Friday, February 28, 2014

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you to all of my readers out there.  I know there aren't many of you, but I appreciate every single one of you.  I'm happy to have someone along for the ride for the struggle to debt freedom.  Well, and my whines about work and life in general. Please feel free to post comments and interact with me through this blog.  I am more than happy to answer questions and explain my mindset to anyone who cares to ask.  I hope to get into a routine where I post more regularly.  One of my major pet peeves is enjoying a blog and then suddenly the blogger stops writing or takes frequent long breaks away from the blog. So interact with me and encourage me to look forward to blogging here and staying on track on my journey to freedom!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Odds and Ends

I have been spending quite a bit of money on gardening lately.  Pretty much the majority of my budgeted spending money and part of my slush fund.  While I "need" new furniture and tons of other material things I feel like spending money is the yard is the best bet for my money.  $100 in the yard goes a lot further than $100 in the house. I have purchased some beautiful flowers and hanging baskets.  I hope nothing dies, it appears we will have at least one more cold snap.

Friday is payday so I will post an update in the near future on the breakdown of the paycheck.  This will be the first time that I pay extra on my large student loan, the only one left at this point.  That makes me happy to know that I will finally be making a little progress on it, even if it's not as much as I'd like.  Typically only about $1,600 goes to principal on the loan for the entire year.  The interest rate is 2.88%.  I hope to get close to $4,000 in principal paid down on the loan this year.

I had my evaluation for my root canal last week and my appointment is scheduled for March.  I paid $100 for the evaluation and the actual root canal will cost $990.  I really need to be sure to keep all of my medical receipts together for tax purposes next year.  I might actually beat the 10% floor for the medical expense deduction this year.  I hate to spend the money, but since I have to I hope to get a benefit from it in the long run. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Work Update

Everything is status quo at work. My boss's assistant has been coming into work a bit more. (Quite a bit comparatively.) I have been keeping an eye on the job market and looking for a good paying job. So far I haven't seen anything interesting. Sigh. I'm sure when the time is right I will find a new job. God works in mysterious ways, right? Maybe this is a sign that I'm not supposed to leave. The problem is right now, I really feel like I want to leave. I hate the feeling that I am being taken advantage of. I hate feeling like there is someone manipulating things. My boss's assistant continually talks about needing a raise and states that our boss is "working on it". If she gets another raise, I will be leaving. If he doesn't realize that he's being manipulated by now. I don't know what to tell him. NO offense to anyone, but she is an assistant and an office manager, that does not qualify for a $100,000 income in north Florida. She has to be making over $50,000 by now, which is probably $10,000 less than what the paralegal of over 20 years is making.  I don't like to manipulate people (yes, I know unbelievable being a lawyer and all.) so this is all very hard for me to take. I prefer direct, straight talk without threats or manipulation.

Recently, I was off work and I'm glad the paralegal was able to see what it feels like to be the only one in the office and have to answer phones, bill and deal with people coming in and out of the office for several hours. I wish I could arrange it so that happens much, much more so I'm not the only one who sees the problem.

Off topic- I need to work an eyebrow waxing into budget ASAP!! 


Monday, February 17, 2014

Dental work...obsession

So I've continued to obsess about my upcoming dental work.  I have researched dental implants a bit more and it seems that implants cost about $2,000 a tooth.  It's approximately an additional $1,500 per tooth to have the crown fitted. The price can go up or down depending on whether bone graphs are needed or gum contouring is necessary. I have also found that where a bone graph is needed sometimes you will have to wait 4 to 6 months before the implant can be placed. Additionally, in some situations you will have to wait 4 to 6 months after the placement of the implant to get fitted for the crown in order to let the implant accept and merge with the existing bone in your jaw. So it seems this will be a very long process which will be a good thing because it gives me more time to save up for the procedures. Additionally, once I know the time frame and exact cost I can save up enough to pay for everything that can be done for the year, then I can direct the rest of my savings towards paying down the rest of my student loan.  I would love to get that student loan paid down because it was my original plan to pay off the student loan and then get my teeth done.  I am impatient though and having to wait for months maybe even a year just to get two complete teeth will drive me crazy!


I am so stressed about paying off my outstanding debt.  This dental work is driving me crazy. I hate not knowing exactly how much it will cost.  I want to know now, so I can plan and obsess! I'm a total mess, I know.  I hope to cash flow all of the dental work. However, I would much rather use that cash to pay down my student loans (or save it).  It's so frustrating.  I am very motivated by seeing progress.  Having to pay for all of this dental work will pretty much stop all of my progress for the year. Sigh.  I know that of course I don't know what the future holds for me. I could lose my job tomorrow and then I wouldn't be able to pay for the dental or my loans, but for now I have goals and plans and I want those to come true.  I want to be wealthy and prepared for just about anything.  I think it is downright shameful when someone makes good money, but has nothing to show for it when that income stream is cutoff.  I really don't want to be that person. If I lose this job I want all my debt to be paid off and my savings accounts to be flush with cash. 

I feel it is so important to be as debt free as possible.  That frees up so much income so you can save and invest. Paying monthly payments for years prevents you from ever getting out from under the pressure that is debt.  I hate the pressure that I feel. It's like a race against an unknown opponent that may or may not be racing you. Will tragedy strike in the midst of paying off debt or saving money? Will I make it to the finish line?  Where is the finish line? Basically $28,220 stands between me and freedom, but its a huge beast with lots of special tricks. Can I battle it on my own?

Friday, February 14, 2014


Today was payday so once again it's time to pay bills. Here's the breakdown:

$1,025 to the chase credit card to pay off my sister's credit card debt. This will bring the balance down to $0. Yay!

$554 to my capital one card which represents mostly dental expenses, etc. This plus the $100 budgeted for gas will bring the balance down to $205.

$100 to savings This will bring the balance up to approximately $10,100.
$295 utilities
$240 spending
$100 groceries
$100 gas

By paying off that chase credit card I will now be able to direct all of my extra debt payments to the upcoming dental work.  I have an appointment for the end of February to begin the root canal work.  That portion should cost around $1,000.  Sigh.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dental expenses

I went to the dentist earlier this week and the results were not pretty, but it was totally expected.

Okay here's the low down on my dental expenses.
             1 Root canal and crown $2,000
             4 wisdom teeth pulled $2,000
             2 other teeth pulled (crown will no longer suffice) $1,000
             Consultation for dental implants $200
             Possibly gum contouring ?????
             2 dental implants $8,000-$10,000
             2 crown for the dental implants $2,000-$5,000

I'm seriously hoping that I am not a candidate for dental implants so I can just get a bridge put in.  It would be sooo much cheaper probably a third of the price.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Work Status

Okay, okay so I have been a lazy bum and I have not applied for any new jobs.  I think today, I will work on updating my resume. I'm so unhappy at work sometimes I really cannot stand it.  My boss never comes into the office, but constantly calls (at 5:15p.m.) with last minutes projects (that he has known about for weeks) that must be completed that moment.  So much time is spent preparing him for events and he never reviews any of the voluminous documents that are culled together for him.  Then he complains that something that was prepared for him, was not prepared for him, so you end up doing something for him that someone else has already done.  He is subject to emotional tantrums (he is in his mid 60s) he had a major one last week.  He was so angry he couldn't come into the office for 3 days.  This was all over the way that the document was transmitted to a client.  Believe me, that's not unusual for him, he was so pissy to ME once because his assistant sent him a document as a pdf and not a word document. It's very frustrating because I never know what is going to set him off.

He, again, is encouraging his assistant to not to come into the office which is a real problem because she is also the office manager.  I think she was off more than she came in, in January.  That was exacerbated by the fact that she took several last minute half days in December when her step kids were home for winter break.  Her work product is slipping she is not calendaring things that need to go out.  In Florida, everything is electronic now re: court pleadings, discovery, etc.  It is her responsibility to save these documents into the shared drive.  So much stuff is missing, this is due to the fact that she leaves work early, takes several days off and claims to be sick so often.  I don't think she's worked a full week this year yet.  All of her work is falling on other people to take care of.  My boss does not realize the problem because he is never in the office to see her absence and its effects.  To top all of this off, she has requested one full vacation week in May (knowing full well she will be off in March to watch her step kids on spring break) and one full vacation week in August (to go visit her parents).  My boss is giving her extra vacations and extra sick days to which no one else is entitled.  Why can't there be rules and someone to enforce the rules.  I definitely want a boss who has compassion, but not like this.  I think the problem is he is a master manipulator, but he is also a master at being manipulated.

I really am perplexed at what to do about this situation.  I cannot keep being responsible for opening the office when she decides not to come in for the day.  I cannot keep being responsible for manning the telephones when she's out claiming to be sick.  I need someone I can count on to calendar due dates for documents. I feel as though the entire operation of the firm is falling on me.  My boss is completely unaware of when things are due and I have no back up, if I miss something no one will recognize it until it's too late.  Geez, I can't even count on having someone present to finalize and file documents on any given day. It's complete chaos and disorganization. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Taxes Update

I filed my taxes and I will receive a $565 refund.  This only because of the mortgage interest deduction, etc., that I was entitled to take due to the purchase of my home last year.  The extra $565 will be helpful as I will have some expensive dental work to pay for shortly.  (I will blog about that dental work in a separate post.)  However, now that I think about it I will probably just add the tax refund into my emergency/savings fund. I really want to get that up to $15,000 by the end of the year.  I just feel much more comfortable with that number.  It should get me through 6 months of hard times pretty easily.  Once, I payoff my last student loan (if that ever happens) I will probably try to get that account up to $25,000 to $30,000, which would cover me for about a year (with no frills of course).  Geez, why is money so hard to come by!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Debt Update

I got paid on Friday, January 31, 2014.  I paid $96 to my chase credit card which contains the remainder of the debt that I agreed to pay off for my sister (the minimum payment is $25.00).  The total left on that credit card is $1025.  I should be able to payoff that $1025 from my paycheck from February 14, 2014.

 I paid $405 to my capital one card, which I used for my contacts, eye appointment, car registration, gas, dental work, etc.  The remaining balance is $490.  I had $205 left in my house fund ( I set aside approximately $300 a month to use towards the house-often it goes towards debt repayment.) which I put on the card.  I also budget $100 every 2 weeks for gas.  I use this card mainly for gas to get cash back, the card awards 1.5%  on any and all purchases. I used the $100 amount budgeted for gas this pay period and last pay period to bring the total payment up to $405.

 On Monday I will renew my home warranty at a cost of $550 which I will charge to my capital one card.  I also will pay any fee it takes to e-file my taxes.  I have budgeted a $279 payment to the capital one card from my February 14, 2014 pay check.  (*** reminder this capital one card is 0% interest until December of 2014.***) I will probably also use the $300 set to go into my house fund to pay on this card as well  on February 14, 2014. 

Despite all of this I have a comprehensive dental exam on February 7, 2014.  I know the exam alone will cost $154.  This will go on the card as well.  I already know I have a lot of dental work to be done, but I may only get the necessary items done right now unless the dentist is willing to work out a deal for everything.  Otherwise, the other things (other than cleanings) will wait until next year and shoot, I might be able to take the medical deduction if it costs as much as I expect it will.