May 09 2008

April went well, and hopefully May will, too

Well, I’m a little late in posting my goals for May. We’ve only got three weeks left in May! So, I’d better hop to doing a recap of our April goals, and outlining a few for the next few weeks.
I had simple goals for April:
Put at least $250 of found “snowflake” money into emergency fund. Thanks to bonuses from Revolution Money Exchange, I met this goal! (By the way, if you haven’t yet signed up, please consider it! I’d love it if you used my referral button in my left sidebar. You’ll get $25, I’ll get $10).
Put at least $1,000 into emergency fund. Woo hoo! We put $1,500 into it in April. Whoa.
Don’t use credit cards for anything. Uh. Dang. For the sake of transparancy, I should tell you that we did use a credit card once. Awhile back, I told you that Shane’s laptop wasn’t working properly. He fixed it temporarily, but it eventually stopped working beyond all hope. To repair it would cost more than getting a new one. So after some research, we settled on a model found at Best Buy.
The new one is working great–but we did pay for it with a credit card, since our debit card wouldn’t cover the purchase. I needed to move some money around from different accounts, and wasn’t sure if the money would indeed be there when the card was swiped. Didn’t want to accidentally overdraw. Anyway, with a little better preparation, we could have avoided the credit card. But, we paid it off shortly after making the purchase.
Some goals for the remaining weeks of May:
Use only cash when we go to Florida next week. When going out to eat with a group, it’s much easier to have cash to pay your share, rather than having everyone pay with a debit card. Waiters tend to not like splitting the bill for large groups. Plus, having cash-only will ensure that we don’t overspend (assuming I don’t lose it!). When we’re home, I check our bank accounts daily to keep tabs on our purchases. I don’t plan on using the internet much, if at all, while we’re gone, so I won’t be able to see a running total. (Yes, I know that’s why you physically balance a checkbook. I don’t do that, though).
So, I’m thinking we’ll take about $250. We’ll want $100 to cover to-and-from airport cab fare in Florida, in case someone can’t pick us up. (By the way, how much are we supposed to tip cabbies?) The remaining $150 will cover our food and entertainment expenses. I expect to have some left over. If we have about $40 left over when we get back, we’ll use that to pay our airport parking bill, and if not, we’ll put that on our debit card.
Put at least $2,500 in emergency fund this month. This month is the month of the $1,200 economic stimulus check (which is already deposited into our emergency fund). I’m also expecting a $500 check from Ebates, so there’s $1,700 right there. The remaining $800 will hopefully come from the remnants of Shane’s April paycheck, my freelance earnings, and assorted snowflakes we can scrounge up.
So that’s about it! Head over to Crystal’s blog to see other people’s goals and updates.


7 Responses to “April went well, and hopefully May will, too”

  1. Holy cow that is a big check from eBates. Is that from shopping or from lots of referrals (I signed up through you). :)

    Your goals are intense. And mine are nothing in comparison. In fact I haven’t even set any formally…I may have to start.

    castocreations’s last blog post..Go Boom Boom Fall Down

  2. Great job in April! :-)

    You have great goals for May as well! Have fun next week!

    Marcy’s last blog post..My Meijer Loot

  3. Lol thanks! It is a huge check, I’m excited. Ebates had an amazing double-bonus going on for its referral program, and so most of it is referals, and $5.51 or so is from purchases I made.

    Thanks for signing up through my link!

  4. Good rule of thumb for tipping:

    10% (or less) for horrible, horrible service.
    15% for inattentive service
    20% for adequate/good service
    25% for really good service

    That may sound high, but most people who accept tips need them to pay their bills. Also, it’s well known (especially in the restaurant industry) that Christians are the worst tippers. I like to make up for that fact by treating my server/cab driver/etc. respectfully and paying them well. I budget tips into what I’m willing to pay for a meal if I plan to eat out.

  5. it is great that you have a budget set up for yourself. but one thing I question is why people don’t use credit cards.

    if you are paying cash for everything, you are not building credit for larger investments like cars and homes.

    I would think, if you are able to, that using a credit card that pays you like Discover or even better the Citi bank Upromise card is a better way to go, if you can pay it off at the end of each month.

    i use a citi bank upromise card when I actually spend money and I get 1% of all my purchases back in cash plus bonus for buying certain products.

    just a thought

    jane’s last blog post..May 9, 2008

  6. I find your comment about “don’t use your credit card for anything” very wrong…If you use your credit card responsibly you can make money with them if they have a cash back card like Discover or any others that give you a cash back. If you have cash to pay for something simply put that in a safe place and use your card. At the end of the 28 days pay off the card with this money. No interest to pay and you just earned money with your credit card. Just remember to always pay it before it is due. With the cost of gas and food this amount builds up fast. It’s free Christmas shopping money.
    Did You Know?

  7. Hi Shirley and Jane-

    I’m not saying everyone shouldn’t use credit cards. I’m saying I don’t want to have anything to do with them. Part of the “personal” aspect of personal finance, know what I mean?

    In the past, I’ve let my credit card debt build up, even though I always intended to pay the balance in full each month. Things happened, and I couldn’t pay the balance, and suddenly I was racking up the debt.

    I’d rather skip a step by not paying the credit card companies a dime. Even if I get 1 or 3 % cash back, I’ve never heard of anyone striking it rich thanks to credit card reward points. True, every little bit counts, but it’s just not something that works for us.

    Finally, yes, some people do well with a rewards credit card. However, we find that if we use our credit cards to get a reward, we overspend.

    If we think “Ooh, just need another $100 spent to get a reward” then we might be tempted to spend an extra $100 somewhere that we don’t need.

    To each her own.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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