Friday, October 31, 2014

Doggie update

After the medication that the vet gave us last week did not work - I scheduled him for an x-ray today and he will need surgery for his knee - similar to our ACL. The doctor gave us an approx of $3,500 which should include everything. Unfortunately, I will need to add this into the credit card since I do not have any emergency fund set for this.

I am just grateful that it didn't turn out to be any tumor or anything cancerous.

Happy Halloween! Play it safe tonight =)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Liebster Award

Yay, our newly engaged blogger, I Owe You, nominated me for the Liebster Award. The award overall makes you answer a few questions and nominate a couple of new bloggers that you would like to get to know.

Why did you start blogging?
I have been lurking around reading PF blogs for quite a while now. I was just so tired of my excuses why I havent paid my debt, when everyone else has done quite well writing about their debt payoffs. I figured this will make me feel more accountable about my debt - even though I am still anonymous.
Has it turned out how you expected?
Yes actually! So far, I was able to pay down almost $5k towards my debt. That's quite a lot knowing that I only paid $3800 the previous year. 
What has been your favorite blog post you have written so far?
So far its the first post - you can read here. I just feel like thats when I really took this seriously after really looking into my balances

How did you decide on the name of your blog?
Honestly, I could not think of a very witty name for a blog. I have had the nickname Ciel for a while though.
Sum up your life in 6 words or less
Que sera sera 
Earliest money memory?
I am sure I had something earlier than this since I did get an allowance when I was a kid, but I really thought I made it when my dad took me to Bank of America to open my first account and became their slave - half kidding! I never really had any issues with them and I have worked in different banks and still kept them as my main bank

I would like to nominate these lovely gals

Downstairs and in Debt is our sport (hockey) obsessed hardworking blogger from Southern New Brunswick. She has already paid her government student loan and moved out of her parents basement since starting this blog. She now only has a line of credit and a credit card to tackle!

Melissa, our sun burnt saver blogger from Phoenix, is tackling her student debt when she got her graduate degree. She works in the finance division at her organization and lives with her main squeeze with an adorable dog named Molly.

Christine started the wallet diet blog recently. She started with $35k in student loan debt and now only has $5k left to pay off. She already has a lot of pretty interesting blog posts even though she just started this month. I cant wait to hear the rest Christine!

... and anyone else who would like to answer their questions and would like to promote their blog. Let me know and I will update this =)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Week 21 : Not the smartest week

A pending expense of $3k(ish) will probably be added into the credit cards next month for my dogs surgery. I haven't received the final amount yet, but it will be approximately that amount. 

I am hoping to transfer that into a 0% card once its posted. I really think I need to start an emergency fund soon. It sucks extending out the debt repayment because of this.

Current Debts:
No Paycheck this week and below are the totals. 

Personal Loan
Student Loan
Credit Card
Car Insurance

Starting Debt: $18,777  || Paid/Interest: +$9 || Ending Debt: *$18,766

Weekly Spending: 
Omg I have $95 to spend the next week until payday. This week has been brutal and not the smartest week for me financially. I don't know why I said "Yes" going out after spending so much on my dogs vet appointment. Wish me luck the next week!
Sat -  $10 Lunch
Sun -  $50 Lunch
Mon - No Spend Day!
Tue - $64 Grocery | Pet Misc $42 | Vet Bill $20
Wed - $22 Dinner | $13 Entertainment | $21 Gas
Thu - No Spend Day!
Fri - $50 Gas
Weekly Spending Start $200 || End $292

Pending Expenses: 


Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My dog is expensive

I got my dog the summer of 2008 for FREE. One of our clients from work were giving the puppies away because they couldn't take care of them on their yard. I thought why not - its free and I have always wanted a pet. WRONG! I brought him home and had to get his vaccines, rabies shot and flea medication. That first year was brutal on my finances. Not to mention the things that he has destroyed - $200 pair of sunglasses (never again!), a cell phone, living room side tables that he has chewed on, the front door that he has scratched "greeting" the mailman and so many more. I am scared to tally everything that I have paid having this dog.

Now he's injured. I do not know how many times he has managed to mess up one of his legs - probably from chasing birds in the backyard. Anyways, the first time this happened I freaked out and $500 later after sedation and x-rays the vet concluded that it might just be a sprain. So next time this happened again - I waited it out and it was gone after a week or so....Now, its been more than 2 weeks and he has been limping, so we scheduled an appointment with our vet to get it checked out. She has concluded that he will need surgery. Right now they are not sure if its a torn ACL (more than likely), but they will not know until the x-rays are done. I tried to get an estimate from our own vet and other referrals and it seems like it will be more than likely to be around $3000. The vet released him yesterday and we will be monitoring his leg the next 5 days with a temporary pain medication.

Sometimes life just happens when we are trying to diligently make a change. If surgery needs to be done, then I will pay for it. I cant stand him looking like he's in so much pain and limping around like that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Do you have a budget for FOOTBALL GAMES?

This article just came in the right time - How much is too much when it comes to football? 

Have you listed how much money you have spent on a professional game? On this post, I am just talking about spending money for ONE game in ONE day. Not to mention the game is broadcast on TV - We do not have cable so at least we are not paying for that, but I can just imagine the people around us have cable bills (NFL Redzone anyone?), bought season tickets and spending additional $$$ being at the game.

Our total spent $535 =(

Tickets $100 x2
The average price for an NFL tickets are over $100 for 2014. I am assuming we bought the tickets at the same price /
Cheaper Option: One of our friends got FIELD TICKETS for half the price by waiting at the last minute to get tickets. They got their tickets the night before and got better seats than us. This was the website they used
Parking $25 
Technically we could've avoided this, but we needed his car (truck) to transport the grill
Cheaper Option: Usually you can take a trolley to the stadium  
Tailgate Food / Drinks $80
I think between Jay and I (minus what our friends contributed) we have spent about $150 on food and drinks for the tailgate.
  • Beer (craft) $9 - Three different 6 packs for a total of $30
  • Water $5 - Pack of bottled water
  • Snacks $35 - Chips, salsa, guacamole, fruit platter, cheese and salami platter 
  • Misc items $10 - we bought paper towel, sanitizer wipes, ice 
Cheaper Option: It was actually cheaper to just eat inside, but the tailgate made it really fun. We figured this was our dinner date - which we havent done in a while.
Game Food / Drinks $30 
We bought beer for $9/each (12oz)  wth! We were complaining buying craft beers for $9 for a six pack yet we still bought a glass of beer for $9 each. Total spent $30 (with tip and bought one for a friend) 
Cheaper Option : Do not buy food inside the stadium. They are usually marked up for almost 800%. Check to see if there are any rules/regulations for bringing food and drinks and bring your own. We were able to bring 2 unopened water bottles each inside. 
Gas, Jerseys and other misc.  $100-200
I did not expect that an average jersey costs $100. From my previous post, Jay got me a jersey for that price and he also got his own too. So lets just assume an average person buys a jersey for himself and his significant other 
 Cheaper Option: Search a discount store like TJ Maxx. I am not sure if this applies anywhere else, but we found Jay's jersey for half the price (Its similar to mine - we cant figure out the difference, but he said mine was newer)

What would I have changed? NOTHING. I had so much fun. We do not do this often and it was nice doing something different on the weekend. I wouldve probably budgeted everything more - like the tickets that one of our friends got, but thats for next time. The boys are talking about going to another game!

How much have you spent going to a football game or any professional game? Do you have any other tips when going to games? 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Week 20 : A spoonful of SUGAR!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week... I don't really have an excuse. It hasnt really been busy, but you know that feeling after being on vacation (long or short) ... I havent really turned off that laziness just yet (except at work!), so this is why you just get the highlights this short week =)

  • Flight delays AGAIN when we were leaving Florida. I hope everyone is out there safe in the Midwest!!! 
  • Running almost a mile to get to a gate at DFW airport only to find out that it was the wrong one and the gate we needed to go to is on the OTHER SIDE. Fun times!
  • I had my fair share of travels, but I did not know airports closed down or has a curfew. Well good thing we made it after all the flight delays last Monday or else my flight would've been diverted to LAX
  • My grandma is back at the hospital - she seems to be better after her emergency surgery, but at the same time worse than the last time I saw her. So prayers are greatly appreciated!
  • I took a different route to work the other day just to spice things up - ended up adding 30 more minutes to my commute because of traffic/accidents on the road. 
  • I closed down one of my credit cards (CC#3) and I am debating on closing the rest. I have a couple that's just been sitting there with a $0 balance - good idea or not?
  • I really need to cut back on sugar! It seems like everyone and their mothers got to go to some trick or treating at Disneyland. There's just chocolates everywhere at work, plus, my sister has a bag of treats also. My diet hates Halloween sometimes
Current Debts:
Its Payday! I am super excited to see the debt going down. I could've had a positive net worth this month if the stocks weren't heading down - so next month it is! I just didn't think I can go this far with the debt payments... at the time I was so sure that I would have a lot of setbacks and given up but I am so thankful to find the PF blogging community.

Personal Loan
Student Loan
Credit Cards
Car Insurance

Starting Debt: $19,762  || Paid/Interest: $950  || Ending Debt: *$ 18,812

Weekly Spending: 
I did not meet the TWO no spend days for this week. There were birthdays, co worker luncheons etc that were celebrated this week and I did not bring lunch at all to work this week. I know sorry for the excuses, but at least I was below the $200 for the week with a full tank and a full weekend of nothingness =)
Sat - $20 Shopping
Sun - No Spend Day!
Mon - $12 Breakfast | $10 Dinner | $10 Transportation
Tue - $52 Gas | $9 Lunch
Wed - $15 Lunch
Thu - $20 Lunch
Fri - $25 Dinner
Weekly Spending Start $200 || End $173

Pending Expenses: 

Nothing to report right now. I haven't bought any Christmas presents for anyone yet.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Week 19 : Long weekends

I know we have a lot of Canadian bloggers out there so Happy early Thanksgiving Canada! I hope you get to enjoy your family and friends. I am totally due for a visit to our family in Toronto

Also, yay to long weekends! Hopefully you also get the day off on Monday. I am heading to the East Coast to visit some friends for the long weekend over a short period of time. I wish we had a pod that can just zap us to places whenever we feel like it. One day...

Current Debts:

No Paycheck this week, but here are the ups/downs of the debt progress. I am so glad that I have 3 pay periods this month. There are 6 more pay periods left for 2014 - hopefully I can tackle as much as I can by the end of the year!

Personal Loan
Student Loan
Credit Card
Car Insurance

Starting Debt: $19,648  || Paid/Interest: $62.32 || Ending Debt:*$19,710

Weekly Spending: 

I got to do two no spend days this week... so hopefully this will continue this month. The $200 challenge seemed to go well even though there were unexpected expenses (expensive dinners) this week. I managed to leave around $10 from the budget. I am not too sure if I am going to do this again next week, but we'll see =) 
Sat - $10 Drinks  | $23 Groceries
Sun - No Spend Day!
Mon - $24 Commute
Tue - $16 Dinner | $10 Drinks
Wed - No Spend Day!
Thu - $15 Gas | $11 Lunch | $75 Dinner
Fri - $5 Drinks

Weekly Spending Start $200 || End $189

Pending Expenses: 

I keep forgetting putting something here - so new strategy. I will start purchasing Christmas presents for everyone. I will also start to tally them down here. I will write a separate post because I have to think about who I am giving a present to this year

Current $50 | Goal $500 $450 more to go

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Birthday FREEbies

Yay birthdays! I celebrated my birthday a couple of days ago - *sigh* another year older and hopefully wiser this time (I mean I have this blog now right?). I loved getting a free dessert when dining out to restaurants for my birthday. Now I found the next best thing - Rewards Programs! I checked out retailers (these are mostly food places) that you usually frequent to see if they have any birthday rewards. Also, most of them have coupons throughout the year!

Starbucks -  FREE Drink

The coupon is set to you by your phone app and it usually shows up a week before your birthday. To claim it, you will need to let you barista know that you have a reward available. I don't really get all fancy with my orders - I got my go-to Grande skinny vanilla latte with soy which is usually $4.65

Grab a Starbucks card and register it here

Rubio's - $7 off any meal

The coupon is sent to you by email. I received mine a week before my birthday. Its a simple email - no bar codes or anything. I claimed this coupon for lunch. It was very straight forward. I gave them my order which was the California Bowl with Shrimp and showed the cashier my phone with the email/coupon.

I ended up just spending $1.07 for lunch that day.

Sign up on their website and become a Beach Club member 

Einstein Bagels - FREE Breakfast Sandwich with purchase of any drink

This coupon is also sent to your email around the week of your birthday. I ended up just spending $1.99 for a medium coffee and a FREE bagel with cream cheese as part of this rewards program. I know I should've ordered the expensive sandwich, but I just knew I wouldn't be able to finish it.

I just showed the email to the cashier - who was super sweet and kept saying Happy Birthday. The email did not have any bar codes, but just a number that the cashier will need to enter.

Sign up on their website and join their birthday club 

Benihana - $30 Dinner Certificate

You will receive your coupon on your mailbox, but make sure you print the coupon out. We went here the night of my birthday with the whole family (I cant believe Benihanas was still rockin it - there was a line out the door on a week night!). Anyways, I really do not remember anymore the last time I was here, but they will be serving you a 4 course meal that consist of Soup, Salad, Appetizer, your main Entree and a dessert! I got the Samurai Treat as my main entree which was a Filet mignon and colossal shrimp grilled to perfection with lemon and butter - yum! The chef was super entertaining as well as the server. You also get a picture with the whole group at the end of the meal.

Sign up for the Chefs Table here

El Torito (Real Mex Rewards) - One FREE Entree

We kind of had issues with this rewards program, so I am not quite sure how to claim this one. We went to El Torito Grill which is a higher end El torito. I told the waiter about the Real Mex Rewards free entree that I was supposed to get for my birthday. He said he was not able to see it under my account, but still told me to order and he will go ahead and give me the meal for FREE. I got the Chile Relleno minus the beans. Its a pretty big portion for lunch! Plus, they also sang and gave us a FREE flan. Yum! PS. They also give your table warm tortillas which are my favorite things to munch on while waiting for our entree.

You can sign up here

Have you gotten any perks on your birthday? Did you know about these birthday rewards?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rewards Programs

Have I gone FRUGAL or CHEAP or BOTH?

These days, I have relied to go online to shop and look for the best deal possible. I have found multiple resources to get some bargains. It actually became a treasure hunt now. I found a site that listed a bunch of websites that were offering FREE stuff for your birthday and I have been signing up since this past summer. This week I have seen a trickle of coupons on my inbox.

Here are some tips, so you can reap the rewards throughout the year!

  • Provide a separate mailbox when signing up for rewards. They can get overwhelming, so make sure you have a  separate mailbox to access these emails. Some retailers have sent them weekly, monthly or worse every day (which I have not seen or noticed)
  • Sign up for retailers that you know you'll be coming back to again and again. I wish chipotle had a rewards program, but make sure you sign up to places you will be purchasing things at least a couple of times to actually benefit from the emails that they constantly send you.
  • Be organized - or at least try to be. Just like the first tip... these emails can and might get overwhelming, so just sign up to establishments you know you will visit often.
  • Be mindful of the expiration date. You are already getting something for FREE so just be mindful when it expires because they aren't really liable to give it to you even if you throw a fit.
  • These rewards programs doesn't stop on your birthday. Sometimes they have deals around the holidays or even random deals throughout the year. 

I'll be reviewing a couple of deals that I got once I use them.

Do you have a favorite rewards program? Anything we all should be aware of? If so, do share with us on the comments below!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Week 18 : $19k and counting down

Yesterday my friends and I went to see "Gone Girl" - If you haven't read the book, I suggest you do it now and watch the movie. It's such a nice break for a Friday night instead of driving in traffic.

This weekend we will be going to a CHARGER GAME! Go Chargers! It was a part of Jays birthday present to me along with a new jersey to wear to the game! I can't wait !!!

Current Debts:

Its payday! Guess what... after all my calculations I am now under $20k!!! Whooooooooooo! It looks like I paid a lot on the Personal Loan, but this was actually saved from the last paycheck because the payment gets automatically taken out on the 2nd of every month.

I just need to keep this momentum... Hopefully I can be hovering around $15k by the time the year is over.

Personal Loan
Student Loan
Credit Cards
Car Insurance

Starting Debt: $20,994  || Paid/Interest: $1,346 || Ending Debt:*$19,648

Weekly Spending: 

OMG I cant believe how much movie tickets are nowadays. Has it been that long since I went to the movies .... $12.50? jeez!
Sat - $35 Breakfast
Sun - $8 Breakfast | $48 Gift
Mon - $2 Breakfast
Tue - $18 Drinks
Wed - No Spend Day!
Thu - $6 Shopping | $50 Gas | $10 Lunch
Fri - $12.50 Entertainment | $5 Dinner

Weekly Spending Start $200 || End $ 194.50

Pending Expenses:

This is now currently stashed away into my savings account.

Current $50 | Goal $500 $450 more to go

How was your week of expenses? Are you gaining momentum with your debt payoff?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 2014 Goals

It will be similar from September, but different. I need to keep reminding myself about the one week cash diet. I will start this next week from October 4-10. Payday is on the 3rd - so i'll check in once I withdraw $200 from my check.

  • Track daily spending 
  • Do not use credit cards
  • TWO no spend days per week
  • Keep the weekly spending around $200/week 
  • Use cash for ONE week - budgeted $200
  • Pay $1200 to debt for the month of October
  • Put in $100 to the Christmas fund this month
  • Work out at least 3 days every week  
  • Read / Listen to a new book
  • Learn to cook something new this month

What are your goals this October?