Where have we been the past few months? Well life got crazy and debt snowballing slowed down for the remainder of the year, while we cash flow and fill up some savings accounts.
We have been busy paying off debt, while trying to maintain a nice comfy lifestyle (not as comfy as I portray since my husband always thinks we are hurting for more money- which is part of my evil plan to not spend lol.)
Since January 2016 we have paid over $2,000 towards debt. Paying off 3 store credit cards. I’ll admit we haven’t been as “gazelle” intense as we should, and that we definitely could have paid more if we had tried. But we also had a ton of things happen this year that was out of the norm. Found out $200 a month was going to Xbox subscriptions and such- those have been canceled. Had to pay about $500 in the first few months towards computer protection programs that my tech-savvy husband swears by, and we ALWAYS forget to put money aside for this, so there went the emergency fund we had built up.
Then with taxes we bought some much needed furniture (using the cash, so yay for no payment plans.) new couches, a coffee table, bedroom furniture for us, two working dressers (much needed) and my kid got a cheap bed room put together thanks to amazon, bed frame, mattress, etc. unfortunately the site we ordered from keeps glitching and for several months straight it continues to give and take $349 (the cost of one piece we bought) away and giving it back, and vice versa. 2 days before my dental surgery it took the amount TWICE from my account! Leaving us in the negative, with overcharges from other companies, and only the cash in our pocket to pay for the meds.
I had wisdom teeth removed (5 of them in early April) all that after insurance put onto a care credit card, cash flowing the cost of the prescription meds. Then I had an abscess and that required more meds.
One of our biggest budget eaters has been exclusively- COMCAST. Around here, there is no other choice. Data caps were never our friends. We had a limit of only getting a small amount of data monthly, and we would triple that amount, thereby raising our monthly bill to as high as $280; which is over $100 more than it should be. Finally I called and got someone to agree to put us on unlimited data package for a $35 more a month. Which was still less than what we paid for after data over charge, so I believed it to be a good deal. And then- not even kidding- the following month, Comcast raised its data limit to a terabyte, which was more than we have ever used on a good month. So I had to call, cancel my data package and live within the data cap to save that $35 back. Oh my goodness the amount of run around we did for this was insane.
We also got me a new phone, which was also- much needed, finally got my phones 2 year contract up and it was eligible for an upgrade-yay, because the phone I had was so darn glitchy and had so many issues connecting with internet and even wanting to stay turned on it was no doubt on its last leg. So I thought- hey, I’ll switch from this old droid to a nice new apple iPhone se. bad idea, the dang phone wouldn’t connect to my house Wi-Fi-ever. And when it did, it stopped minutes later without warning, causing me to go over my 2 GB data plan and have over charges with Verizon-first time in 2 years that has happened to me. So before my 14days was up I went into a Verizon store and switched it out to a different phone, back to droid- but this time a droid mix 2. Of course we asked about a cheaper monthly plan, but was assured our plan was the cheapest and the only thing that made sense was to pay the cost of the phone (discounted) in cash right then and there, and not to pay it monthly throughout the 2 year contract time because that would have meant I not only paid a few more dollars monthly, but it also left me paying $200 more in the long run for the same phone. So by paying cash for this phone I saved $200, and my monthly bill doesn’t change. But I also had to pay a $40 restocking fee for the iPhone. Luckily though, I got a free glass screen cover for my new droid to protect it from scratches and damage as amazon review item-it’s been holding up great. Part of our monthly Verizon bill is an $11 for each phone for insurance to replace things with a $99 deductible- we could cancel this and save money, but having used the insurance 3 times in the past 3 years I don’t want to risk removal because that’s when Murphy hits.
We finally made friends that wanted to hang out and do stuff, so bbqs and driving around to parks have been on our agenda often this summer. My husband’s been selling things to pay for his fun expenses when they exceed our budget we have set aside, for instance, he sold his ps4 and got money for his fireworks for Fourth of July. We went camping and having never gone camping together before, we needed all the basic supplies- tent, grill, etc. our food budget that weekend was cheap but after the sleeping bags and tents and other much needed items, it was over $200, but saved a lot due to sales and amazon reviewing. Plus we can reuse almost everything a million times over, so this was an investment in getting out of our house more often.
Then we found out I was pregnant, and then I lost it 11 weeks later. So understandably we spent a lot of money on fast foods and delivery that week as I could hardly remove myself from the couch due to pains.
My sister is flying in to visit us for 10days or so, she lands in a few short days and I’m excited. I haven’t seen her in over a year so we are excited. I’m trying so hard to get a gf meal plan together that isn’t gf breads and things that taste like sand. I promised my husband he could eat gf and not even notice a difference in his regular meals. Since she’s a celiac, and not just on a gf diet, things can get tricky with ingredient labels, but I’m prepared for this. We already eat a lot of fresh produce and salads so I know I can get away with a ton, my biggest money saving issues lay with trying to find portable lunch ideas and how on earth I can afford the gas money to travel around with her like I want to do.
And that’s all I can share for now… but stay tuned because some big things are coming up in our lives next month or so.