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Archive for August, 2010

The Week In Review

August 6th, 2010 at 06:53 am

Financially, we had a mixed week.

With the accounts royally messed up by some combintaion of myself and the bank, we've had virtually no spending this week. We've managed to scrounge our meals out of leftovers and stuff in the freezer, so except for one trip to the farmstand, we've skipped grocery shopping for the second week in a row.

Unfortunately, while not spending is good -not spending because you're out of $ is bad. After a final accounting to confirm the bank didn't lose any $, I made the decision to start with a clean slate. I opened a new checking and savings account with a bigger bank, and we'll (hopefully) complete that transition next week. I'm excited about some of the features that come with these new accounts!

I secured a spot for my younger son at a new day care. The facility is not as nice, but the staff and the care seem good. Financially, we'll have a $25 decrease in our weekly payment. With the school changes starting in September for both boys, it looks like we'll be ahead about $688 a month.

Also, beginning this week, I began putting a modest monthly payment to my retirement account.

The first order of business is to make sure we're on track with our savings to meet our estimated tax payments. Next, we'll put together a savings plan to shore up the emergency fund and pay for summer day camp for my oldest -because for the first time, I'll need to pay separately for summer child care. Once that budget is in place, whatever's left will go towards CC debt.

I hope that in a couple of months I'll be able to post about some real progress on that debt!

Slight Panic

August 5th, 2010 at 09:47 am

Last night when I arrived to pick up my boys from day care I was told that the center is closing permanently in October.

I hope I looked like I took the news ok, because it put me in a tailspin and I began to panic.

There are a limited number of quality child care providers in our area -and an even fewer number of providers that we can afford. I got home and called a local home provider who we had been happy with years ago, (she's mulling over whether she wants a new child) and I've now spent the better part of the day calling places. There are a few spots for full time care to be found -and the price ranges are incredible. (Our rate is $210 starting next month, down from the $240 we've been paying - the highest rate I've been quoted so far is $375/wk) Our sticking points (besdies general quality of care) are location and hours - because of the nature of my work and my husband's work location, we need a place that is open earlier and closes later. That's tough to find if you're on a budget.

On the flip side, I've scouted out a spot at the YWCA which is slightly less $ and includes swimming lessons -and is only a few blocks away from our current provider. I'm going to take a tour there this afternoon to see if it's someplace we can be happy with.

Most of all, I feel terrible about the wonderful teachers who are going to be looking for work in the next few months. They've been a second family to the boys, and they have always gone beyond what we would expect. I wish I could do or say something to help them.

Bank Shopping

August 4th, 2010 at 10:45 am

After Monday's hysteria, and a lot of hand wringing on my part, I've decided to take your advice and move banks. Again.

I'm not excited about the work involved in switching, but I am happy that we'll have some new perks and benefit from the added convienience of more branches and ATMs, and better customer service.

I also kind of feel like switching lets us start over -we can take this opportunity to evaluate the things that are working (saving more) vs. the things that aren't working (buying more) and adjust accordingly.

I just hope that the switch goes smoothly.

Bad Monday (Are there good ones?)

August 3rd, 2010 at 01:33 pm

Monday Morning

6:15. Baby has fever of 102.3

6:30. Husband informs me he is going to a funeral.

7:00. On-line statement reveals negative balance.

7:15. Investigation reveals that we have $3.00 in cash between us.

7:30. I raid son #1's piggy bank to give $ to husband for funeral. (Son #1 is too busy trying to convince Baby to make funny faces to notice he's been robbed.)

8:00. Husband leaves for funeral (with $), son #1 goes to school, baby decides to watch TV on the couch with me. I make mental note to re-pay son #1 when he's not looking.

11:00. Finally get to Dr.'s office. I offer silent prayer thankful that we have health care account credit card for co-pay. Dr. determines Baby has a virus that cannot be treated. We head home for a nap.

_________________________________

Our bank was bought out a couple months back and they have finally finished transitioning our accounts. For the second month in a row, the checking account has overdrawn on the 1st of the month. Because it appears to be their fault, I'm not being assessed any fees, but it is a real PITA. Not to mention it's stressful knowing that we're running that close to the line on the budget. I'd like to change banks, but husband says I'll get over it --and points out that we're running out of banks. (The ones I pick keep getting bought by bigger ones.)

If nothing else, I've learned one thing: we're going to have to keep some extra cash on hand for emergencies.