Time to revisit Operation Debt Butt-Kicking

As the wedding fast approaches (we’re at 40-some days and counting!!), and our dreams of having our own place again continue to swirl around – the finance notebook has had a very prominent spot in out lives.  I fell away from budgeting a little bit within the last few months while some of the injury stuff was going on, but I am now back to it, and am updating the binder a bit.  If you missed it, I wrote about my method and the notebook that I use back here.  It’s also needing a bit of an update as J and I are budgeting together now.  We haven’t joined accounts just  yet, but we know that is coming.

The basis of the Notebook still remains, sections have just been updated a bit.  Here’s where we stand:

Before the sections: Sheets with financial goals, honeymoon payments, big payments I know are coming, etc.
1- Debts: I have listed out each of my debts that I am working to pay off, and update it after each paycheck and bill pay session.  I also have a spot where I track how much I put towards debt each month, and fees that are charged.
2- Paychecks: Since each paycheck varies, I track the amount and how much income I made each month.
3- Budget: yep, you guessed it – the meat of the binder.
4- Spending Track: Oh, the wonderful task of tracking my spending each month.
5- Extra Income: Extra and unplanned income. Anything including sales from my Etsy store to rebates, and other items.
6- Yearly goals: My goals for 2014 (January-June and July-August) written out and tracked to see the progress.
7- Net Worth: I’ve always been interested in checking this, but hadn’t figured it until now.

I do my budgeting old school – pen and paper, and I have an excel spreadsheet that I also have set up.  It may seem a bit overkill, but it works for me.

In the excel sheet, I have a few different worksheets:

1- Yearly goals: My goals for 2014 (January-June and July-August) written out and tracked to see the progress.
2- Monthly Spent: tracking for monthly spending with graph that shows how much I put towards debt each month.
3- Monthly Budget: as it says..the budget.  The meat and potatoes of it all.
4- All Expense: Used to view expenses month to month, this helps with how much to budget for each section.
5- Overall Expense: Used to view our main fluctuating expenses each month, along with paychecks, side hustles, and debt payments.
6- Debt Payoff Projection: Tracking of our debt payoff, gives us a good idea of when we will be able to be debt-free.

I work on finances once a week, unless large purchases are made.  It’s quite a system, but it works for us.  Right now, the goal is to have all the honeymoon paid off by December, and all of my credit card debt paid off by next May when J graduates.  Then it is onto finding a place to live and really tackling his debt.

How do you budget/track your finances?

20 Ways I’ve Made Money

As I sit here re-working the budget because of altered pay due to worker’s comp, I started thinking of other ways I could supplement my income.  That then got me thinking of all of the different ways that I have made money throughout the years.

a)  Babysitting – I babysat for years starting at about 12.  I had a few regular families that I babysat for frequently.

b)  Garage sales – my mom and I do one every few years, usually when something is coming up that we need a little extra moolah for, or after a move.

c)  Puppet shows – my neighbor kids and I put together a puppet show when we were little and charged admission to the parents to watch.

d)  Dog sitting – I’ve watched a few neighbors’ dogs over the years.

e)  Chores at home – my parents paid us to do chores around the house when we were kids.

f)  Summer reading – my mom paid us a penny a page that we read during the summer.  There were a couple of summers that I made bank and read tons of books.

g)  Retail – I worked at an office supply store most of high school and some of college.

h)  Lab assistant – There were a few computer labs that I worked in while earning my bachelors degree at school.

i)  Party plan – I did a stint for a year with a party plan company.

j)  Mystery shopping – I did some mystery shopping during my first couple years out of college.  Needless to say, there weren’t many shops that made it incredibly worth it for me.

k)  Rebates/cash-back programs – Most online shopping I do is done through a few websites that I am able to earn cash back.

l)  Making things to sell – I have had a craft business since I was about 10 years old.  The items may have changed, but I’m still making and selling.  I have done both fairs and online sales.

m)  Collecting & recycling cans – I have been doing this for about four years now.  It’s not super lucrative, but has helped for paying off some debt.

n)  Ebay – I’ve sold my old things on Ebay, along with things I’ve bought to flip on Ebay.

o)  Amazon – When I have books that I am ready to get rid of, including text books, I head over to Amazon Marketplace and sell there.  I have sold quite a few, especially around the beginning of school semesters.

p)  Design services – I used to be a commercial Interior Designer, and provided some folks with help in their homes.  I did not ask for money, but was given money for my time.

q)  Hemming pants – I did some hemming for a co-worker in the past, and she paid me for the service.

r)  Photography – I don’t do too much, but I have done a bit of freelance photography.

s)  Clerical work – I did a bunch of clerical work for my mom when she was a teacher.  Everything from data entry to filing.  I also worked with her at a summer camp she put of for her students.

t)  Teaching dance – During my junior year of high school, I helped my dance teacher with a few of younger classes, my little kindergarten and first grade girls.

What are some different ways you have made money in your lifetime?


Saturday Savings Tally – Round 22


Happy Saturday!  This week, there appears to have been quite a bit of savings at Caribou…guess it was a coffee week!

So here we are, savings this week – even the pennies here and there count:

  • $0.30 – reusable cup & trivia at Caribou
  • $1.27 – coupons, sales & gift cards
  • $0.12 – found money while out and about

Total Savings:  $1.69
Total Savings in 2014: $568.79

Every little bit helps!