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Archive for December, 2011

Gift Cards

December 20th, 2011 at 07:37 am

I have a bunch of gift card rewards at home that I want to turn into cash. Most of them are Visa/Mastercard/American Express cash cards but I also have a Walmart gift card.

(5) $10 Kimberly Clark Cars2 (Huggies)
(4) $10 P&G Pink Mail in Rebates
$100 Walmart gift card (Gift)
$50 Visa Gift card (Gift)
(2) $10 Amex Gift Cards (CVS promotion)
(3) $25 Amex Gift cards (store promotion)
(2) $25 Mastercard Gift Cards (Prilosec Rebates)
=$375 which is almost my entire grocery/gas monthly budget

My plan is to use the gift cards to buy groceries and gas and then make a $375 payment to my credit card du jour. The only annoying thing is that they are split into smaller amounts so that could be frustrating. I'll try to use the smaller amounts at the gas station so I'm the only one inconvenienced (could be more hassle at the grocery store).

December Additional Income

December 12th, 2011 at 07:37 pm

I am big into rebates recently. I'm trying to get as much cash as I can to pay off my credit cards by taking advantage of rebates when items are free after coupons and store rewards. I send checks to my mom's house and she cashes them for me. In exchange, she gets anything from my stockpile that she wants so win-win.

Anyway, mom found three rebate checks that she never cashed totaling $62. The technically were expired (no longer valid after 90 days) but the bank took them and they cleared so I have an extra $62 bucks! YAY!

I also have another $100 from Rite Aid rebates in my wallet waiting to be cashed.

My dad came through with $400 for this month and my mom paid me $50 she owed me. I'm hoping to get at least a $500 payment off to BoA this month (hoping my total will be under $1500 by year end).

In addition, I have $270 in gift cards (all Visa or Mastercard) that I want to get into cash for bills. My plan is to buy gas and groceries with the money and put the cash toward my bills.

Plus my brother owes me $300.

That puts me at $1182. Goal for BoA = doable.

Christmas Expenses

December 12th, 2011 at 09:36 am

My Christmas budget has been $500 or less for the last few years. Last year, I went for $100 or less and it was a huge success since my big gift to the women of my family was professional photos of us kids/grandkids taken by my boyfriend. The photos were free (...I bought my boyfriend lunch!) and the frames were free at Rite Aid. So it was pretty easy to spend less than $100 last year. I also did stockings with all of my couponing stuff that I got for free.

This year, I'm going with the $500 budget (almost half of that goes to my boyfriend's gift). My family has been increasingly hard to buy for and we don't do a huge Christmas. I've put off some shopping since I have no idea what to get. My biggest hurdle is my mom. I want to get her something she'll use and love but I can never think of anything. I have a small list of people (only 7):

Grandmother: Hershey Bars (she literally told us she will take nothing else)
Brother: Star Wars DVD
Boyfriend: keg kit
Uncle: customized sweatshirt
Goddaughter: Justice gift card
Aunt: Kohl's gift card
Mom: ?

Stocking gifts:

Grandmother: Centrum, Polident
Brother: M&Ms, Oreos
Boyfriend: rolling pin, fleece sweatshirt
Uncle: flossers
Goddaughter: shampoos, conditioners, nail polish
Aunt: flossers
Mom: extension cord

Non- family:
Godson: PJs, T shirt, toy
Boyfriends family: 3 gift baskets from couponing stuff

I have most of the gifts picked out, I just need to go buy the stuff. All of the money comes out of this month's pay so no credit cards or dipping into savings.

2012 Goals

December 9th, 2011 at 07:55 am

As I've been reading other peoples blogs, I realized that I've never had financial goals. I think that since I grew up in a household where everything was always paycheck to paycheck, it never occurred to me that I could or should make goals. I don't really even know what kinds of goals I should make. Up until this point, my goals have always been to payoff debt. I have a feeling that it is going to happen much faster than anticipated so I'm excited about making some goals for 2012. I'm starting out conservatively:

$2500 Emergency Fund
$1500 Car fund
$500 Christmas
Start $20 challenge

Debt repayment:
$5000 - pay off BoA and Discover

Spent a lot of piddly money :-(

December 5th, 2011 at 07:03 pm

I started out on Thursday with $140 in piddly money and I have $34 in my pocket Frown

I know I can replace $50 of it since I spent $38 on cat litter and $12 on cat food. I since remembered that I added a category to my budget for pet supplies.

Other than that, I spent:
$15 on a rolling pin for BF's stocking
$16 for dinner out
$5 I owed my mom
$4 for Starbucks

I can't remember where the other money (about $30) went which is disappointing since I obviously didn't care enough about the items to even remember them.