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January 26th, 2016 at 10:32 am

Moving to Northern California wasn't the easiest. Everything out here is ridiculously overpriced- especially real estate! When we moved up here, I managed to get a job part time at a college to add a little bit of money here and there to an exhausting budget. That was about a year and a half ago.

Fast forward to 2016 and I am now working full time. I actually love my job and the fact that I'm making a lot more than I did back home in the ole' big apple. Though this thankful increase of funds could not have come at a better time, now we are faced with a tough decision.

Housing: Rent/Own?

After all the bills are paid, we are left with approximately 1500 dollars to squirrel away, spend, or invest. Not much relief considering hubby's impending retirement will set us back about $1K monthly. Our current living quarters are provided by the military - a vastly under-appreciated commodity if you ask me. I'll have to come up with a plan to solidify living quarters asap!

Today I get to sit down with a financial planner for an hour to map out my 401K. I'm super excited - got my columnar pad with me filled with all the pertinent data- should be a breeze Smile

Law of Attraction

November 14th, 2014 at 11:13 am

Since I've begun my journey back towards saving, I've been spotting (and picking up!) found change again. While I still have my changepot jar tucked away from our New York finds years ago - my family and I have found a total of $5.21 in the past two weeks. Hubby and I found a local running trail nearby and found a very folded up five dollar bill and I found $0.15 in the parking lot at the college where I work. My daughter's school yielded the other $0.06.

I definitely believe saving attracts money- or maybe it could be that I am looking on the ground more often and paying attention to every little coin I find? Regardless I feel so much better now that I am able to balance out my budget so quickly and am able to save up a few dollars in the process.

Happy Friday

Northern California not so bad :)

November 12th, 2014 at 11:47 am

And so two years to the letter, we receive word that Uncle Sam wants us up north... Voila nous-en! The weather up here is much nicer and the trees make it all the more pleasant. I was able to land a job while hubby does his military 'thing'.

Earlier today I logged on and took on Jeffrey's 52 week challenge and offered my children an incentive for saving. Yours truly will math their saving incentive 100% provided they do the following:

- Save every week for 52 weeks straight with no 'withdrawals'.
- place money in a sealed envelope marked 1-52
- grades must stay as they are (any drops reduces the matching percentage!)

So far they've agreed. Let's see how much this will cost me lol

It pays to look! ($24.74 thanks to uncle Sam!)

September 30th, 2012 at 07:18 am

So this is officially day 4 in our new surroundings. We just noticed that there are no AC's in our area. While my daughter is in utter agony over this, I'm actually quite excited. This means I'll be able to sweat properly and not feel the arctic blast in the middle of the night.

During our explorations at a local Target, my hubby and daughter picked out a really nice set of dinnerware. We bought it for $69.99 plus tax and felt it was a bargain. The next day, we visited an outlet mall and found the same set for the same price at 25% off. Not only was it lower in price but the store offered a generous military discount. We returned the dinnerware and purchased the set- and walked out with a whopping $24.74! That money went right into our side discretionary fund because we view it as money spent. The entire outlet mall offers a military discount- we will definitely shop there for our necessities!

armywife lesson learned # 1: Military Moves vs DITY moves!

September 24th, 2012 at 11:07 am

And so I sit here at our local post library combing through the savingadvice website - such a joy to be back on here again! So much to learn here! Since our incomes will be shrinking back down to one salary and I must resume my armywife lifestyle, I'll be updating this blog more often.

Today's lesson was learned the hard way. Since I am still technically working, I was unable to be present during the packing of our household goods. My husband (bless his soul) had his uniform out visibly and forgot to put it in the designated spot we labeled as DO NOT PACK. For those of you who have ever endured a household goods packup, you know what happened next lol... his boots were packed in one of the fifty or so boxes that are now safely tucked in the vehicle.

Fun stuff. That little slip up is gonna cost me $160.00

Winds of Change : 2012

September 19th, 2012 at 08:50 am

I stumbled across this website years ago when I was trying to take back financial control of my debt- here I am a few years later.. with looming debt and a cross country move in progress. so glad to be back!

10 things I am THANKFUL for :)

June 10th, 2008 at 05:45 pm

As with any journey, one must have the strength come from within in order to achieve. I've been with SavingAdvice for many years and have learned some great Personal finance tips. In the process I've 'fallen off the wagon', 'bumped my head on the way down', and simply attained 'frugal amnesia' by forgetting how I got to where I once was in the first place.

May was a very good month here chez moi-- we've managed to write down EVERYTHING we owe on and have split it into two groups:

1st of the month bills: Car, Tuitions, Student Loans, 2 Credit cards

15th of the month bills: Cable, Cellphone, and Food.

Having them down on paper made me breathe a little easier because now I can devise a game plan and attack my debt slowly. Thanks to the stimulus money, we were able to get rid of one old delinquent credit card that stood proudly at 30% (penalty APR). I could have used that money for other things but unfortunately the collector was none too cooperative with his terror tactics.

While I see there is a '10 things I Regret...' contest going on here.. I'd like to put a positive spin on and aptly name '10 things i'm thankful for...'

10. Computer proficiency- without it i'd be lost in a dated Personal finance book without any contemporary information/advice.

9. My car- even though it's a bit of a gas guzzler, I can happily seat my kids, hubby, and my kids' friends when they go out on escapades with us.

8. My friends- although I have less than a handful, without them I'd be lost. Thank you so much guys for coping with me Smile

7. My living arrangement- Living in this beautiful four bedroom apartment rent free is an absolute dream in this economy. While most look at it as ::sigh:: base housing, I look at it as a realtor's dream -beautiful beachfront view and quiet nights without loud motorbikes roaring up and down the streets

6. My plants- They bring me peace. I've realized that no matter how hard I try, I just can't keep pets.

5. My parents- Despite their issues, they are always there for us time and again.

4. CUNY colleges- I could have easily overpaid ridiculous tuition for the same education I found in CUNY. It's the best kept secret in New York! Smile

3. Saving Advice.com- Like a good friend, SavingAdvice keeps me informed and no matter what site I visit, I always tend to come back here to get the expert advice from familiar names I know Smile

2. Health- That's just a given. Life without good health is just CHALLENGING.

and 1 of course, my family- It took me being a mommy and a wife to understand what life really stands for. I don't regret what I've done to get us this far.

Life is a journey-- and I'm LOVING IT every step of the way! Onward!!

Wow.. must have fallen asleep at the wheel!

April 26th, 2008 at 03:30 pm

hello all my frugal friends and savers alike!

It's been quite a while since I've updated this blog! I'm still supplying found currency into my Changepot (total as of today is $764.43) but I must admit I've fallen off the frugal wagon. The first step to financial recovery is admission of an issue (my wallet keeps slimming down while my credit cards seem to swell up with unnecessary expense). I'll outline a budget and set to work on fixing this issue starting this weekend. Good thing this stimulus payment is coming our way- we'll be needing some extra bucks for the essentials before the cash crunch Smile

Rewards... who'da thunk?

October 24th, 2006 at 08:14 am

As I perused the holiday checklist, I've realized that the amount of people I have to shop for has decreased significantly. Hubby and I have racked up points with different reward cards and now it pays off!! We've redeemed over 12K in points- taking care of ten gifts which are being shipped (recipients not known yet)
8 3-pc pizza maker sets
2 mini Coach (changepurse) bags

Since there are five people outside of the family which I have to shop for, the pizza sets go for the ones with family.


Bri's anecdotes

October 23rd, 2006 at 08:30 am

My daughter has taken an interest in saving and making money in order to fund more entrepreneurial activities. I am so proud of her!

I figured I'd document her ideas on here so other tweenagers would like to undertake the same tasks to make a few extra bucks.

What do your children do to bring in some extra spending money?

GirlScout Idea: Gourmet Coffee Tip Jar

October 23rd, 2006 at 08:26 am

Last night my daughter made a "tip jar" similar to those in Dunkin' Donuts. She approached my sad husband (the seahawks lost) and asked him how much coffee he drinks daily.

"About Three cups a day", he replied. We found out two out of the three cups come from Dunkin' Donuts. The afternoon cup hails from the office where his assistant brews and gives out coffee for free as an office pick-me-up.

"How much do you spend on your Dunkin' Donuts coffee?" she asked him.

$3.00. Two dollars and change. The rest goes into the tip jar on the counter. She also learned that if he doesn't have enough for coffee, he scrounges up change.

My daughter handed him a jar with an opening up top. She vowed to wake up earlier in order to make him coffee. Instead of paying D&D $3.00, he is to put $3.00 in her coffee jar in exchange for a thermos full of cafe con leche. Easiest six bucks she could ever make. Let's see how long this accord lasts? lol

Time to shake the cob webs out of this wallet and spill it as it is....

October 18th, 2006 at 12:17 pm

I've been bad.
What started off as a good year with lots of excess money and little trips here and there has now become a budgeting nightmare.

My bad points:

I have student loans which threaten to report my payments as late (they kinda are)(20+yrs)

I've got a horrible contract with DirectTV which I have no power to negotiate with (1 yr)

I've got a new lease for a car that barely moves maybe once a week (it's semi-luxury) (3 Yrs)

I've got nice furniture which I now have two zero finance credit lines that give me two years to pay off before turning into giant inflated financial train wrecks. (2 Yrs)

I also have a huge personal debt which I pay monthly and cannot budge or face serious issues- leaving us with one functional check per month.


I won't despair too much.. here are my goo d points:

Thinking ahead of time, I separated two CD's which are due to expire right before thanksgiving- just in time to shop for the holidays so no worries about that.

I have managed to save a few dollars here and there with my envelopes despite not having a budget- though not as impressive as it could have been, three hundred is still a good number for saved money.

I haven't touched the found money but it's nice to know that if I ever need it, I have some money there in case of emergency.

Now that i've got those things off my chest.. it's off to step 2- naming the bills and placing them accordingly. Since I've accumulated two credit card bills, I have to budget out a certain amount of money in order to pay these cards off before 2008. I'll work on those now and post it later Smile

Thanks for reading... and it's great to be back! Smile

One Year Summary

October 18th, 2006 at 11:59 am

On October 9th, my found money jar celebrated its first birthday. The total amount of money we found and redeemed came out to exactly $365.50. During our inspection of coins we found a few valuable coins that proved to be of some value. Their face values were added into the 365.50 but the profit we'd received in exchange came out to exactly 14.00 (five silver half dollars: $17.50- $3.50 (face value) : $14.00)- making our grand total to $379.50.

I am quite happy because these change hunts have also helped my entire family slim down at least five pounds apiece. My daughter Bri is the most enthusiastic of all because she has discovered a new hobby- Numismatics! (aka coin collecting)

In the past week my family has found $20.05 (just enough to start the $20 challenge Smile ). This money marks a new fiscal year for the changepot- we hope to have more or less the same amount at this time next year... is it possible? Stay tuned here and on my blog for updates!