Saturday, October 25, 2008

Your Extra Paycheck

Trent at the Simple Dollar posted recently about what you should do with an extra paycheck. He says you should treat it like a regular one. I agree somewhat buy not entirely. Of course I don't believe you should blow it all on yourself either. Since we will be getting ours next Friday I thought I would break down what I plan to do with it.

1. Take out 2 weeks expenses. Don't forget to take money out of the check that you will actually need during the two week period. Lunch and gas comes to mind. These are expenses that I pull every two weeks for my husband. (Mine come out monthly)

2. Sock it away. We have sub accounts in our savings for things like annual expenses, irregular expenses etc. I am going to make an extra payment into each of these accounts with this check. This means that this month instead of one payment we are making two. (You could do this with your mortgage too!)

3. Energy upgrades. I am going to buy a few things to make our home more energy efficient. Now is the perfect time to do it as we move out of the cool season and into the COLD season! We need some weatherstripping on a few of our windows. That is one thing I will be doing.

4. Christmas. I still have not started consistently saving for Christmas. My husband gets a reliable bonus check which we normally use. We will add any left over to that. Never fear!!! I am not planning on using it to over spend. We are going to make a Christmas budget and stick to it. Any extra money we have will go to debt repayment.

So, how do you feel about the "extra check"? Will you spend yours? Save it? Ignore it? I would love to know.

Monday, October 13, 2008

So, Static Isn't Working For Me!

I am conflicted. I cannot post as often as I would like, so part of me feels very guilty when I am "trying" to post daily and cannot. I feel like I am letting my readers down. However, I guess not posting anything is just as much of a let down. I had a long conversation with myself today though and I forgot that I started blogging for ME not anyone else, not to get readers, not to make money on adsense (which if you must know, I have yet to do!!)

I realized that while it is still going good, my finances feel chaotic because I am not talking about them. I am not getting ideas out of my head and on to paper... or screen. I need that. I need it for me and my sanity. I had forgotten how much blogging helps ME! So, I am back with this post and maybe another one, or maybe not (that is honestly why I stress subscribing... not to get a bunch of subscribers but so you will know if I post again.)

So, a little update. September was actually a little anniversary for me. It marked one year of putting my finances down on paper each month. I now have a better streamlined version, but those first few months of actually doing it on paper really helped me work out the kinks. I have also upped my grocery budget. I was really trying to come in under budget each month, but no matter how little I bought, or how many coupons I clipped, it was becoming apparent that my budget was inadequate. So, now I am shooting for $400 per month. I think this may have to increase even a bit more. For no other reason than the cost of things going up so much.

I really did myself some good this summer. I posted a couple times on how I planned to change my paycheck deductions, my w4 etc. Well, I did those things just in the nick of time. I think that is why the gas issue didn't really affect us. Now that prices are going back down, I can actually use those increases I added to my budget to pay down some more debt.

I found out some bad-good news this week. I do NOT qualify anymore to have $5000 paid back on my student loans. This is bad because, well, if I had remained a regular classroom teacher i would have gotten the money. However, I also consider it good news because I was planning on doing this weird sidestep thing on paying back that debt and now I know I can just go ahead and pay it down like any other debt because there will be no extra money.

I am starting to get a little backsliding from my dear husband... He is starting to want to spend again. He got a raise at work which I think would be best served going to pay back debt, however he thinks I should add it to his biweekly allowance. I do not agree. We will see what comes of this.

Anyway, I have had ideas recently for posts, but I did nothing with them since I was "static" over here. I have changed my mind. I think I will post when the mood strikes me, but as usual, you can expect this blog to pick up more around holidays and summer. Today is my first true "day off" (no kids, no work) since July!! Ahhhhhh....... I am enjoying it.