Posted in Financial Fast, Unnecessary spending

Financial Fast fail

There are so many times I make those “New Years resolution” and it lasts two weeks if I’m lucky. Recently I decided to do another Financial Fast where I stop spending on anything except needs.

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Yeah, I’ve failed more than I can count in the last ten days. Wait, it’s only been ten days?!

I have successfully spent money on “wants” at so many stores! And today a group of us at work went to eat a small bite after the career fair out on for separating soldiers.

Talk about a total fail. Adding up all my unnecessary expenses in the last ten days, is say in at around $100! Oh my, I need to get back on this Financial Fast if I’m ever going to pay off bills!

6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” 7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. (‭Haggai‬ ‭1‬:‭6-7‬ NIV)

It is important to place careful thought into how we spend the money God blesses us with. How do you steward the money God gives you?

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Posted in budget, Financial Fast, Groceries

Grocery shopping

The inevitable grocery shopping day. It’s necessary at least once a week, but many weeks it’s much more often. Groceries in Hawaii are ridiculous. I likely spend on average of $150-200 a week on groceries. I’m starting to limit the frequency of shopping and I Derrick my best to stick to my list.

However, yesterday, I indulged and chose to shop at Target instead of Safeway. Except there were a few things I could not find, so I need to shop again at another store tomorrow.

There were a bunch of items on clearance, which meant I splurged a bit. I think it’s quite worth it and will save me the cost of buying the item at a later date when it is not on clearance. So, I bargained with myself at the store.

Other than my chai tea latte mix that I drink every morning and the tomatoes and basil to go with my mozzarella cheese, I’m fully stocked for at least a week, hopefully more. So I’ll make a quick stop for these items before work tomorrow and hold it in my work refrigerator. Then possibly get some bread and milk next week and we should be good for a while.

I’m learning to use what we’ve got, so the lunch and dinner menus are limited until my next payday, which isn’t until September 19.

Luckily a few items are on my rebates app on my phone, so I get a few bucks back! And it got me some shopkick points for another app, in my attempt to get a decent gift card for Target on a later date. Maybe I should shoot for $100 gift card, which means I need to use the app more frequently!

This might save some cash for Christmas, I better stop in for shopkick points more often!

How are you budgeting for groceries? Christmas? Leave a comment to share!

Posted in budget, Financial Fast

Birthday blunders

No, it’s not my birthday nor anyone else in the family. But, we did go to a five year old’s birthday party today. Don’t get me wrong the party was loads of fun and I had a chance to catch up with some friends.

But, the birthday present is what caused me to go shopping yesterday. The Financial Fast does not allow for gift giving. But, I really wanted to give back to this cutie who worked so hard during soccer season when I was assistant coach.

I bought her two cute toys and a moderately priced LEGO toy for my own five year old. My child insisted on putting together his Legos last night. Then proceeded to being it out during the party and lost a piece.

So, I bent the Financial Fast rules to buy a gift for the birthday girl, gave in to buy a you for my own child, then he lost a piece.

On a good note, I brought home some delicious leftovers and heated it up for dinner! It all pays off in the end, I hope!

Happy birthday, little friend!

Posted in budget, Debt management, Financial Fast

Financial Fast – round 2

Several months ago, I attempted a 30-day Financial Fast. What’s the idea behind a financial fast? Basically, it’s to lower expenses, pay off creditors, and start saving.

Yet, it seems I have since made matters worse. It’s so easy to become focused on what you don’t have and splurge on things you don’t need.

Here’s where budgeting and being extremely strict about spending comes into play. I usually do not spend much on anything. But just one slip of payments to creditors and the fees go haywire!

Today is September 2nd and lets get this budget figured out before the end of the year. In fact, let’s start the financial fast today and pay off some major creditors!

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (‭Luke‬ ‭16‬:‭10‬ NIV)

I don’t get paid much, especially by the means to live in “paradise” Hawaii. The cost of living here is ridiculous and the every day needs are totally unfriendly prices. There’s no easy way out here.

Currently I have 5 creditors, plus a college loan to pay off. Unfortunately, my income does not allow for me to pay off credit cards and not use any of them for anything.

I do have one that is a specialty card that I can only charge for specific charges, which I refuse to use anymore. Unfortunately, the total this far is higher than it should be and I should place more on it monthly than I do so that I can snowball the payments to the next card.

Also, my bank account is pretty bare at the moment so it looks like we’ll be cleaning out the refrigerator this week and not buying groceries. Let’s see how far this pantry can stretch as well!

Payday is this Friday. I get paid every other week. Stretching the income for two weeks is indeed a challenge!

There’s also a freebie book I found on budgeting God’s way. I am determined to read a chapter a day and see how educating myself will be helpful as well in curbing the spending.

But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14‬:‭40‬ NIV)

Posted in budget, Financial Fast, Groceries, Quality Time

Financial Fast fiasco

During this Lent season, I’ve been doing a financial fast that was encouraged by a book I started reading before Lent began. It’s a 21-day Financial Fast by Michelle Singletary. This book focused on many areas I’ve learned through the Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University that I took a couple years ago, but from a female perspective, which is what I needed!

Last week, I ended up going to the grocery store to grab a few ingredients for dinner. Then the very next day it realized my son needed juice and food for his school lunches. Back to the store I went.

And then on Friday night, i was lazy and didn’t want to cook. We ordered pizza from Papa John’s. Then, I opened an email about my son’s i9 soccer that is scheduled to start April 12. It reads that first practice and meet & greet is the next day. What?! How did I miss this information? Oh, I just deleted a bunch of emails from i9, was it in there? Shucks!

The child didn’t have any soccer shoes, shin guards, nothing! Off to Sports Authority we went yesterday, as soon as the store opened. They have a deal where you can buy a ball, shoes, and shin guards for $30! I’ll take it! The hardest part was finding his shoe size. After digging in the back, I found his size hiding. Thank God they had his size!

We get him to his first practice and meet & greet to find out he has no coach!! What is going on here?! The i9 staff take care of it until a coach steps up. I’m totally flabbergasted that there’s no coach. My son gets home and says, “Mommy, you coach!” Seriously?! I’ll think about it.

Needless to say, I might have gotten paid on Friday, but some items just we’re not in the April budget!! And it’s only April 6!! What a fiasco this week has been!

Posted in budget, Debt management, Financial Fast

Snowballs in Hawaii

Recently, I paid off a credit card (which was once over $16,000) and another debt. When you pay off one bill and you use that money to add to payments to the next bill, it’s called a snowball. Eventually, you can pay off everything with the larger payments that build up month to month.

If you have more than one debt, it is best to pay off the smaller debts first, then use those payments to snowball to the next largest debt. If you have two debts that are about the same amount, pay off the one with the higher interest rate first.

Just like how snowballs build up as it rolls down a hill, these payments build up as we pay off bills. So, we have snowballs in Hawaii!

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Posted in budget, Financial Fast

What’s for lunch?

Usually, my son has been getting some mini corn dogs and pizza rolls for his lunches. His preschool has a no nuts and no foods with sugar as the top two ingredients. This makes lunch making complicated.

So, today ends the mini corn dogs that we have in stock and the goal is to not go grocery shopping until the weekend. What do I make him for lunch for Thursday and Friday?

Thinking about what we already have there are a few options that he’s had before and may be okay with having. For example, hot dogs is always a winner with him. Or tuna salad sandwiches. Sometimes he’s okay with bacon eggs and a waffle for lunch. I guess I really can stretch two more days!

What do you feed your kiddos for lunch?

Posted in budget, Debt management, Financial Fast

Calculating my debt

Part of my Financial Fast that I began a couple weeks prior to Lent, I was instructed to work on my budget. Yikes! What a task that I was not really prepared for! Yet, obviously necessary!

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So, I finally sat down and worked on figuring out my debts and how much I owe and the respective APR. I used a debt reduction calculator spreadsheet I found on http://www.vertex42.com, which has so many spreadsheets for various needs in life.

What a surprise! I thought it would take me a good 50 years to pay off my college loans, but at the rate I’m paying now? I should snowball my payments and pay it all off in 2027, that’s only 13 years! There is hope!

“Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe to no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” ~Romans 13:7-8

Posted in budget, Financial Fast

Oops, I fell off the budget buggy

To kill time today, I stopped at Office Depot to get some shopkick points. Not only did I get my points, but I also bought a journal that has replaceable fillers. I just thought it was so cool!

Needless to say, it was not in the budget! Neither were the books we bought last week, but I’m actually reading the book I bought.

And now to figure out the purpose of this journal. I do want to journal about work. I also want to journal my devotions with God and the visions God downloads in me. And a journal of my progress in my new venture as well as a previous one. I want to journal everything!

Let me tell you, I love buying journals and I love starting journals. Not often do I get through it all, but sometimes I do!!

Posted in Financial Fast

Another week of meals without going to the store

Ever since I spent nearly double my grocery budget on groceries last week, I’ve been saying we have enough food for two weeks. My goal is to get through a second week without even going to the store.

I have planned out our dinners for this next week, which still leaves us with more food left over. That works out well. And I can only hope that we don’t run out of milk and eggs and bread for several more days at least.

Just maybe, I can do this Financial Fast!