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Baby steps

September 23rd, 2010 at 05:27 pm

Tuesday was a no spend day so yay for that.

Also on Tuesday I called Costco/Ameriprise to get a homeowner’s insurance quote in hopes of consolidating our auto and homeowners insurance. Unfortunately they weren’t able to provide a quote because we have a wood shake roof. Boo! And unfortunately we don’t have $10,000 for a new roof so for now I will have to have separate auto and homeowner’s policies.

Wednesday was “a spend very little and get a lot of stuff day”. I bought almost $22 worth of stuff at CVS and between coupons and Extra Care Bucks I paid about $6 out of pocket. I started CVSing this month and am finally getting the hang of it.

I’d like to get to having more “no spend” days then “spend days” each week.

I’ve been trying to form the habit of entering receipts into Quicken as we spend money and not waiting until my weekly appointment with myself to do that on Saturday nights. I also have been entering them into my Excel budget spreadsheet. It’s a little redundant but since Quicken’s budgeting feature is so crappy I have to do this in order to stay on top of cash flow.

Still haven’t transferred the cash out of checking yet although I’m getting more comfortable with doing it since I’m almost 100% sure that I’ve accounted for all expenses and have entered all receipts into Quicken.

Back at this AGAIN

January 24th, 2009 at 06:42 am

So I fell off the personal finance bandwagon for a bit. I've since caught up with my Quicken entries and have also established some goals for the year. I'm trying to not be too ambitious so I don't set myself up for failure.

I am still struggling with a budget. For now, I am budgeting mandatory expenses and what is left over is for discretionary spending. Not the greatest system but I cannot budget for every single line item because inevitably some unplanned, unexpected expense comes up and then I have to juggle budgeted money from one category to another. I find that having "left over" money, after mandatory expenses, is easier to manage as long as I update Quicken as we spend money and monitor my "left over" balance. I don't know how great this system will work since I just implemented it this month so we shall see.

I've automated most of my bills so that all I need to do is schedule the payments in online bill pay at my bank's website. When I open Quicken my scheduled transactions greet me and I enter those that have been paid, online or via snail mail. It's a rather simple process once I got it set-up in Quicken. I started a new Quicken file this year and so I had to start from scratch. That wasn't fun but I'm glad I did it as I think things will be cleaner now.

I have been searching for ways to cut expenses and just this evening saved $86 on our 6-month car insurance premiums. I'm excited about that and will transfer that savings to our emergency fund.

Tomorrow I hope to FINALLY sign my husband up for his 403(b) plan at work. I'm also anticipating a cost of living increase that his employer has given annually; hopefully this year that will continue. If it does, I plan on saving the difference to our emergency fund. I believe the percentage increase is either 3% or 5%, can't remember at the moment.

I have lots swirling in my mind right now and blogging about it helps clear my mind. More to come later.

Insurance... grr!

February 16th, 2007 at 04:02 am

One of my goals this week was to get some insurance quotes for homeowners and auto. I currently have Allstate, been with them forever, but in CA Allstate has filed for a significant rate increase while all the other major insurers have filed for significant rate decreases.

My homeowners renews 3/1. I got notice of the new premium today... its 5% higher than last year and I have never filed a claim.

I called two different ins cos. today and got one quote back. Wouldn't you know it, it's more than my exisitng. But their quote doesn't include the auto rate decrease effective in March nor the h/o rate decrease effective in April, so the agent will call me back with hopefully better numbers next month.

I have multi-policy, good driver, distinguished driver and renewal discounts with Allstate. I hope that the other ins cos. can beat my existing premiums even with all my discounts.

Farmers Ins. is still working on my quote. I'm more hopeful with them as they are the ones with the largest rate decreases.

Hopefully I can find lower premiums as I'm trying to find ways to cut our expenses.