Not Impressed with our Debt – October Update

Well, I really don’t have much good news for October. It feels like it was a total bust. For some reason I just couldn’t keep a positive balance in our checking account for the second week of October and I had to keep taking from my saved paycheck. On top of that my husband’s car was on the fritz for almost three weeks and cost us $698 to fix. The only good news is that I didn’t have to use the credit card for that expenditure, I just paid in cash but that also meant that I couldn’t pay what I wanted on the credit card.

I can tell November is also going to be a challenge. We have to have three windows replaced (they are actually broken) in our home to the tune of $1700 so all of my paychecks will be going to that and we have one yearly bill for a car insurance policy due next week for $271.

But again, I should be able to pay for these things without using the credit card so that is a blessing right?

We are still holding steady at about $3100 on the credit card I am trying to pay off. That’s all I’ve got to report.

Till next month! -MM

SAL-Project Joyce’s Rose #4

I am so excited about how much I got stitched in the last 3 weeks! I finished the one large leaf, stitched another 400+ stitches on the rose and started another underleaf. Here is where I left off last time I posted:

And here is where I am now:

This stitch-a-long is made up of many talented stitchers from all over the globe and we are all working on different projects. I have linked the other members of the Stitch-A-Long below. Please pop on over to see what all of the other stitchers are working on.

Next Update is October 20th. -MM

AvisClaireGunChristinaKathyMargaretHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnieCindy

SAL-Project Joyce’s Rose #3

Once again three weeks have gone by and I am happy with how much I have accomplished. Just the single leaf I worked on this time is almost 1000 stitches and I have it nearly complete! Here is where I left off last time I posted:

And here is where I am now:

Here is the link to my original post about Project Joyce’s Rose. https://marymargaretripley.com/2022/04/28/project-joyces-rose/

Tbis stitch-a-long is made up of many talented stitchers and we are all working on different projects. I have linked the other members of the Stitch-A-Long below. Please pop on over to see what all of the other stitchers are working on. Next Update is October 30th. -MM

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnieCindy

Not Impressed with our Debt – September Update

At the end of August I had an interesting comment from my 20 year old. He said mom, if I hadn’t already known about your plans to pay off your credit card I would not have noticed you were in save mode. In other words our lifestyle hasn’t changed much in the last 3 months whether it be food or entertainment. That’s a good thing! It put a smile on my face for sure.

For the month of September I definitely struggled to keep that same outside public facing image though at least from my perspective. I am sure I am being my harshest critic but September was tough. Which is a bit frustrating because on paper we went into the month looking fantastic.

I did not hit my goal of putting all three of my paychecks into my credit card debt like I wanted but I did pay our school taxes in full and on time and that was much more important to my husband than putting that extra paycheck into the credit card debt. I am not so sure that was the right decision actually, but this debt paying thing is a two way street and we both need to feel good about it, right?

Here is the breakdown for September:

  • Credit card balance at the end of August $4,500
  • Credit card balance at the end of September $3011.20
  • Total credit card debt paid off in September $1488.80
  • Total credit card debt paid in three months $4968.62

We are just shy of $5,000 in credit card debt paid off in 3 months. Absolutely incredible!

I also paid the school taxes of $1557 which we should consider a debt right?

You might ask, how the heck did I pay all of this debt off and still maintain my sanity? It was not easy at all. My secret has been my two side gigs on top of my full time job. We would not be able to survive without them! You can’t expect to pay off large amounts of debt quickly just by reducing your expenditures and using your current income. You have to get a second (or third) job and really work hard for a few months in order to achieve your debt paying goal. However don’t work so hard like I did last month and land yourself at the chiropractor’s office from lifting too many trays for home delivery lol!

Even though September was a hard month I am happy to say we ate well, paid all of our bills, paid the school taxes and paid almost $1500 in debt off this month. That’s something to celebrate!

Till next month! -MM

SAL-Project Joyce’s Rose #2

Wow, 3 weeks have flown by! Here is where I left off last time I posted:

And here I am now:

I got the rest of the stem done and now working on one if the largest leaves. The stem colors were so fiddley that it has been refreshing to work on a leaf!

Here is the link to my original post about Project Joyce’s Rose. https://marymargaretripley.com/2022/04/28/project-joyces-rose/

I have linked the other members of the Stitch-A-Long below. Please pop on over to see what all of the other stitchers are working on. Next Update is October 9th. -MM

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnieCindy

Week 32-36 What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

Happy September 1st! Time for the August grocery shopping update. I budgeted $400 for groceries this month because there were five weeks in August.

Total spent on groceries for August $438.39 that’s $38.39 over budget. I’ll have to do better in September for sure but considering I was $60 under budget last month I still think we aren’t doing horrible.

We did go out 4 times last month for dinner and did enjoy the food at the farmers market a few times. All considered I think we did great!

Here are a few of the meals and goodies we made at home last month:

There are some weeks I just don’t feel like cooking much. There was a point in August where I just couldn’t motivate myself. This summer has been a summer of hot and no rain for most of the country and NY was no exception although our temperatures were a lot more mild compared to out west. Still the lack of any rain really has been a bummer this season. We finally have gotten rain this past week and temps are cooler. I feel a change in the air and that makes me excited for fall cooking.

September I am going to budget $400 again for the month because I want to get some extra produce to put up for the winter.

How are you doing with your food budget? Until next update….. -MM

SAL-Project Joyce’s Rose #1

Thank you for welcoming me back Avis! I am excited to be stitching along with the group again. I really have missed it.

I won’t go into too many details about the project with this post but it holds a special place in my heart. I’ll link my introduction post about it at the end so if you would like to read more about it you can click on that link.

I created my own pattern for this project and I am using 32 ct beige linen to stitch on.

It’s definitely one of the most difficult projects I have taken on and I think that’s why I have been procrastinating. I really have to pay attention when I stitch, no relaxing and watching TV while I do it.

Here is where I left off last time I posted:

And here I am now:

My goal at the start was to stitch one section a month but I am sorely behind. Hopefully being back in the SAL will help give me the motivation that I need to finish this project!

Here is the link to my original post about Project Joyce’s Rose. https://marymargaretripley.com/2022/04/28/project-joyces-rose/

I have linked the other members of the Stitch-A-Long below. Please pop on over to see what all of the other stitchers are working on. It has been a while since I have visited all of them so I can’t wait to see what everyone is up to. Next Update is Sept 18th. -MM

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretHeidiJackieSunny

MeganDeborahSharonDaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnieCindy

Not Impressed with our Debt – August Update

Paying off debt is stressful. Why can’t we talk about that stress more? Why is talking about our finances still taboo? Something to be hidden? Is it a shame thing? Are we are afraid we won’t measure up? Lots of questions to answer there.

Again for the month of August I did not think any farther ahead than the week I was in. I made two more $900 payments to the credit card this month for a total of $1800. I did break down and we bought take out last Friday from a local restaurant. My resolve took a bit of a hit this month too. I really want (actually need) a new pair of shoes but I can keep putting that off for another couple of months. I really want to buy some other ingredients for new recipes but again I don’t want to spend the money. It can wait.

Beginning balance at the start of July was $7979. 82. Current balance is $4500. That’s a total of $3479.82 of debt gone in two months.

Here’s some good news! I make our last payment on an 11 year loan next week. Time for a happy dance after that one!

September will bring us some relief with that large loan payment being done. I also get three paychecks in September so the plan is to pay off $2700 worth of debt on that credit card but the school taxes are due in September. I really have no issue with not paying them in September and letting them re-levy onto the Town and County taxes in January but I have a plan. If successful I will pay off the $2700 and the school taxes all in September. Stay tuned. September is going to be a wild ride!

Till next month! -MM

Week 29-31 What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

I feel so much better about how much money we spent on food this month. I really tried not to buy any more than what I bought in my regular grocery shopping trips on Sundays.

We did go out a couple of times this month which I am fine with. Twice in one month is better than twice in one week, right?

Below is my monthly breakdown of food costs:

  • Week 28 I spent $52.64
  • Week 29 I spent $84.98
  • Week 30 I spent $44.45
  • Week 31 I spent $54.35

Total spent on groceries for July $236.42 that’s $63.58 under budget!

Here are some of the meals we made this month:

The split chicken breast I bought for $15 gave us just about 4 meals! I made the baked chicken breasts with Moz, Basil and Tomato, a chicken stir fry, a pot of soup and the quick alfredo.

The majority of the stir-fry was either free from my garden or free from friends with the zucchini and yellow squash I got.

How have you been doing with your food budget? The garden has been a significant help to our budget. I hope to work on ways to extend the garden through a longer growing season!

My goal again is to not spend more than $300 on groceries for the month of August. – MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – July Update

Going into this new plan for paying off one of our credit cards I knew July and August would be the toughest months. For the month of July I did not think any farther ahead than the week I was in. Putting all of my paycheck into the credit card debt and living off the Hubs paycheck actually worked! I made two $900 payments to the credit card this month for a total of $1800! And guess what? All of our monthly bills for July are paid and we still have money left over! Not a lot of money left over mind you, but still…

Beginning balance at the start of July was $7979. 82. Current balance is $6314.50. That’s a total of $1665.32 of debt gone in one month. The interest I paid on my June bill was $161.84. The interest I paid on my July bill was $127.12. It will be interesting to see what the total for interest charges will be in August after paying more of the balance off.

Here’s a recap:

  • Beginning Balance July $7979.82
  • Payments Made July $1800
  • Interest Charges $127.12
  • Current Balance end of July $6314.50

Total Debt Paid for month of July $1665.32!

I mentioned above that I knew July and August would be the toughest months but didn’t explain why. I have been paying on a large loan since 2012 and our last payment comes out in August. We will be free of that debt in September. It will be such a great feeling!

How did I get that much paid off in one month and still have enough money for bills, food and gas? Each week the Hubs and I talked about how much money I thought we would have at the end of the week so we were on the same page. I also luckily have my baking and a side gig that carried us through each week. Without them I would have not been as successful. If you would like to check out my side gig which is my Etsy Shop please view my shop here https://www.etsy.com/shop/RedMillVintageandNew

The results from putting all our energy into paying off this credit card by October have been pretty impressive. Hopefully August will be just as fruitful.

I’ll update you on how much money we spent on groceries and what we ate in the next post.

Till next month! -MM

One Hundred Dollars a Month

I am your typical housewife living in high maintenance suburbia. I have a handsome husband, 2 kids and a flock of pet chickens. I try and feed my family with $100 a month. With the help of coupons, gardening and bartering I am able to squeeze the most out of our grocery budget and still manage to have a little fun along the way.

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