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Technical Support Sleuth
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay all. I am jumping on the bandwagon and starting a money makeover thread--similar to Angela, Amy, and Jean. Bear with me. It could get ugly.

August was a learning month for me. I tracked all of the spending for the month. It was important for me to get a grasp on where our money was going so that I could figure out how to better control it. The numbers for August are posted in another thread, but here are some of my thoughts for adjustments so far:

1. Increasing income is always good. Hubby is doing that with the new job and there's a possibility I am getting a raise this month. Since dh will be at academy during the week and school ends on the 1st of September, I may try and do some afternoon/evening baby-sitting durign the week to bring in some cash. Need to run that by hubby.

2. Electric/Gas is way to high. Getting furnace switched back to basement where it should be will save buckoo bucks. Need to set-up estimate on that. That 800$ repair we had not to long ago ( thank you ef!) will be deducted from cost of bill.

3. Since hubby has not fixed the constantly running toilet that I have asked him to fix 800 times, I am putting on my big girl panties and doing it myself. I printed off a list of common toilet tank problems and am prepared to get that fixed tonight. Then my water/sewer/trash bill should return to it's normal 20$ instead of 50$.

4. Employer finally pulling head from rear-end and going to start offering Aflac as pay-roll deduct. It is no cost to them, they can add it to their 'competitive benefit package' and it saves me 100$ a month.

5. Gas prices suck. I work farthest away from my job, and drive the most economical car. Dh's gas guzzler needs premium only. During the 3 months he is at the academy though, his car won't be driven hardly at all. Which means TONS of savings!!

6. Groceries wasn't bad. I was rather impressed---307.41 for the month and about 50$ of that is Dh's random trips to gas stations for pop/beer. We are doing lots of leftovers makeover!

7. Eating out. YIKES! We spent 182$ on eating out this month. That's more than a week's worth of daycare. We need to drastically cut this back. We're doing pretty good about taking lunches with us to work, but we really need to watch the random picking up of dinner.

8. No more random shopping trips at Wal-Mart/Target. If I don't go in with a list, I'm not going in at all.

9. Wesley category--wasn't bad this month. I bought him a few small things, Zac got him a police car to celebrate his new job. Wesley keeps arresting me though. Got a good deal on diapers and wipes for him. How bad is it if I tell him Santa won't bring him presents until he starts using the potty?

10. Household supples was unusually high this month, but needed almost all new cleaning supplies (mop, brooms, etc)

11. Clothes. No more. We are not buying anymore. Ever. :rollsmile

12. Debt reduction. We paid down about 1K in debt in August. This is really good, but I've got that ''fart in a wind tunnel" thing going on. Need to buckle down and develop a solid plan for debt attack.

13. Continue funding irregular expense fund. We should have a significant portion of your Christmas Club leftover--that will help fund the irregular expense fund.

That is all.
 

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Good luck on your money management. It always amazes me on what i actually spend money on. It is great that you are taking control of your money.
 

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I LOVE these kinds of threads. I'm looking forward to reading of your progress. Good luck!
 

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I wish you the best. Since May we've spent, spent, spent. With the tree falling on the house I've had buy a bunch of totes, 2 portable clothes racks, and a bunch of clenaing supplies (mops, brooms, etc.) Plus the 3 window air conditioning units. We are going to submit the receipts for the window air units to the insurance company. Hopefully they will reimburse us. I can't wait intil the ocnstruction on our house is done. I've been tracking our expenses and we are spending way too much. Hope to get that under control in September.
 

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12. Debt reduction. We paid down about 1K in debt in August. This is really good, but I've got that ''fart in a wind tunnel" thing going on. Need to buckle down and develop a solid plan for debt attack.
congrats on your plan of attack! This part cracked me up though!:crackup:
 

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Love it! Sounds like you are off to a great start - I flop out towards the middle of the month with my tracking, so I'm going for it again Sept 1st!

I look foward to reading your progress!!

You can DOOOOOOOOOO it! :hero:
 

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Good Luck on your money mangement. I hope to hear a success story.
 

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Good luck! I love reading everyone's spending challenges and plans. It is very motivating. Hopefully one of these days I'll get enough guts to share mine.
 

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Technical Support Sleuth
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
tuesday's planning/Monday's success

Okay, I am calling to set up the furnace estimate today. It's going to be spendy, I know--but it's in the garage, not up to code, not working right, and I can't have another winter where my furnace breaks down 3 times, especially with Wesley's breathing problems. Will try and set it up for next week when I have a day off work so that I don't miss any time from work, since I have no PTO and I refuse to go negative.

Remember that toilet that I asked dh to fix so it wasn't constantly leaking my hard-earned dollars? Well he kept putting it off and putting it off, so last night, I went in with my little internet print-out and started messing with it. He came in and asked me what I was doing. Told him I'm fixing the darn toilet. 5 minutes later he had the toilet fixed. Now how easy was that?

Dinner last night was an impressive beef broccoli stir-fry. Had left-over rice from our last dining out adventure, so I used that to serve under the stir-fry instead of making more. Stir-fry used up lots of odds and ends veggies in the fridge. Rather than buying a sauce packet like I normally do at 1.59$ a pack, I made my own via cornstarch and the last bit of a free bottle of teriyaki marinade. Bought a huge round steak for 5$, used less than 1/2 last night. I'm going to make some beef noodles with it over the weekend.

Brought the leftover stir-fry for lunch today. Breakfast this a.m. is banana mini-muffins that I made from my 5 lb bag of bananas that I got for 50 cents. Frugal food tastes better.

Modified a pair of sweatpants last night. They were hitting me mid-shin which I hate, so I cut them off to right above the knee. Was able to make 16 dustrags out of the cut-off material. DH has a shirt that has a huge stain on it. Gonna pop the buttons off and cut the rest up into cleaning cloths for his car. (He washes his car like it's his dang job).

Received a 3$ check from Pinecone Research in the mail yesterday. Applying that to my loan. New balance: 1503.75.

Going to spend some time today planning out where our paychecks are going.
 

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Okay, I am calling to set up the furnace estimate today. It's going to be spendy, I know--but it's in the garage, not up to code, not working right, and I can't have another winter where my furnace breaks down 3 times, especially with Wesley's breathing problems. Will try and set it up for next week when I have a day off work so that I don't miss any time from work, since I have no PTO and I refuse to go negative.
If its just the furnace, FYI we put 2 45k btu furnaces in our apartment units with minimal ductwork (only readjusting the basement ducts) for $6,700. Figure about $3-4 K for yours, depending on the BTUs.

Remember that toilet that I asked dh to fix so it wasn't constantly leaking my hard-earned dollars? Well he kept putting it off and putting it off, so last night, I went in with my little internet print-out and started messing with it. He came in and asked me what I was doing. Told him I'm fixing the darn toilet. 5 minutes later he had the toilet fixed. Now how easy was that?
How'd those 'big girl pants' fit? ;) Great job on the home repair!
 

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Great job on the starting of your budget! I would post mine, but for fear of public ridicule I just haven't gotten around to it!

-Vanessa
Nobody's going to ridicule you. We may question your budget items, however.

Ok, well, if we see a budget item for something like "Throwing money on the fire for fun", yeah, we might ridicule you. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The big girl panties got the job done afterall!!!!

As for this furnace. urghhhhhhhhhh. Okay, our furnace is in a little room in our garage. Should not be there. Not up to code. (Just for the record to new homebuyers--V.A. Home inspection is NOT the same as a regular home inspection!) Loses a good 80% of heat that it's producing. We'll have to get a whole new furnace and move it to the basement. HOWEVER, when these ding-a-lings who owned the house before us (i.e. weekend diy-ers), moved the furnace from the basement to the garage, they also messed with ductwork. Our return ducts aren't on the right walls and will have to be adjusted. Some estimates we've received have been as high as 10K. I found a really great heating/cooling business. When they came to fix the furnace last time it cost approx. 800$. The guy told me if we get the furnace moved to the basement, they'll credit that 800$ to our total bill.

It's gonna be spendy-but worth it.
 

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Losing that much heat - have you wrapped the ductwork in insulation?

And why do you need a new furnace? Moving the ductwork is expensive, granted, but furnaces can be moved...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Losing that much heat - have you wrapped the ductwork in insulation?

And why do you need a new furnace? Moving the ductwork is expensive, granted, but furnaces can be moved...
The ductwork that is exposed is wrapped in insulation. Rest is in walls. We need a new furnace b/c no one in the metro won't move an existing furnance.

And member that 800$ repair I mentioned? That was b/c our furnace caught on fire.
 
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