a month, the 15th and the last day of the month. You need to have at least $50 to request payment which is either via paypal or check. I am really liking this site.

Signing back up with Brainfuse. It is an online tutoring site. I joined them back in November and was with them for about 4 months. I started getting real busy at work and had to stop. I made about $50 a week and I only put in 5-6 hours. My money was direct deposited which was definitely a plus. There are requirements to become a tutor. Definitely check them out.

I started up my own online traveling business. Its called Travels Dazzle. The set-up is similar to that of Travelocity or Expedia. Just plug in your requirements and hit search. The results will include the lowest priced fares available online. I did many comparison searches and my site always had the lowest fares. Check it out yourself. You can find great packages on golf, cruises, Caribbean vacations and order flowers. You can also find great deals on hotels and rental cars and discounts on attractions. I have always been interested in traveling even though I haven't done that much. But I plan on changing that. I will definitely be traveling more. So this is an investment for me in more ways than one.

I am looking into purchasing an investment property near Disney in Orlando. One of my friends started up a group called Anything Is Possible. At our first official meeting a gentleman came out to do a presentation about investing in realty. I decided to set up a meeting with him to get further information on this. Basically a developer has a condo community located about 15 minutes from Disney World, 5 minutes form Universal, and in the heart of Orlando. The community is beautiful. Amenities include a bowling alley, steam room and sauna, gym, aerobics room, 3 pools with bars and hot tubs, 24 hours gated security, valet trash, and a children's playroom with on call babysitter. I will basically buy condo and the property management will take care of renting out my unit and handling all business with the renter. I am guaranteed about $50-$100 in rental income per month and nothing comes out my pocket. Of course there is more to it than what I just put but I do not feel like going into detail. I am not one to jump feet first into any opportunity presented to me. I am going to have a lawyer friend of mine look over the contract and related documents and let me know what he thinks. As of right now I am 98% on board with going for it. I'll keep you guys updated.

I have always been a worry wart and scared to take risks. It is time that I step outside the box and be the person making it instead of the one wishing she could make it. Of course I am not going to be reckless with my finances. I have a daughter who relies solely on me. I care too much about her to allow myself into a funky situation. So be rest assured that I will do my research and make sound decisions.

Holidays are coming up. I know a lot of you guys will be traveling. Remember to check out my spot for booking your flights, hotels, rental cars, or whatever. Support ya girl!!!

Dimps Out

Monday, October 22, 2007

Update on Daddy

I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and nice words. I really appreciate it. My dad was released today and is home doing fine. I enjoyed my time at my parent's immensely. My dad looks like he is going to turn over a new leaf and this event has actually brought the family closer. He was all jokes every time I went to visit him in the hospital. Looks like everyone is getting into the healthy business. My dad needs to eat right and so the rest of the family is following suit to encourage him. I am so happy.

Once I catch up with things I will be back on my game. I spent a little down there but the money is coming from definite leftovers in the budget. So basically everything worked out.

Thanks again everyone and I look forward to reading up on everyone's blogs and seeing what craziness has come up since I have been gone.

*muahz*

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Need your prayers

I apologize for the lack of posts. My father had a heart attack on Tuesday and I have been down in South Florida with my parents since.

Please keep us in your prayers. He is still ICU and they are running a lot of tests. My daddy is a stubborn man and it will take all our strength to get him to listen and adhere to the doctor's orders.

Thanks guys.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Life Insurance Update

Back in August I did a post titled, "Life Insurance - Do I have enough?".


I currently have a 5 year term policy for $50,000. I took the policy out back in December 2002, right after my daughter was born. Back then I felt that $50K was more than enough. Of course back then I didn't even know what a budget was. But after reading a post Single Ma did on life insurance I realized that I was short changing my daughter with my current life insurance policy. That scared the shyt outta me. With all the debt I currently have, my daughter would most likely get NOTHING if, God forbid, something happened to me.

I googled and found a ton of life insurance calculators on the web.
I used 3 different life insurance calculators from different websites to calculate the amount of life insurance I need. Based on my current financial picture I need between $287K to $345K worth of life insurance.

I received a letter from Statefarm, whom I have my life insurance policy with, about 3 days ago offering a $114 credit towards my policy if I did a conversion. I spoke to a rep at my agent's office today and I decided to convert my current term policy into a $50K universal life insurance policy. Click here to see the definition and benefits of a universal life insurance policy.

I made the decision to do this because I wouldn't have to do any blood work or physical exam. I automatically got the policy at a super preferred plus health class. All I had to do was say yes to the conversion. Due to my high blood pressure issues, I don't think securing a nicely sized permanent life insurance policy is gonna be so easy. So I will take any freebies that come my way. I am working on acquiring about $250,000 more but I think I will do that on a 30 year term policy. The rep quoted me $25/month for a $250K policy on a 30 year term. A $250K permanent policy was $170/month at a preferred plus health class, which is not in my budget. So the 30 year term policy looks like the best thing right now.

If I can get that $250K policy I will be looking at $50 a month for my life insurance. That's about a $40 increase in my monthly expenses. Sounds pretty good. And I will be at peace knowing my daughter will be ok. I will have $300,000 in total life insurance which falls nicely in the middle of my range.

Anyone else rethinking their current policy or currently shopping for life insurance?

Credit Score Update

Last Month:


Transunion : 628

Experian : 652

Equifax :590



This Month:


Transunion : 643

Experian : 652

Equifax : 617


When I previously posted my credit score updates I would use the middle score. I am going to post all three from now on since there is such a difference between Equifax and the other two. I know I have one collection account still showing on Equifax that was removed from the other two a long time ago. So I believe that is the reason for the huge difference. I am working on getting that removed from my report. Hopefully if my method works and the collection gets removed my score with Equifax will rise.

Oh yeah, the collection is paid off. It was from Bellsouth. I disconnected my service with them at the end of my sophomore year in college and supposedly I still had a remaining balance. The rep told me my balance was zero and I moved right after so I never received a bill. Needless to say I didn't find out anything about it until it went to collections and was on my credit reports about a year and a half later. But of course by then the collection company who had bought the account wasn't trying to hear it. Punks! They scared the hell out of me with that whole we will take oyu to court so I paid the measly $52. UGH! Hate 'em!

I went to a seminar that gave me some good advice about fixing your credit. I contacted Bellsouth and explained my situation. The manager I spoke to was able to find some notes on my old account where it stated that the rep had quoted me a zero balance which was incorrect and that she tried to get back in touch with me but did not have any contact information for me other than my address that was on the account. So they mailed a letter to that address, the same address I moved out of the day after I called and canceled my phone service. After some transfering around I spoke to a gentleman who winded up sending me a letter that I could give to the credit reporting agencies and have them remove the collection account from my report. Transunion and Experian accepted the letter and removed the negative account. Equifax on the other hand claimed that Bellsouth was not the current creditor and therefore they would not accept the letter.

Are you serious you big donkey?!! Dorks!

So that brings us to the present. Dorks still won't remove the account. I am gonna attempt to talk to the "current creditors" and see if they will ok the removal. I never thought of that until someone suggested a week ago.

Wish me luck on that.

pfblogs.org Financial Literacy Challenge

I have enlisted in the challenge and I hope you do to.

DonorsChoose is a non-profit organization that supports the needs of teachers and students. Basically, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn on the website and people choose a project to fund. The organization is currently running a Blogger Challenge during the month of October. The purpose is to encourage bloggers to reach out to their readers to help support classroom projects in public schools.

HC, at One Big Mortarboard has partnered with pfblogs.org to establish the Personal Finance Blogger Financial Literacy Challenge! They have chosen a number of projects that relate directly to personal finance.

You can help by donating and/or promoting this challenge. Make a difference yall!

Check out Single Ma's post for more detailed info.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Copy of Receipt

Here is a copy of the receipt for the groceries I bought yesterday. This shows how much I paid for each item. For those that are going to check out their local farmers markets, compare their prices with the ones on here and let me know if there is a major difference. There shouldn't be. When I go shopping again and buy some meat I will post the receipt on here. You wouldn't believe what I pay for poultry (compared to grocery stores).


*Edited:

Use the following link to find a farmers market near you:

http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/map.htm

Thanks Dream for the link!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Girl that ain't no baby fat......thats just fat baby!

LMBAO.

On the real, my daughter is gonna be 5 in a week........that whole baby fat excuse won't fly anymore. SHE AIN"T NO BABY!! So Dimples needs put her phat rump on a diet.
I have been talking about a lemon cleanse on the last couple of post. Here is the link if you are interested in reading up on it. I am pretty sure there are several variations of it but this is the one I found.

I know my body pretty darn well. I need to restart my body in order for this to work and in order for me to succeed. So hence the lemon cleanse. I know one thing though, cutting off solid foods cold turkey is not gonna happen, especially chicken. I am like a crackhead when it comes to chicken. I can't keep away. Is it just me? Anyways, the cleanse calls for 10 days and Dimples may make it 2 full days. Trust me, I have tried and I have failed....many a times.


With that said I decided to create my own variation of the cleanse. I have been slowly weening myself off solid foods for the past two days. Replacing a meal with liquids each day. Today I did all liquid meals. Wanna see what I
ate drank today? Here ya go:

BREAKFAST

The Energizer: Smoothie consisting of cantaloupe juice, orange juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and frozen strawberries. You'll be read to climb walls after this one.

MID-MORNING SNACK

Lemon Drink:
2 tablespoons FRESH squeezed lemon or lime juice (approx. 1/2 lemon)
2 tablespoons genuine organic maple syrup, Grade B (the darker the better)
1/10 teaspoon (a small pinch!) cayenne pepper, gradually increase (the more BTUs the better)
300 - 500 ccm (10-14 oz) pure water
LUNCH

Sweet potato and Asparagus soup:

1 sweet potato (diced)
1 cup of diced asparagus
1/2 an onion (diced)
salt, garlic salt, parsley flakes to taste
smidgen of red pepper flakes (optional....I like a lil bite to my food now and then)
1 quart of water
1/5 of a block of tofu

Cook all ingredients (except tofu) on stove in soup pan on med-high for about 30 minutes or until everything has softened. Add tofu. The tofu makes the soup thick and creamy. If you don't like tofu then try some sour cream or flour. Cut off heat and remove pot from burner. Let cool for about 2 minutes. Ladle soup into plastic blender (Do not pour into a glass jar.....cold glass and hot liquid don't mix!!). Blend food, gradually increase from low to high. Blend for about 1 to 2 minutes. or until everything is pureed. You can either pour it into a bowl directly from the blender or pour it back into the pot to heat the soup back up. It loses some of its heat while in the blender. Here is a pic of my soup:



MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

Lemon Drink:

2 tablespoons FRESH squeezed lemon or lime juice (approx. 1/2 lemon)
2 tablespoons genuine organic maple syrup, Grade B (the darker the better)*
1/10 teaspoon (a small pinch!) cayenne pepper, gradually increase (the more BTUs the better)
300 - 500 ccm (10-14 oz) pure water

DINNER

Summer Soup:

1 cup diced yellow squash
1 cup of diced asparagus
1/2 a cup of diced celery
1/2 a cup of diced cucumbers
salt, garlic salt, parsley flakes to taste
smidgen of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 quart of water
1/5 of a block of tofu


Cook all ingredients (except tofu) on stove in soup pan on med-high for about 30 minutes or until everything has softened. Add tofu. Cut off heat and remove pot from burner. Let cool for about 2 minutes. Ladle soup into plastic blender (Do not pour into a glass jar.....cold glass and hot liquid don't mix!!). Blend food, gradually increase from low to high. Blend for about 1 to 2 minutes. or until everything is pureed. You can either pour it into a bowl directly from the blender or pour it back into the pot to heat the soup back up. It loses some of its heat while in the blender. You might want to strain the soup. Little strands of celery wind up in the soup.

Here is a pic:



I also do an oral salt-water flush in the morning and one at night. Its 2 teaspoons of uniodized sea salt added to a quart of lukewarm water. Its nasty down. I do this at least two hours before leaving my apartment.

So that part 1 of my big "Dimples Divine Getting Fine" plan. I am contemplating creating a weight loss blog but it will be just another thing for me to keep track of and I am so not feeling that right now. I could just post that stuff on DDD.

Ehh...........I'll think about it.

Why my grocery budget is only $120 a month

I wanted to share with you guys how my monthly grocery bill stays under $120 each month.

1. I am blessed to have a farmer's market located directly across the street from my apartment complex. I purchase all my veggies, fruits, and meats from there. You would think that I would be paying an arm and a leg for organic food but that is not the case. My typical shop there averages around $35 bucks. And I am set for 2-3 weeks. I went there today and spent a total of $29.76. I buy my water, soy milk, tofu, eggs, orange juice, condiments and little snacks for my daughter from Walmart. A bill there averages about $26 bucks.


2. I cut up, package, and freeze majority of my food. I used to have a problem with spoiled veggies and fruits. I either never got to them fast enough or I totally forgot I had them and they would go bad. Freezing my food has helped me in that area. I just wish my freezer was larger. I would freeze everything. Here is some of the veggies I bought today; cut up and packaged.

Lot of food aint it? Those a gallon size bags, about one or two are quart size. I bought carrots, butternut squash, cucumbers, red bliss potatoes, yellow squash, celery, eggplant, spinach (3 bags in the back...88 cents a piece!), green peppers, zucchini, and asparagus. And here is the rest. I am going to juice these. The cucumber packages were 59 cents (4 in a package). Carrots were $1.34. Organic carrots for $1.34!!

All the veggies are organic. The carrots will make about 1.5 quarts. Cucumbers should make about half a quart.

I do about the same thing with my meats. I clean them, marinate them, separate them into serving sizes in ziplock bags, and then freeze them.

4. I plan my meals a week ahead. I just started doing this about 2 months ago. Every Saturday I plan my meals for the upcoming week. And and each morning I take all the ingredients that I need and put them in the fridge. This has helped me steer away from eating out a lot. If I have had a rough day I am more inclined to swing by one of our fav take-out places and grab dinner. But now I just head home because I know all I have to do is take my food and use my foil method and I will have a piping hot homemade meal in 30 minutes and not have to spend a dime. :-D (I should so do commercials)


I try and do this all in one day. I usually grocery shop on Fridays or Saturdays and it takes me about 1.5 hours tops to get everything cleaned, cut up/marinated, and packaged. Not bad compared to the 30 minutes plus a day it would take me otherwise.

I do my major shopping in the beginning of the month. After that I only go to the store to restock on things I ran out of and need.

So that is how I do it. Hey, does this make me frugal? Semi-frugal? You would think with all this healthy eating a sistah wouldn't have to be on a diet right?! I guess exercise is important.

LMAO.

It was so easy back in high school. I ran 2 miles everyday between basketball and track.

Edited:

Did I mention that above is food for 2??

ReturnFest

Packages from Old Navy and Macy's came this morning. I returned all of it. I also returned the stuff I physically bought at the mall. I repurchased some clothes that I really needed for my daughter and used a coupon I just received in the mail yesterday. So $280 went back on the credit cards and I purchased $60 worth of clothes for $25 (after coupons) and used my debit card.

I started my lemon cleanse yesterday. I have been holding it off due to the crazy schedule I have had this past two weeks. I must say I am feeling quite chipper and full of energy.

I am deciding what to do about my career. I think it is time to move on up. I love my company benefits not quite sure about the company though. There is a lot of favoritism going on and it urks me. Dimples don't do azz kissing. I'll go more into that later.

I played the lottery far the first time yesterday. I won $4. Woohoo!




Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Officially in a funk

Yeah I am.

I have been worrying, and wandering, and thinking too damn much.

I wish I could win the lottery. I just need $100K. Just enough to pay off all my debt and have a nice E-fund. Not too much to ask.

I am worried about work. They underestimate me. I think I allow them to. I hate failing. Especially when I am the only black female in the company. I CAN'T fail.

I feel like I am at a stand still in my life. I am allowing my debt to block my view of the future. I want to do so much. I know I am destined for something great. Cocky? Naw just confident. I want to own my own business(s). I want to invest. I want to build an inheritance for my children, grandchildren, and so on. But I feel like I need to get this debt out of the way before I can even think about that stuff. A year of just working on debt sounds ridiculously boring. I am not a boring person.

I like end results. It's the journey to the end that urks me.

I need to lose weight. I would love to be my goal size. It is the many months of dieting and exercising that I dread. Oh how I dread it!

I need to get closer to God. Period. Maybe then I will not fear failing and put my all in Him.

I overload myself. I am always on the go, always thinking, always working. Overloading leads to crashing....and I CRASH.

I doubt myself. I pump myself up and then when it comes time to do the do I doubt myself. I urk myself sometimes


Anyways my funk has lead to me to do some funky shopping. Straight funky yall! I spent $200 online with Macy's and Old Navy. And then I spend $80 at the Macy's in the mall yesterday.

Yeah you guessed right. ALL OF THAT ON CREDIT CARDS!!!

Hence my silence this last week.

I think next Tuesday will be the official return-fest day.

Yeah.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

October Budget and decreasing my monthly expenses

After I came to the realization that my monthly bills took up 89.5% of my income, I went on a mission to lower my expenses anyway I could. Of course a big chunk of that is made up of my debt which I am currently working on. Unless I win the lottery, that will be a long and steady road. Until then I am trying to find other ways to decrease my monthly expenses.

I am proud to say that in 3 days I was able to knock $80 off my monthly expenses. Here is how:

  • $10 on Vonage : I called Vonage and asked for the current promotion that offered the same plan I had but for $10 less.

  • $20 on cell phone: Lowered my plan from $59.99 to $39.99.

  • $50 on cable : Canceled my cable. All my fav shows are shown on my local channels (free) and also online (also free).
Not bad huh?? All other categories are pretty much untouchable excluding debt. I mean I can say that I will work on using less electricity and water but who we kidding?! Dimples has enough ish to be frugal with. Water to wash my behind and power to light up my home ain't gonna be included.

With that said, here is my October budget:


As I said before, I am putting a hold on the E-fund now that I have reached my initial goal. $3K if a pretty good safety net to back me up during the next year as I snowball my credit card debt. Once that gets eliminated, I will pick the emergency fund game up again and go after my next goal of $10K. This way I can apply more towards my debt. All other categories are based off last month's actuals.

Hopefully I can bring in some extra income. Cash Duck is due to come back mid-October. And I am working on some other promising avenues to extra moola. I'll give you guys the 411 on that tomorrow.

I am sleepy now.

Night.

How could I forget.....

I don't know why this slipped my mind........

I exceed my Misc budget by $148.81.

Not my fault though. My vacuum broke so I had to buy another. Them jokers are expensive. I bought one for $50. IDENT-A-KID came to my daughter's school and I felt it essential to get some identity cards for my daughter. I got 4 for $15. It was picture month also and this is the only time I have to get new pics of my daughter. I buy professional pics of her each year and we were due. They came out beautifully. That was $80.

See how that wasn't my fault. Things came up. Things I didn't account for in my budget......ok MAYBE my fault a lil.

Anyhoo just want to let yall know.

Monday, October 1, 2007

September Budget Results and End of the Month Report

It's that time of the month once again. Time to get to the nitty gritty.

September Budget


I did pretty good on my first official budgeted month.

Income: I brought in an extra $272. I received a payment from Cash Duck for $80, my $150 Toshiba rebate for my laptop, and $40 from Pinecone, ACOP, and Ebay.

Rent & Utilities: I went over in this category by $57.73. September was a hot month so electric and water went up some.

Groceries: I went over my grocery budget by $20.77. I decided to go on the Lemon Cleanse to jump start my body and get it ready for the extensive exercise and diet I will be on for the next few months or so. So I had to pick up a few extra items.

E-fund: I reached my $3K goal this month. Yay for me!!!

Car Note & Insurance: Went over $.76. I rounded down when I should have rounded up when I initially did the budget.

Daughter's School: Under budget by $18.21. I pay my daughter's tuition via paypal. I got padi for a couple of surveys and made a sale on Ebay so that money went towards a week's tuition payment
Gym: I didn't use of the $30 I had set aside for this. My lazy azz was too tired to go to the gym. *sigh* Gotta get on da ball with that area tho. I can't use the term baby fat any more.......I have a 5 year old!!

Debt: came under budget by $13.71. I paid of two credit cards so I their minimum payments that I had incorporated into my budget didn't really apply.

CC Debt Snowball: The extra income I brought in allowed me to put $120.08 more towards my snowball and I paid off 2 credit cards.

Overall I went over my $14.23. Not bad for a rookie. Not bad at all!

PERSONAL FINANCE GOALS
UPDATE


I moved my credit score goal of 700 from January to July 2008. I know when I start closing these credit cards and paying off this debt, my score will be fluctuating to much to make that steady climb to 700. I will reach the ideal credit balance-to-credit limit ratio of 35% by February 2008. That alone should boost my score up by a considerable amount. I am going with July just in case closing the cards counteracts with that.


NET WORTH UPDATE


I am happy to announce that my net worth increased by $2140. I am also happy to announce that I have passed the $10K mark for my 401K. Happy times, happy times. My current net worth goal is $1. A sistah is in the negative and I needs to get out now!! I hate red. No more damn red! I yearn to see some blue in my life. LOL. So I hope to reach that by January of 2009.

SEPTEMBER GOALS

  • Find more avenues for bringing in extra money - I did a lil eBay but thats it. Need to work on this in October.

  • Create blog geared towards single moms in the Orlando area - Done. I just need to start doing regular post.

  • Use coupons when purchasing groceries - Uhhhh I ain't even try on this one. *sigh*

  • Always shop with a list - I have been sticking to this and it works.

  • Detailed tracking of spending - This post is evidence enough. Score!!!

  • Start and stick to exercise routine - *cough* Did you see the comment on the budget section? Yeah.

  • Create and stick to schedule for myself and daughter (school/work week) - Nope.

  • Read my personal finance books - I got in 4 pages........4!

  • Prepare food in advance on Sundays to help out with time during the school/work week - I have been doing this and it is why I keep my grocery bill under $125 a month. Seriously.

Overall September was a good month. I am starting to finally see progress. I can't wait till I see blue ever way.

Coming up next: October budget, goals, and other stuff.........



Just checkin in

What a weekend!


Just wanted to check in with yall. Hope you guys had a great weekend.


End of the month report and random ish coming soon.


Ciao!