Wednesday, January 30, 2013

And..... January Is Gone!!!

I should have known it would happen.  What, with working practically every day of the week, between two jobs, and still trying to find time to fit my family in on weekends, when not at work..... yes, January has come to a close already.  And for me, I don't feel like I have much to show for it, or report about it. 

I managed to get one..... yes, just one, bike ride in for the entire month of January.  For any of you who really know me, you know just how sick to my stomach I am about this.  I cancelled my Homestead Fitness Club membership this month, because I have been unable to make it work with my current schedule in life, to include exercise and fitness like I have been so used to now for the past several years.  And for those of you who really know me, you know just how sick to my stomach I am about this.

I have worked every day of the week, Monday through Friday, this month.... and have also worked one Saturday and one Sunday (both full 24 hours).  I put in nearly 45 hours at Westside Pizza the first half of the month, in addition to my 96 hours at the BFD.  And for the second half of the month, I will have 70 hours in at Westside, along with 96 hours at the BFD.  Crazy...... 72 hours per week the first half of the month, and 83 hours per week for the second half.  In addition to all of these hours of work, I have somehow managed to also find the time to get to Biolife and donate plasma a half a dozen times.  Another $160 to go directly towards the debt snowball.  No wonder January had basically come and gone, and I have really nothing to show for it!!!

Not completely true, though.  All of my hard work is slowly paying off and helping to work towards a future of financial peace.  I managed to fully pay off and close the account on our first credit card debt.  That felt really good!!!  Just three more to go now, and the debt snowball is starting to roll.

In addition to making progress with the debt snowball, I have also found time to work on ways to try and save us more money per month, and per year, anywhere I could think of.  The first, as I mentioned already, was by cancelling my gym membership.  A savings of $40 per month right there, which can now go towards credit card debt.  The next thing I did was to look into our home owners insurance, which had gone up by $700 over just the past two years!!!  Ridiculous, to say the least.  Long story made short, with a lot of work, a really great friend in the insurance business, and determination to make things better for us...... we have a new insurance agent!!!  Marty Stauffer has now taken us on with our home owners insurance, as of yesterday morning.  The switch didn't save us as much as I was hoping initially, but still came in at $300 per year cheaper!  In addition, in 6 months to a year, things will have improved more, and we may see the rates drop again!!!  Along with that, I was able to keep our auto insurance with Liberty Mutual, without any rate increase.  And in doing so, I discovered that by paying monthly, as opposed to in full annually, we are paying nearly $150 more per year!!!  So, I just saved us an additional $150 per year as well, because we will now be paying for our auto insurance in full upon renewal.

I also made a big decision to pull escrow off of our mortgage account.  All monies are coming back to me in the next week or so.  From now on, I am monthly budgeting the monies and placing them into one of our three savings accounts, where that money will gain .5% interest quarterly, rather than letting an escrow company have it.  I will make the payments instead, and reap the rewards of interest gained while the money is in our savings account!!!

I wish I had learned about Dave Ramsey about 20 years ago!!!  We would be pretty darned wealthy right now if I had.  Oh well, at least we are finally heading in the right direction.  If  I could just come up with a second job that pays more than minimum wage, it wouldn't be such a slow and painful process.  But alas, at least I have a second job that is working around my BFD schedule, is close to home, and that s slowly allowing me to pay down our credit card debt..... much fast than with minimum payments!

The kids have been busy with school and basketball this month.  We are wrapping up the basketball season this week and weekend.  Sierra had had a really fun time for her first time playing.  And Evan  has really grown as a basketball player this season.  No doubt, football and baseball are his primary sports..... but, the kid loves being active, and has had a really great time playing with his buds.

This coming weekend is Superbowl Sunday already.  I can hardly believe it.  Evan is very excited.  We will be watching it here at home, as a family.  Little smokies, chips and dip, and football.  :-)  We are cheering on the Ravens this year.

I am hoping and praying to have more time for taking care of me in February.  I miss cycling so very much.  I miss exercise so very much.  I miss feeling good about myself so very much.  I have backed off my work hours at Westside for the month of February by one day each week.  This will give me one day off during the week, besides weekends, to hopefully better take care of myself, and to get some things done that just aren't happening here now. 

For now, time to start thinking about and working on taxes.  Still waiting for all of the paperwork to arrive, but should be able to get them done in the month of February I would think.

For now, time to start mentally preparing for another long day at Westside......

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 1, 2013...... YIKES!!!

YIKES!!!  It really happened.  A whole year came and went in the blink of my eyes!!!  Absolutely crazy, but here I sit, watching the sun rise outside on this first day of January, 2013.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to us all..... and may each and every one of us find new and/or renewed health (physical, spiritual and emotional), happiness and joy in our lives throughout the next twelve months!!!

For today, I pray that all of my family, friends and loved ones are able to just simply relax and take it all in....... reflect on the good things of this past year, and focus forward on plans for the upcoming year ahead as well.

Thank you to each and every one of you for being a part of my life.  Life.... it's messy sometimes, but I love it just the same!

Time to start thinking about taxes now...... Major Downer!  :-(

Have a great day, a fantastic start to January, and a fabulous New Year as well   :-)

Oh, and to end on a positive note...... today, I get a 2% pay increase at the BFD, and I also get an $0.11 per hour raise at Westside Pizza!!!  Things are already looking up for 2013!!!