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Debt goal met, plus catching up

December 16th, 2010 at 03:27 pm

Oh my, it's been ages since I posted! We've had an insane blizzard followed by a rather severe cold snap, and it's just thrown everything off for me--working out, eating; even my budgeting spreadsheet is so jumbled up with Xmas shopping debits that I'm probably going to just fudge some numbers to get it to work out once we're done with all this madness. I don't think I'll be too far off, but I'm bound to lose track of which purchases come out of which line item at some point, or double-count or omit something from my calcuations.

Anyway, AS's student loan payment hit. Since we'd made some extra payments earlier in the month, nearly all of this payment went to principal: $138. That means we've paid $3038 this month, exceeding our $3000 goal!

Other news...let's see if I can get to it all before I get hit with any work.

NT got news of his bonus and it should hit our bank account tomorrow. $3500 pretax!! Hard to say what it'll be after tax--I'm guessing $2100. We're each getting $100 out of it, plus we're giving tips to our barber and daycare lady, and most of the rest is going into our lawyer fund. I'm feeling really good about that fund; this should bring it up over $5500! Since my very maximum estimate for all that we want our lawyer to do is $9000, we're nearly two-thirds of the way there. And the $9000 is (I'm hoping) an extravagant overestimate.

We had our holiday party today, with some really good gourmet food, wine and champagne. I had fun hanging out with the contractor proofreader I helped hire--she seems nice but one or both of us is usually so busy that we barely ever talk. Turns out she's vegetarian too! We also got $250 each in Amex cards, and my boss also gave me another $150. I'm going to distribute that among us for fun spending, since it was COMPLETELY unexpected. I'm hoping this means my boss really values me and is going to fight for my raise (and I further hope he doesn't think this is an adequate replacement for a raise in my mind--it's very very nice, but it's not pacifying my desire for a real raise). Today's been super slow so I've taken the opportunity to order myself some Wii games with all this extra spending money. Hopefully some will arrive in time for Xmas vacation, because it's so enjoyable lazing around the house playing video games! I never liked them as a kid, but as an adult I find that trivial (yet slightly challenging) activities are an essential balance to all the work and stress of real life. And will hopefully help stave off senility! Smile

I sent my dad some smaller-than-usual Xmas wish lists for us, assuming after the big cash gift that he and Mom might want to take it easy on gift buying. No dice--I got an email with pointed reference to our "very short list" asking what kind of gift cards he could get us to "fill in" the apparent gap. So, I sent him some more gift ideas. Jeez, I was just trying to make it easy on him and mom! LOL.

During the cold snap, I avoided taking AA out to daycare, so AS, NT and I took turns taking some time off to stay at home with her. My job was good about sending me files to proof from home, which I was very glad about--I don't have any paid leave left, so I had to try and telecommute for those days. I think it worked out OK.

I'd gained 2 lbs. at my Sunday weigh-in; no big surprise since I'd only worked out three times in the week and had been eating like I was about to go into hybernation. I calculated my net loss/gain since I started trying to be healthy and I've gained 1.1 lbs. All told, since it is the most decadent (and freezing/snowbound) time of year, it feels kind of good that I'm holding steady. I don't expect to lose too much weight until the new year, so as long as I don't gain 5-10 lbs. over Xmas I'll consider my quest to be successful so far.

We've got to plan our holiday menu this weekend! Unbelievably, we're already over budget on groceries since I reset the budget last month. We're just not good budgeters when it comes to food, and the addition of formula and some disposable diapers has ratcheted up our spending. If we can't turn this around after the new year, I guess I'll have to consider taking money out of another budget item and putting it toward groceries/household. It kind of bugs me, but good eating is a big priority for us, so I'd rather do that than deprive us of the foods we love. We've got the money for it.

All my Xmas shopping is done as of yesterday! I don't get gifts for many people; just AS, AA, NT and my parents.

I'm still working on 2011 goals and will post them sometime this month. I've invited AS and NT to come up with goals that I'll post and track if they want, so I'm also holding off in case they want to get in on it. NT's been swamped with end-of-semester stuff, but his last final is this Monday, so we'll all have a breather until mid-January, hopefully.

I still haven't booked our March trip to San Fran -- typicall by now I'd have all our reservations made! Either it's busier than usual or I'm managing my time really poorly. That's another thing I want to handle over the holidays.

Another thing we need to do is solidify our goals for our estate planning and send them to our lawyer. We had a great, informative meeting with him recently where he explained different things like wills and probate and trusts. We just need to sit down with what he told us and come up with a good plan that covers all scenarios.

Our pics from the photo shoot with our friend came in -- see below!! There's another one of us all in formation with our heads at different levels; I call it the "Bremen Town musicians" pose -- that one we made into a holiday card to send our families. NT's parents keep promising to upgrade their computers/internet access enough to use Skype webcam service, but they're all absolutely hopeless in the web-savvy department. Hopefully the jaw-dropping cuteness of these photos will spur them to figure it out already!

10 Responses to “Debt goal met, plus catching up”

  1. LittleGopher Says:

    What a cutie! She looks like a little pink snow princess. Your friend did a great job.

    The blizzard kept us homebound over the weekend too - best weekend ever!! Stay warm....

  2. NJDebbie Says:

    Your baby is just precious!

  3. monkeymama Says:

    San Fran??? How long will you be here? Big Grin

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Probably about 5 days. I haven't been there in years, but I LOVE San Fran. Probably in my top two or three cities to visit!

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    She is a cutie! Big Grin

  6. terri77 Says:

    What a great picture!

  7. Apprentice Fun-Frugalist Says:

    Great photo !

    I think you're doing great... I'm sure it's not joke adding a toddler into your personal, financial and shared lives. I tip my hat to you Good Lady !

  8. dmontngrey Says:

    Her smile cracks me up every time! She always looks so HAPPY! Big Grin

  9. homebody Says:

    Skype is so worth it! Tell the parents it is easy peasy! Just stick the web cam on the top of the screen, run the software and you are ready!

    YD and DH have been skyping between Northern California and Afghanistan frequently.

  10. Campfrugal Says:

    What a beautiful baby!

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