Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1st engagement detail tended to...

We, or I guess I should say he, bought an engagement ring for me. We picked it out from a small, independent jeweler in our hometown. We were both happy to be able to support a small business and that it was in our own community was even better. I can't wait to start wearing the ring. Right now it is being put together, but it will be ready on Friday. It's a beautiful ring with a high quality diamond. I had no idea these things were so expensive or that there was so much that went in to the pricing of a diamond. Sheesh! When I was in San Francisco earlier this month we looked at Tiffany's. I had to do a lot of convincing for him not to buy a ring there, it's ridiculous how much more a ring can cost, just because it came from Tiffany's. Suffice to say, I think he still spent way more than was necessary, but I couldn't convince him otherwise. I guess I should just let it go and be happy that I will be wearing such a gorgeous ring. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Major change in my life...

OK, so my blog is all about change and fellow PF Bloggers, have I got some change to tell you about!! I'm getting married!!! So, things have been going very well with the new beau, obviously and I'm sure some of you are thinking this is moving very quickly, believe me, my family thinks so too! But, we have known each other for 20+ years and at this point, we are engaged, no plans yet on when the wedding will be, probably not until the end of this year or even spring of next year.

So, I think my posts will have more to do with wedding costs and how to cut costs wherever possible. Any tips you all my have would be greatly appreciated! Seriously, greatly appreciated!!! We went ring shopping last weekend, well, we've been shopping for awhile, but we went ring "purchasing" last weekend. Holy cow those things are expensive!! I think women get off easy only having to buy a wedding ring for the groom! :)

Just wanted to share that exciting news with you all and I look forward to planning the wedding and letting you all know how it is going financially speaking. :) Cheers!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

First 2 months of the year are always expensive...

and it's not because I am paying off credit card bills from Christmas!! I always have the 12 month premium due for my car insurance and my Husky football season ticket renewal both come out of January's expenses. Now, I do have the money put away in savings for both of these, but I always try to challenge myself not to take as much out of my savings to pay both of those bills. If I can, I like to try to pay for them both fully with the money that is sitting in my checking account. Of course this results in finances being a little bit tight for the first 2 months of the year, but what a great feeling once those 2 months are over and I have paid these additional expenses and still have my savings account in tact.

Nothing much else going on, went to San Francisco last weekend to visit my beau, he lives in California and I am in Washington, so it's going to be expensive for awhile until we are living in the same place. But it's still in that new and exciting phase, so neither of us minds too much the extra expense. ;) Ahh, ain't love grand???!!!

Happy day to you all!

Monday, January 5, 2009

2008 Wrap-Up and 2009 Goals

Well, a little late in coming, but I finally am back into the swing of things after a very busy holiday season and have put 2008 to rest, financially speaking. I have used my time off to enjoy time with family and friends and to look toward 2009 and what my goals are for the coming year. So, without further adieu, 2008 numbers:

220 No Spend Days!!! I am really excited about this number, I was hoping to at least keep it to 50%, but have managed to surpass that goal and did not spend any money at 60% of the time last year.

$1856.50 earned through surveys! I kind of tapered off on taking surveys towards the end of the year, mostly because I was just too busy with work and my new beau!

Now, for the less exciting numbers;

Groceries: Budgeted $1200, spent $1209.63. I don't think I could have guessed more accurately for this one. I know the grocery category is going to have to increase this coming year for several reasons, mainly being that groceries are just getting more and more expensive all the time.

Gas: Budgeted $1000, spent $749.24. I'm really happy with this and I think a lot of this success can be attributed to gas prices decreasing toward the end of the year, making better decisions when going out to run errands and walking and riding my bike for short trips to the store. Of course the fact that I only have a 12 mile round trip commute to work helps out a lot too!

Electricity: Budgeted $600, spent $276.57. This is due mainly by throwing a blanket on when I am cold, reading instead of watching TV and making an earnest effort to watch the amount of electricity used. Turning off lights when not needed, hanging clothes to dry, etc.

Condo dues: Budgeted $2400, spent $576.03. This is only because I didn't have to start paying dues until October, this year the amount will be dead on.

All other categories were pretty close on as well, nothing was extremely over budget and nothing was way under budget (darn it!).

I have added $9273.33 to my savings account and am getting closer and closer to my goal of having the $20,000 needed to pay my parents back in full for the loan to help me with the down payment on my condo.

As for 2009 goals, they are as follows:

* Add the full contribution to my Roth IRA
* Increase net worth to $90,000
* Increase retirement savings to $17,500
* Pay off loan in full to my parents by Dec. 2009

I haven't fully decided what my budget will look like this year, but I think I will wait until January is over and see how it goes, then take a more serious look at the numbers.

I am going to work again on taking advantage of survey earnings and this year instead of adding them to my savings instead of just depositing them into my checking account and spending it with all other money. I think this will help to see that savings account really grow too.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2009!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Just a quick note to you all, I'm sorry I haven't been around this past month, things have been crazy with an extra workload, a new romance and the holidays as usual making things super busy! I'll be working on gathering all of my 2008 numbers this week and publishing my year end totals and 2009 goals! I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season and is enjoying the start to the new year! I have been working on my goal list and I will fill you all in asap! Happy New Year!!