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Check-in about fitness, finances, etc.

March 21st, 2014 at 08:48 am

I realize it's been a while since I mentioned my workouts! I haven't done as many as I would have hoped by today--only 11, which means I'd only have one free day after today (when I know I'm not working out) to get to 20. So 9 workouts to go. Even if I don't make the goal, I'll keep working out as many nights as I can find the time or energy. Heck, I can jog 30 minutes at a slightly higher pace than when I started the month, so even that's something.

On the financial side, a few more credit card rewards have come in, so I've canceled a few more cards. We "only" have 11 open between the three of us now! I also have three more that can be canceled now, and three that we need to wait for the rewards on. I'll try to cancel those three this weekend, and then we'll be down to 8! Not for long, though; as soon as we're ready to start purchasing things for the bathroom reno, I'm going to take out a few more bonus cards.

The bonuses we've received so far, along with AS's $1000 check from her recent speaking engagement, helped me pay off my bday party and have enough saved up for our upcoming tax bill. I reckon we'll owe about $1700 between the three of us; I already got AS's federal refund and saved that, so I just had to come up with about $1150 more, and now I nearly have that!

Now we can move on to saving up our snowflakes/extra money for our other unbudgeted wants. All we have left now are (including tax bill since I haven't paid it yet):
Duvet/comforter $40
Dual citizenship for girls $580
NT passport $250
AS yoga x38 $570
Swim lessons (3/$160) $480
2nd half of laptop $500
SL bed & mattress $120
Girls' new snow gear $150
Tax bill $1,154

At least some of these can be taken care of through Amazon or other retailers, so when my SW credit card bonus comes through I'll redeem for gift cards with these items in mind.

So that's $3844 of projected expenses. I have slightly more in expected snowflakes than expected expenses (mostly thru CC bonuses), but you'll see that it's assuming I take out 4 more rewards cards over the course of the year (2 Discovers and 2 Southwests). Expected snowflakes:
Current surplus $1,135.63
Apr-Dec surplus $479
CC bonuses $300
CJ raise $350
Amex rewds $150
Other CC rewards $40
SW GCs $401
NT SW GC? $401
AS SW GC? $401
CJ work anniv bonus $25
NT Discover bonus? $150
AS Discover bonus? $150
Amex GC balance $19
projected total $4,002

I haven't factored in NT's raise because I don't want to count on it (in case he finds a job he likes that pays less), so as long as he stays in his current job, that's a bit more on the surplus side. And this doesn't factor in student loans, which I'm still planning to pay off this year if we don't suffer a major income reduction when our career stuff nets out.

We also have a stack of books to try and sell on half.com, and we'll be gathering up detritus to try and sell at our friend's garage sale this spring. So I'm not ruling out other snowflakes (nor am I expecting to get off scott free on unexpected expenses, so I figure it'll balance out in the end).

On the bathroom reno front, we scheduled one contractor consultation at the home&garden expo, had to cancel and reschedule (their fault), but have since decided they're not the best for us so are planning to cancel altogether. Instead we contacted our realtor to give us some showings of other condos in our building that are on the market and have had recent bathroom renos, so we can get an idea of our "competition." There was one contractor we talked to at the expo who seemed very willing to help keep costs down by determining what we could do on our own and what we needed a pro to do, so we'll probably contact him. And we had a look at Ikea's bathroom offerings, and they actually look pretty good -- might be able to save money on the vanity and sink basin there, so we can use the money on other things that matter more (like actual fixtures, tiles, etc.)

So, things are trucking along pretty well overall. Tonight we have the 4th of our 5 birthday celebrations (NT's), and we're going to a nice restaurant that does wood-fired pizza. Next Saturday is our 5th and final birthday celebration, our little SL's 2nd birthday! I'm pretty far in the hole on my spending money, but I have hopes that I can recoup by early April. I've cut out incidental spending completely for myself, but bigger chunks of expenses keep coming up, such as NT's dinner tonight, and ordering flowers for my mom (HER bday is next week too!), and babysitting this Thursday for a date night. Right now I'm $60 in debt, but after pizza and date night, I'll probably be another $80 in the hole, which means if I don't take any money for myself next week, I'll still be $60 down. SL's bday will probably be another $20-$30 because we're ordering in food for a few friends. Then the next week (assuming no more reasons to spend money come up) if I don't take out any money for myself and don't spend anything, I should break even! Which means I can hopefully start drawing a regular allowance for myself April 11! Whew, this is definitely the farthest in the hole I've ever gone with my spending money; I'll be glad to get back to normal.

OK, enough babbling; got to get some work done today!

2 Responses to “Check-in about fitness, finances, etc.”

  1. snafu Says:

    Is the number of CCs open as NT, AS or yourself upsetting you? Are you seeing some negative impact of holding a bunch of CCs for various time frames?

    I hope it's ok to mention that renovations are very stressful whether done by a professional or combined with DIY. If you prepare for the worse, whatever happens doesn't feel so bad. Just go for a walk when you want to throttle someone. Having a bathrm out of service is ghastly. Having tradesmen coming and going feels like an invasion of privacy. The only thing worse is if they don't show up as scheduled because step II can't begin until step I is completed. Demolition creates a horrid mess no matter how carefully the area is taped off, the entire place goes topsy turvy. Dust seems to arrive from next door and down the street. Problems hiding behind walls get exposed, parts no longer meet code and things break. Contractors miss days, miss deadlines and discover common components are sold out, not in stock or some kind of story that means more cost than quoted. Even if you discover the best idea ever...don't consider changing the plan mid stream. The cost spirals out-of-control.

    Can you tell I'm an experienced renovation warrior?

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    It sounds like you have some good ideas to bring in extra income.

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