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Blogoversary - 7 Years!

March 11th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Woot! Happy Blogoversary to me! Big Grin



Here are today's stats:

•Date Started: Mar 11, 2006
•Entries: 1,213
•Comments: 5,039
•Total Visits: 3,066,095

I want to appreciate all of the fellow bloggers here who have provided friendship, support, an occasional and much needed knock on the noggin, and lots of financial advice! Each of you have made this an amazingly interesting and fun 7 years!

I had to make a big girl decision today. Because of the tax situation and what we now owe to the state...I cancelled the cruise. There was a part of me that cried NOOOOOOO....but the realistic part won. It makes no sense to pull from savings to pay this debt AND still take an extravagant vacation. I will pay the taxes, budget for future year taxes, continue on the debt trajectory, and then save for a vacation. This is so much more in line with my BHAG of retiring at 60, if not sooner.

Because it was far enough out, there were no penalties for cancelling the cruise, but I will end up paying $75 on my airline ticket. I dont think there is a fee on the hubs since he is a MVP with Alaska Air.

Day one back at work is as insanely busy as I had envisioned, so this is my very short lunch break...just taking a little time out to woot with my SA friends! Thanks for making this financial journey so much more enjoyable!

Bonus and vacation plans

February 2nd, 2013 at 10:55 pm

So glad I copied this before sending...so I didnt have to start over.

I had a great time at the banquet tonight. I already set up a transfer to ING on Monday to include the tonights bonus plus the rebate money I have saved this year. All in all I am transferring $4344 to savings. Then, when the hub comes home next, we can decide which bills to pay with the money.

I reserved the excursions we are planning for the cruise. Since I can change up until a few days before the cruise, I thought it was a good idea to reserve spots NOW for the things we really want to do before they book up. Then, if we change our mind, I can cancel with no penalty.

I also finished paying for the hotel and Disney tickets today.

The money for both trips is budgeted not coming out of savings or being put on debt.

I started logging food again on My Fitness Pal...and am starting to use the free weights that we have. Tomorrow I plan to also incorporate a walk into the plan. I need to get ready for the walking at Disneyland and I really want to get in better shape for the cruise. I did really good with the food logging until the banquet tonight..the food was spectacular and I decided to just reset in the morning and start over.

Looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow. Superbowl or not, I want to get in some down time. Life is good!

Coffee in Seattle in August...

January 9th, 2013 at 07:05 pm

I booked the airline tickets today for our cruise in August. I arrive in Seattle about 4 hours before the hub does. That leaves at least a couple of hours to have coffee with SA friends in the area...hmmm.

My job posted the calculator function today for our rewards bonus. It is based on salary, goals and evaluation. I plugged in my best guess on my eval and was very pleasantly surprised to see the results. After taxes, and with all the other 'extra' end of the year money I have received, I will have about $4k to pay on debt at the beginning of Feb. Now that we have our emergency fund funded, I want to focus earnestly on this weight around our shoulders called consumer debt. I have disclosed before that the debt was made during time I had taken off work for two year...primarily with my sons business that failed and on home repairs on our older country home. It will take 3-4 years for us to pay it off, but there is light at the end of this very long tunnel.

I DO want to balance paying this debt off with enjoying this stage in our lives and traveling. The hub and I both want to explore a little now that the kids are raised...but I want to also be a good steward of our money and make sure debt is paid as much as possible along the way. My goal is to plan one bigger vacation and a few mini vacations each year. But extra money outside of the vacation budget, will go towards debt.

Tonight, I enjoyed the marinaded teriyaki chicken breast, onion and pineapple over rice. Uh, YUM. The chicken was left over...so the meal was pretty cheap. One way I can help with our budget is to live frugally while the hub is in Alaska- which I try to do. Thankfully, I have several QUICK meals that can be fixed, baked and on the plate in 30 minutes or so...which helps when youre tired- it just takes planning. I have leftovers for lunch and dinner tomorrow.

Tomorrow I find out what the hubs check will be. Also, it should be DD3s first payday this week. She had to borrow quite a bit to pay off her truck and get all her gear and get to her her job, so a portion of her checks will pay us back for a while. I always look forward to seeing what the check is...its budgeted up to a certain dollar amount, the rest is extra to put towards debt, or unexpected expenses. This week, we havent had any unexpected stuff, so it can all go towards the debt. My longer term goal is to retire in 8 years, so paying off the debt and maximizing savings is a priority now.

Happy New Years! Stay Safe

December 31st, 2012 at 05:44 pm

Today was certainly a day of rest here. I was plum tuckered and slept in...then just relaxed most of the day. I did go grocery shopping and picked up the fixings for chicken piccata for DD3 for tomorrow night, which is her request for her last meal here before she leaves for Alaska. I will have plenty of left overs for a couple of days and got supplies to make some enchiladas for the rest of the week.

I booked our cruise tonight. We have never been on one, but always wanted to go one one. We will be going to Alaska in August. I am so excited. We will be in Seattle for a couple of days before the cruise, so I hope to see some of the sites there too. We opted to go for a room with a balcony. Having never been, we opted for this option, so that we could have a quiet spot to enjoy the trip, if the business gets too much. (The hub will just be getting off a three week rotation, so too many people with no plan b is not a good thing)..

yippee!

I will be home again tomorrow...and then back over on the coast all day Wednesday...then back here Thursday and Friday...so this week will fly by.

I am working on goals tonight and tomorrow. Will post them when I have it all figured out.

Happy New Years friends. Stay safe tonight!


New tires and (fingers crossed) a cruise!

December 18th, 2012 at 07:17 pm

Last night we had a weather warning. This morning there was about an inch or two on the ground- the roads were an ice patch. On the way to work, cars were sliding all over the place. Luckily, I made it to work just fine. The hub is leaving tomorrow, so he took my car in to have tires rotated and it was good timing, because my two front tires were too worn. 2 new tires, $200. I have that in the car fund- so thankfully, it wasnt a hit to the budget right now. I knew the tires were showing wear, which is why we were getting them rotated, but I am really glad we had them checked and the new ones put on.

The hub is packing tonight. This is his first rotation of only two weeks home, followed by 4 weeks gone. Frown It means extra paychecks...but these are long stretches. Thankfully, I have Holidays and kids to keep me busy.

The cupcakes at work were a hit. (once I fixed the frosting issue) They really turned out tasty, and everyone seems to be enjoying having them to snack on. Tomorrow, we are having our end of year lunch with our department at Olive Garden. I am looking forward to spending the lunch hour enjoying co-workers offsite at a free to us lunch!

On an really exciting note..the hub and I want to take a cruise this year- a first for us!! I have been saving since September for the trip and will continue saving through August. We looked online tonight and have decided to book on Princess Cruise Lines. We will be going on an Alaska cruise, most likely next August. I signed up for their emails, hopefully that will result in getting a few deals before I book. I like that they have 100% refund until the end of May if we cancel. By May, we will know for certain if the dates we pick will work.