Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2016 Goals

Okay readers, I have put together a list of goals for myself for 2016.  Some of them are similar to last years goals, but there are quite a few new ones on this list.  

1. Payoff student loan
2. Increase emergency fund to $15,000
3. Save $2,000 towards a new vehicle
4. Begin retirement contributions and save $5,500 towards retirement
6. Begin investing in mutual funds
7. Maintain a $1,000 (work) travel fund
8. Build a $1,000 car maintenance fund
9. Build a $500 home maintenance fund
10. Build a $750 medical fund
11. Build a $500 pet fund 
12. Lose 30lbs!!!!
13. Read 24 books
14. Travel somewhere cool!

Those are a lot of goals and I'm not sure if I am going to be able to accomplish them all. However, I know that I have accomplished a lot this year, way more than I thought possible.  I wish everyone luck in setting forth their new goals and sticking to them in 2016. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Belated Merry Christmas!!

And a Happy New Year, if I don't put up another post before then.  I had a wonderful Christmas and I hope everyone else did as well!   I do plan on getting a post with my 2016 goals and another with my 2015 year end results.  I think I did pretty well in 2015 and I can't wait for 2016!

I need to start working on closing out the last pay period so I can make a payment on my student loan before the 1st of January.  The office will be pretty empty today so I will probably do some of that at work today.I only have to work 3.5 days this week so I am pretty excited about.

I stayed within my Christmas budget so I am very pumped that I was able to do that AND I even have some money left over. The exact amount still needs to be determined though! Okay, I've got a few things to do before work today so I am off. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Savings 2015

Although I will receive one more paycheck in 2015, I think that I have put away all that I am going to save for 2015.  I have $10,006 in my emergency fund and $4,020 in my online savings account.  I'm hoping the interest rate hike will boost the interest rate on my "high yield" savings account.  Anyways, all of my extra money this month will go towards making my goal of paying $20,000 towards my student loan.

Because I won't be adding anymore money to savings this year I will be able to put an extra $100 on my student loan from my December 31, 2015 paycheck.  That means I am only $154.78 short of making my goal of $20,000.  I'm hoping that I will be able to find that money through leftover Christmas spending. 

But....you guys know by now that I am crazy.  I have a secret goal to get my student loan balance down into the $3,000s by the end of the year.  That would take about an extra $165 on top of what I already need to make my $20,000 goal.  I know it's insane, paying $20,000 on the loan is a great accomplishment, especially in light of the fact that I was still paying for dental expenses at the beginning of the year! I can't help myself though, I love to see the balance drop into the next $1000 by the end of the month and it drives me crazy if it doesn't. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

$4,000s and new goal!

Yesterday I made a payment on my student in the amount of $545.  $250 came from the travel voucher reimbursement that I just received, $260 came from my budget and $35 came from leftover money from the last budget period.  That payment dropped the balance owing down to $4,904 (with interest through 12/31)!!

I achieved my newest goal of paying the student loan into the $4,000s by the end of the year.  I also accomplished my new goal of paying $19,000 on the student loan this year.  The total amount paid onto my student loan this year is $19,253.22! I have not done an updated calculation on the interest, but I will do one at the end of the year after I make my final payment for 2015.  It will likely be just over $500 interest. 

I now have a new goal to pay $20,000 to the loan by the end of the year.  I have a $492 payment budgeted out of my last paycheck of the year.  That leaves me $254.78 short of my goal.  I have 15 days to find that extra money!!  Wish me luck!

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 16-31 Budget

$200 utilities
$100 regular groceries
$1604 Christmas Gifts, groceries, etc.
$260 Student loan
$33 alarm monitoring
$200 spending
$25 savings
$100 gas

A super large portion of the income is going towards Christmas.  I am hoping and fairly certain that at least a portion of that will be left over and applied to my student loan at the end of the year.  I'm not planning on doing many one on one Holiday celebrations, but there are a few parties that I am planning on attending so anything I have to bring will come out of the Christmas gift, groceries, etc. line item.

There has been no mention of year end bonuses and I'm pretty sure we won't get anything.  There is a small chance that we will receive grocery gift cards or something like that.  I would prefer to have the week off between Christmas and New Year's, but no one is asking for my opinion.  However, that would require that the firm give us our 12/31 paychecks on Christmas eve and I doubt that the firm has all the cash in place to do that.

 I have to confess that I do get jealous when I read other PF blogger's posts about getting large bonuses (or any bonuses for that matter).  I just wish that this firm would get on the ball so the employees could take home bonuses.  Believe me, we earn them 10 times over.  Okay, well at least I do.  There have been countless times that I have worked on weekends and 12 or 14 hour days.  I try to remind myself that it is important that we are employed and receive paychecks timely, it definitely could be a lot worse. I will carry that reminder to be grateful with me today. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Quick Student Loan Payment Alert!

I made a $250 payment on my student loan out of the travel voucher money that I just received.  The balance is now down to $5,442.  I'm now paid up through April of 2023.  Slow progress, but the numbers are definitely falling!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


I finally received a travel voucher reimbursement check yesterday, just shy of 3 months after the travel! It is for just over $1,000 and half of it will be going back into my travel fund and half will go towards my student loan.  This will help me make my goal of $19,000 paid on my student loan by the end of the year. I still have about $400 in travel vouchers outstanding, but I'll worry about those later.  I only have one more trip scheduled for the rest of the year and that $500 should cover it (gas hotel room, etc.) With this travel voucher payment and the rest of the money I have budgeted for my student loan for the year, I should be able to get my student loan balance down into the $4,000s by the end of December!!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Student loan numbers through November

I have been tracking my student loan payoff amounts (somewhat) for 2015.  The total amount owed at the end of each month is shown below.

December 2014: $23,650
April 2015: $19,408
May 2015: $18,939
June 2015: $16,632
July 2015: $14,824
August 2015: $12,392
September 2015: $9,999
October 2015: $8,019
November 2015: $5,692 (with interest calculated through 12/15)

As of Monday, I have paid a total of $18,458.22 to my student loan this year.  Of that amount $493.46 has gone towards interest.  I will probably pay about $500 in interest by the end of the year.

My goal is pay $19,000 to the loan by the end of the year, only $541.78 left to go before December 31, 2015. When I look at my budget I'm about $50 short, but  I will figure it out.  I can't believe I'm about to pay $19,000 in one year onto my student loan, it's crazy, especially where at the beginning of the year I was still paying for dental expenses. I'm so glad that I've been able to do so much.  No matter what happens from here on out, I'm proud of what I have been able to accomplish. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


I just wanted to put up a quick post before I get off to work today.  I made a  payment on Monday and my student loan balance fell to $5,692!!! I am in the $5,000s.  I originally thought that by the end of December I would only get the balance down to $5,600, but by the end of November I made it!  My next payment is not due until February of 2023. 

I still have another $492 budgeted for an end of December payment!! My goal, now, is to get this thing paid down into the $4,000s before the new year.  I will have to scrimp, save and cut back on Christmas, but I will do it.  If this all works out, then that will be less money that I have to pull out of savings at the end of January to pay it off. 

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Holidays!! Budget for December 1-15

$1,480 mortgage
$492 Student loan
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$200 spending
$100 savings
$100 gas

Today is payday for me, so I will be running to the bank at lunch to deposit my paycheck.  I had a good bit of money leftover from the last 2 week pay period so I will be able to put more than $492 on  my student loan today.  I should fall down in to the $5,000s, but I need to close out the budget period so I can figure out the exact numbers.  I have been waiting with bated breath for this paycheck as paying off debt is like a drug to me.  Payday is such a thrill, but there is always such a long time between checks! Sometimes if I have a little cash available I will make a small payment to my student loan, mid pay period, just to see the numbers drop a little more.  Goodness, I will be so happy for the day when student loan is no longer a line item on my budget because I have paid that stupid thing off!  Good wishes and happiness to all of you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!!

I am off to work in a few moments for a half of a day.  I am so grateful that we only have to work half a day today so I can get home and finish my Holiday cooking!! So far I have stayed on budget with my Thanksgiving budget and even have $100 left over.  We did not get Thanksgiving day bonuses and while it was missed, I'm okay with it.  I was able to budget well and thanks to the $60 gift card I received when I purchased my tires, everything worked out. 

Hopefully, I won't spend much over the next 4.5 days and I will be able to put that extra money on my student loan.  Guys, I am laser focused and obsessed with making sure that I put $19,000 on my student loan this year! I will do it! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

New Goal for debt payoff

As of Monday I have paid $17,651.22 on my student loans this year.  At the beginning of this year, my original goal was to pay $10,000 on my student loans, I later modified that goal to $16,000.  I have met both of those goals.

So I have been thinking about what to do and my new goal is to put $19,000 on student loan debt by the end of this year.  I am hopeful that I can make that goal.  I only have about 1.5 months left, but I am going to try as hard as I can to squeeze every extra dollar out of my budget (without sacrificing too much) in order to come up with the $1,348.78 needed to meet that goal.  I have about $984 budgeted towards my student loan debt for the next 1.5 months.  So I am a bit short, but I am hopeful that my Christmas spending will be limited and I will be able to scrape together extra money. If I am able to make this goal, my student loan will be down to approximately $5,130 by the end of December!! Boy, would I love to start the year owing only $5,130 with a payment not due until probably June of 2023. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Student Loan is in the $6,000s!!!

Oh my goodness!!! I put a $1,564 payment on my student loan (this was my $1,529 budgeted payment and $35 leftover from the last budget period).  I currently owe $6,464 on the loan (with interest calculated through the end of the month).   With this payment I have paid $17,651.22 on my student loan this year! I don't have a payment due until September 16, 2022. It's a great feeling to know that if tough times emerge, I would not have to make a payment on the loan for almost 7 years.  However, believe me, I would be trying to find every way to scrape together some money so that the interest would not compound! 

If I had only paid the minimum payments on this loan, I would be paying on it until 2030.  As it stands, if I only paid the minimum payments on this loan (from here on out)- it would still take me, approximately, 4 years to pay off the loan. That would put my at paying off the loan in 2019!! There is no way I can pay on this loan for 4 more years.

 I am honestly overjoyed to see this balance drop into the $6,000s.  I wish I could get it down lower, but in the $6,000s is fantastic.  I should be able to pay this down into the $5,000s before the end of the year!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Budget November 16-30

We don't get paychecks until Monday because the 15th fell on a Sunday, but I wanted to go ahead and put my next budget period up.

$210 utilities
$100 groceries
$1529 student loan
$300 thanksgiving
$33 alarm monitoring
$200 spending
$50 savings
$100 gas

 I have a little money leftover from the last budgeting period to help me get through the weekend.   I have a $60 prepaid debt card that I received as a result of the new tires I purchased last month.  I think I am going to buy a Publix gift card with that prepaid debt card and use it for Thanksgiving. (The rules regarding the use of the prepaid debit card are overly complicated.) That way, hopefully, I will have cash leftover after Thanksgiving that I can put on my student loan.  I'm also still hoping that the firm gives us gift cards for Thanksgiving as we likely will not receive Christmas bonuses this year.  If we receive gift cards from the firm, I may have more money that I can put on my student loan after Thanksgiving.

I have some travel coming up for work and I still haven't bothered the bookkeeper about my travel vouchers.  I have a trip on Tuesday and another one at the end of November.  I then have 2 more trips in December (for now).  My travel fund is on $0, I need to fill it back up.  Speaking of that, I may take some money from that student loan amount and throw it in the travel fund, until I get reimbursed.  I hate to keep taking money away from the student loan, but I don't know what else to do.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day and Odds and Ends

First, oh my goodness, payday is not until NEXT Monday (16th), I'm so ready to put a payment on my student loans.  It feels like I have been in the 8000s forever.  Is anyone else as impatient as I am? I really need to learn patience, it is not one of my virtues. 

I hope everyone has exciting plans for Veterans Day.  I plan to stay home, clean, read and work in the yard. Hopefully, a no spend or low spend day.  I gotta make this money stretch until payday.

I have a few expenses coming up: a new water filter for the refrigerator, thanksgiving grocery items and some travel for work at the end of the month.  That reminds me, I need to email the bookkeeper sometime this week to make sure she reimburses me for (some of) those outstanding travel expenses.  I already have 2 trips planned for December.

While I'm concerned (as I spoke about in my previous post) about the new associate that has been with the firm for almost 2 weeks now, I'm excited that maybe I won't be gone for 2 weeks in February for a trial in Central/South Florida. That would have been an expensive trip and I would have hated to carry those expenses for 2 months until the firm reimbursed me. 

Okay, I just wanted to type out a few things that had been on my mind.  I'm going to go get a few things done.  Have a wonderful Veterans Day (especially those of you who have the day off). 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Work Concerns

I should be getting reimbursed for some work travel in the next few weeks.  I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but the amount that's due to me in November is about $1,000.  That is the amount that I typically keep in  my travel fund.  I was hoping to be able to put some of that money on my student loan, but I guess I will put it all back in the travel fund.  Maybe I will split it and put a small portion on my student loan.  Oh well, I guess I will figure it out when the reimbursements come in. Although, I have a feeling that that due to the upcoming Holiday season, the bookkeeper may be a bit slow in reimbursing me.  I will have to stay on top of her to make sure that she pays them this month.  The firm will also probably try to do some small bonus or gift card for Thanksgiving and that will likely cut into my reimbursements.  In December I am expecting another $250 or so in reimbursements. 

Also, as of October 30, 2015 the South/Central Florida office hired a new associate. This is a bit worrisome to me.  I was helping out a lot down there and this North Florida office doesn't really have much work.  We have a few cases that trickle in.  I hope I don't get laid off before I can pay off my student loan.  I  know I am paid up six years in advance on this loan, but I just need to finish it.  After I pay it off, I can focus on building savings in case of an emergency.  I hope that if there is a money flow problem the firm lays off non-billiable staff first.  Typically, most law firms will layoff non-billiable staff (secretaries, etc.) in order to cut expenses and keep the staff that is making the firm money.   However, this firm does not do anything that is logical and reasonable.  Oh well, only time will tell.  I will have to be more diligent with my finances.  Unfortunately, I blew $72 at Walmart on Friday. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 1-15 Budget

$1,480 Mortgage
$492 student loan
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$200 spending
$100 savings
$100 gas

I was only able to put $492 on my student loan, but my next payment is not due until November of 2021.  I am paid up exactly six years in advance on my loan!  I owe $8,019 (with interest calculated through the 15th of this month) on the loan.  It's getting close, it was a real morale booster to get below $10,000.  I'm hoping I can snowflake a bit towards the balance over the next couple of months so that I can get it down even more before the end of the year. Should I make a new goal for the end of the year?  I will probably have the balance down to around $5,600 by the end of the year.  Should I try and shoot for $5,000? $600 is a lot to strive for when my budget is already cut to the bones.  Hmmm, I will have to think about this one.

I have $3,841 in my online savings account and I earn about $0.11 a day of interest.  It's nice to see the balance growing.  Even if it's just at $3 of interest a month, plus whatever I can contribute to it. I can't wait to see the day when that balance grows by leaps and bounds. I am getting so close to my goal of $4,000 saved in it by the end of the year.  That with my $10,000 emergency fund will give me such a great level of comfort, especially knowing that at the end of January I will be taking about $3,500 out to pay off the last bit of my student loan.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Missed Goal

Gosh darn it, I missed my $8,000 goal for my student loan! I was really hoping I would be able to pay it down into the high $7,000s by the end of October but, as you can see in my previous post, Murphy got in the way.  I'm very disappointed, but there have been several other missed goals on this journey to debt freedom.  Despite this missed goal I'm still making good progress on paying down my student loan.

Here are the numbers so far this year:
December 2014: $23,650
April 2015: $19,408
May 2015: $18,939
June 2015: $16,632
July: $14,824
August: $12,392
September: $9,999
October: $8,019

Also, with this most recent payment (today) on my student loan I have officially paid over $16,000 on my student loan this year.  $16,087.22 to be exact! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

!$@!!! Murphy!!

So yesterday as I was driving home from work I noticed that my headlights looked odd in the reflection of the car in front of me.  When I got home I pulled into the garage and left the lights on so I could check.  Well, my fog lights and indicators lights were working, but 2 of the main headlights were totally out.  The other 2 were on very dim and definitely on their last legs.  My car is 9 years old and the headlight bulbs have never been replaced- so I guess it was about time to replace them. 

Anyways, I promptly went inside and researched the replacement bulbs for my car and instructions on how to replace them.  Talk about expensive!! I had 4 bulbs that had to be replaced: 2 low beam bulbs and 2 high beam bulbs.  On the internet without tax, I estimated the cost for all 4 bulbs to be about $58.  I went to the auto store today and the cost was almost $64 with tax.  However, I was able to replace the bulbs myself and save some money in that respect. I had just about $60 left in my budget for this 2 week period.  I was hoping to put that $60 towards my student loan, but that about covered the cost of the bulbs.  So much for the extra money on the loan.  Oh well.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Student loan payments and interest 2015

So far this year I have paid $15,625.22 to my student loans. Of that amount $468.28 has gone towards interest. I will probably pay less than $50 in interest for the remainder of the year.  I should easily make my goal of putting $16,000 on my student loan this year, less than $400 to go. 

I currently owe about $8,500 and at this point I have approximately $13,700  in savings.  Which means, according to the Dave Ramsey theory, that I have more than enough to pay off my student loan and, in fact, should payoff my loan.  I'm really teetering on the edge of whether I should pay off the loan.  At this point, I don't really feel comfortable with taking so much money out of my meager savings.  I have a 9 year old car and a house to maintain.  However, I also am so damn tired of paying on this loan.  But still, it's too close to Christmas to quickly rebuild my emergency fund and I don't want to get stuck in a bad situation because I was impatient. 

My original plan was to pay down on the loan until the end of January and then take the remaining balance out of savings (approximately $3,500) and pay it off.  I think I am going to stick with that plan, but as the days roll by slowly and I obsessively track the interest paid on my loan, I am getting more and more anxious. What would you do?  Pay off the loan in January or do it right now?

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 16-31 Budget

$270 utilities
$100 groceries
$200 spending
$50 savings
$100 gas
$33 alarm
$1510 student loan
$95 credit card- travel expenses
$164 car maintenance

Okay guys, here's the budget for the next 2 week period.  I initially paid only $1,050 on my student loan so that I could hold some extra money aside for some car maintenance.  The car maintenance only totaled $164 so the left over $460 went back to the student loan.  My balance is approximately $8,502 with interest calculated through the end of the month.  My next payment is not due until July  of 2021!  A screenshot of my account is below.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Yesterday I made a $1,050 payment to my student loan and that dropped my balance down into the $8,000s! Holy crap, I can barely believe that at the end of December of 2014 I owed $23,650.  Again, the balance is barely down into the $8,000s- the exact amount owed is $8,962 (with interest calculated through 10/31), but it's still in the $8,000s.  I have a little money held aside to pay off my credit card (work travel expenses) and a little for an oil change- so I likely will put a little more on my student loan before I get paid again.  I have a small chance of actually making my goal off $8,000 by the end of the month! Alright, I need to get moving- I gotta put a load of clothes in the washing machine (and hopefully dryer) before I head to work today.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I have been so sick for the past 6 days! I've been dragging myself to work, but I don't know how productive I have been.  My head hurts, I'm dizzy, hot flashes, neck pain, nausea, you name it.  I don't know what's wrong, but I am finally starting to feel just a little better.  My sister seems to be catching the same illness, I hope it passes quickly for her.

Tomorrow is payday and I need to close out the previous 2 week budget period, but I'm so tired I don't know if I can do it tonight. I will definitely do it tomorrow and post the next 2 week budget period.  This next 2 weeks will be expensive: Halloween candy, dinner and movie with a friend and an oil change for my vehicle. I will be so happy when I am actually saving money for retirement and various sinking funds and not just paying off debt.  Right now it feels like all of my money goes right out of the door. 

My boss has been behaving oddly lately and I don't know what to make of that. He's being nicer than usual and that throws me off since he is normally so rude and unappreciative.  Maybe everyone pushing on him to get his shit together is finally paying off.  Lol, I doubt it though.  I think he just is feeling remorseful over his recent bad behavior on a business trip! I won't go into details, but as you can imagine he was being overly flirtatious with an employee while under the influence of alcohol.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Catching up

I took this weekend to spend some time catching up on a few thing around the house: cleaning my bathroom, the kitchen, etc.  I plan to try and do some yard work today after I go for a walk with a friend. 

Payday is looming brightly head this coming Thursday and I am certainly looking forward to it.  I won't be able to make a huge payment on my student loan out of this upcoming pay period due to travel expenses, but I'm hoping to still put at least $1,000 on it.  That will bring me down into the $8,000s.  I am hoping with crossed fingers and sugar on top that we get Christmas bonuses this year! I would put $1,500 on my student loan out of that bonus.  Happy positive thoughts people!

Here's the progress I've made on my student loan so far this year (by month):
December 2014: $23,650
April 2015: $19,408
May 2015: $18,939
June 2015: $16,632
July: $14,824
August: $12,392
September: $9,999

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 1-15 Budget

$1,480 mortgage
$492 student loan
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$200 misc spending
$100 savings
$100 gas

So I have been traveling for work quite a bit lately.  I just got back last week from a conference in the mid-west.  I was down in central Florida today.  I traveled a lot last month and I am so tired! Of course, once again, travel reimbursements are slow and I am struggling a bit with the financial aspects (specifically a $600 hotel bill!).  My $1000 travel fund has basically been depleted. I will probably be pulling money out of my spending budget in order to continue to sustain the necessary traveling, which sucks since any leftover would have gone to my student loans. However, frankly, at this point I'm too tired to complain about anything and I am just going to be happy that I can pay the bills! Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Goals Third Quarter Check In

 I made 10 goals at the beginning of the year.  I did a mid-year status update on June 5, 2015. Below is the 3rd quarter follow-up!

1. Pay off $10,000 on my student loans.

PASS- - To date I have paid off approximately $13,650 on my student loans this year.  I did have a stretch goal of paying off $12,000 this year on this loan- DONE!! My new goal is to pay off $16,000 by the end of the year!

 2. Pay off the smaller student loan completely.


3. Cash flow the dental work I have left.

4. Be a better friend to my friends.

5. Read at least 24 books

6. Give more (time and money). IN PROGRESS!

7. Lose weight = 30lbs. OMG!! Weight loss to date--3lbs. Sigh.
FAILING TOTALLY- I refuse to get on the scale.

 8. Find a new job.

9. Be more positive!

10. Increase online savings account to $3,500.
PASS- $3,688! My new goal is to get this to $4,000 by the end of the year.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Just a quick update.  I just made a payment on my student loan and I now owe $9,999 (with interest calculated through 10/15/15).  I'm down into the 4 figure range!  Whoop!! My next goal is to have the balance down to $8,000 by the end of October.  My next payment is not due until September of 2020!! Okay, gotta go catch a plane, toodles!

Friday, September 25, 2015


I'm so glad it's Friday.  I'm tired and worn out, it has been a long week.  Payday is looming next week, on Wednesday and I cannot wait to make a payment on my student loan.  I think that paying off debt is like a drug, I'm always waiting and anticipating the next payment.  While I don't think it's likely, I am really hoping that the firm gives Christmas bonuses this year.  I could really use the cash to pay down my student loan.  I usually just save the money, but this year, since I am getting so close to paying off the loan- I would definitely give it to Sallie Mae!  I wish the partners would give the money based on merit and not just give money to everyone.  I have worked my ass off this year, even working an entire weekend just recently at the request of my boss. Not to mention the many days I have been on the road at 5:00a.m. for work trips.  Oh well. I'll try not to worry, God has been giving me little blessings this year- just in the nick of time, everytime.

I have been spending like crazy this budget period, I don't know what has gotten into me.  I think I have like $20 left in my spending category.  Believe me, next Wednesday cannot come fast enough.  It's so hard to get through the weekend with only $20 in your spending budget.  I keep hoping that there will come a day when my budget is not quite so tight and I can spend a bit more freely.  Okay. I am going to go get ready for work it's already after 6:00 a.m. here and I have a lot to accomplish today.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September 16-30 Budget

$300 utilities
$100 groceries
$1739 student loan
$33 alarm system
$200 spending
$50 savings
$100 gas

I have been spending a lot this 2 week period and I am less than halfway through it.  I really need to curb that and fast.  I think I am just generally exhausted.  I am hoping to get a a chance to take some vacation time soon.

I have to attend a conference for work in a couple of weeks and I need to make sure I have some nice appropriate clothing and footwear so that will cost me a bit of money.  I think I have generally what I need, but I have gained some weight so I might spend a little on a new dress and maybe some flat shoes for running through the airports. Also, I may need to purchase a few odds and ends for makeup.  I will worry about that next weekend because I hate clothes shopping.  That's all for now.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

My Raise

So probably about a month ago, I received a raise at work.  Just a small 5% raise- which now brings my total salary just over $80,000 a year.  I also received a promise that I would receive another 5% raise once the firm's finances turn around- that raise would bring my salary up to the mid-80s.

I appreciate the raise because I need the money.  I need to finish paying off my student loans and start putting money away for retirement.  However, I really feel as though the only reason I received the raise was because my boss feels he can buy me to make me stay at the firm.  I have encouraged, cajoled and basically begged him to take on more work over the last 4 years.  He has refused, he is in his 60s, he has suffered a lot of tragedy and he is tired/bitter.  He doesn't really want to work anymore.  I'm in my 30s and I am concerned about money because I am and single and I need to work for 30 more years in order to be able to retire.  If I have a prolonged period of time without working or without receiving a paycheck I will be in major trouble.

I hate the mental games that he plays.  He likes to stress you out and drive you crazy and then do something nice that he doesn't have to do in order to keep you off balance.  He tends to use money to buy people (which is why he is broke).  I had a boss several years ago who said that she used that exact strategy with people in order to wear them out and get what she wanted.

So now I am struggling with being grateful for this blessing and resentful for his attempts to control me.  So far I have used the extra money about $200 a month towards my student loans. Anyways, I have been asked to work this weekend, so I need to make my way into work. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


 I made my mid- September student loan payment today and it already processed.  The outstanding balance is now into the $10,000s!! I owe approximately $10,540, with interest calculated through September 30, 2015.

I'm almost into the 4 figure range!! I originally had a goal to get the balance down to $10,750 by the end of September, but I think I will modify that goal to $9,999 by the end of September.  I will get into the 4 figure range by the end of the month!! I'm excited, but trying not to get too excited.  I just need steady progress through the end of the year.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


So I got contacted by a legal recruiter head hunter on Friday.  It was out of the blue and I'm not sure how my name came across her desk.  I didn't have much time to speak with her because I had a conference call to jump on within minutes of her call. She said she did not have much information about me because our firm does not have a website.  She asked me to send her my resume and whether I was interested in looking at new opportunities.  I told her I would send her my resume and that I was interested in new opportunities.  I got her email address and confirmed her name.  A few hours later I googled her to see if she was legit and apparently she and her agency are legit.  I don't know how this works and I guess I should get some information before I move too quickly into engaging with her.  How do these headhunters make money? Shoot, maybe I should look into a career as a headhunter.  I wonder how much they make???

Every time I meet with the South/Central Florida partner she asks me to move down and work in her office. At first I thought she was just kidding, now I think she is serious. I'm not sure what that means for me.  I have a house here and have only owned it for 2 years.  Still too early to sell even with the downpayment I put down.

Definitely, there is not enough work in the North Florida office for a full staff.  The South/Central Office definitely has a enough work for a full time staff and an associate.  When I spoke to her last she said that she needed an associate, but was worried she wouldn't have enough work for said associate if she was still sending work to the North Florida office.  I think next time I see her I will have a upfront talk with her about the status of the firm and my role there.  I don't want to end up getting laid off because I held on to hope that she was going to fix things and refused to move to South/Central Florida. I guess I will just ask her, blatantly, if I should be worried about having a job if I can't (won't)  move to South/Central Florida.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September 1-15 Budget

$1,480 mortgage
$492 student loan
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$200 spending
$100 savings
$100 gas

I'm so tired, I can't think straight.  Long day of travel for work and I really need to go to sleep. I've been up since around 3:45a.m. and driving since 4:45 a.m. It's now after 9:00p.m. Zzzzz!!!

Friday, September 4, 2015


I'm officially down to a balance of $12,393 on my student loan! I'm loving the progress at this point. My next goal is to have the balance down to $10,750 by the end of September.
For my end of August payment I was able to put $661 on the loan: that included my regular $492 payment, some leftover money from various budgeted areas from the previous 2 weeks and a health insurance premium rebate issued by the firm. The minimum monthly payment due on the loan is $150.82. 

Anyways, based on that $661 payment, I don't have a payment due until May of 2019.  The original end date for the loan was August (??) 2030.   If I am able to stick with my plan I should be able to pay the loan off at the end of January of 2016, cutting 14 years off of the loan.

Here is a month by month total:

December $23,650

April $19,408
May $18,939
June $16,632
July $14,824
August $12,393

I'll admit, as I get closer to the finish line I'm getting even more impatient.  I'm so ready to have this loan gone and start saving and investing.  I still also worry that something bad will happen before I have a chance to pay this thing off.  Sigh.  I will just keep plugging along and hopefully blessings will continue come my way.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 16-31 Budget

$309 utilities
$100 groceries
$1730 student loan
$33 alarm monitoring
$200 spending
$50 savings
$100 gas

I was able to make a nice payment to my student loan for this budget period and that made me pretty happy.  I was hoping to put (an additional) approximately $975 from my travel voucher reimbursement on the loan, but I ended up having to purchase 4 new tires that costly almost exactly $975. I swear, the money goblins know when money is coming your way and find a way to take it. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015


I am narrowing in on getting the student loan debt down into the 4 figure range!! I made my mid- August payment and now I owe $13,036 (with interest calculated through August 31, 2015) on my student loan.  I should be able to make my goal of $12,500, easily, by the end of the month.  I should be able to get the balance below that if I am reimbursed for my May and June travel vouchers before the end of the month.  I have paid off over $10,000 so far this year! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Debt Free Budget

I can't help but dream about what my budget will look like when I am debt free (except for my mortgage).  I have done a mock up of what it will look like and I have to say I am not impressed. I have been dreaming of the day when I no longer have to put $2,300 a month to my student loans and what I will do with that extra cash.  Well, from my estimates not much. Here's where the extra money will go:

$600 retirement
$500 new car
$150 investments
$250 house
$250 mom
$100 vacation
$128 extra mortgage payments

The remainder will be split among extra grocery money, extra spending money, and taking over the cellular phone bill from my sister.

I make over $80k a year now and it just seems like there is never enough money to go around.  I want to put an extra $500 a month on the mortgage and save $1000 a month for my car.  I am hopeful that I will receive another 5% raise next year, but that extra money will probably go to the mortgage. Sigh...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 1-15 Budget

$1,480 mortgage
$415 student loan
$127 emergency fund
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$200 spending
$50 savings
$100 gas

There it is, short and sweet.  I had to use some money out of the emergency fund to replace the thermostat on the central a/c unit- so that money got replaced this month.  Otherwise, there is nothing interesting or unusual to report for this 2 week budgeting period.

I just got the utility bill for July and oh my glory, it was expensive!! $303, and I usually pay a little extra on the bill so actually it was $310.  I'm trying to keep a closer eye of a/c use so that I don't have another $300 bill next month.  However, part of the increased bill was due to the broken thermostat. Argh!! Anyways, hopefully this 2 week budget period will fair better.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


I was thinking the other day about the day when my student loan will be finally paid off. As you know from my previous posts I still have just under $15,000 to payoff.

Let me tell you, paying off all of my debt (student loans, credit card debt, car loan, etc.) has been a major struggle for me.  I have been in debt up to my ears for the last 10 years.  However, I'm sure that the day that I announce to my friends and peers that I have finally paid off my student loans I will receive many comments about how "lucky" I am to have paid off my loans.  Already, in just speaking to friends and peers many have commented how lucky I will be to have my student loan paid off next year.   I have said numerous times to so many people how "lucky" they were when they had money to do something cool.  Wow, just thinking about that irritates me.  I don't feel lucky at all, I feel beat down and run over.  I have had to sacrifice so much just to be able to get as far as I am and I still feel so far behind.  Man, I wish I had been socking money away in the stock market for the last ten years.  I feel like I don't make enough money and that even after all of my debt is paid off, I don't think I'll have enough money to adequately save for retirement and have a little fun.  Life is so stressful.  While I am extremely grateful for all of my blessings and the knowledge and passion to manage my finances, I don't at all feel lucky.  I feel like I have worked hard to get a law degree and worked my way up through the years to get a decent salary.  Nothing about my journey so far as felt easy or lucky. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015


I made my goal, my student loan is down to $14,824 as of July 31, 2015 (again, that with interest calculated through 8/14/15)!!!  I can't believe I actually got it paid down that far.  I'm so glad that I have been able to direct large amounts of money to this loan.  I can't believe that 10 years later I am still paying this thing off. 

Anyways, my next goal is have it paid down to the $12,000s by the end of August.  My long term goal is to pay off as much as I can by the end of this year and then in January, pull the remainder out of savings and retire this pain in the ass student loan!!!

For those of you who are interested, I have been somewhat tracking my student loan payoff this year.

Here are the numbers by month:
 December 2014 = $23,650
April 2015 =$19,408
May 2015 = $18,939
June 2015 = $16,632
July 2015 =$14,824

Whoop, whoop-I am kicking some student loan butt!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 16-31 Budget

$290 utilities
$100 groceries
$1020 student loan
$195 dentist
$415 Oldest sister's bday
$33 alarm monitoring
$211 spending
$50 savings
$100 gas
$108 my raise- this will likely go to my student loan-but I haven't really decided yet.

Boy, does time fly! It's already almost the end of the month.  I can't believe I'm just now getting this post up.  I have got to get on the ball.  I have so much to blog about, but I've just been kinda busy and kinda depressed. 

As for my student loan- I actually ended up paying $1,226 on it this month (see previous entry), due to leftover money in various categories from the previous budget period.  I also had money left over from the money I budgeted my oldest sister's birthday.  Anyways, I am still waiting on some travel voucher reimbursements- so hopefully I will get those soon and I will be able to put a little extra on my student loan.  I thought we had this all worked out, but it's been over 2 months since that May travel and I have not been reimbursed.  Additionally, I have travel vouchers that will be 2 months old come the first week of August, so hopefully those will be reimbursed soon as well. 

Note: I am writing this with one contact lens in- so please excuse any typos. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mid-July Student Loan Update

So after being paid on July 15, I made my big payment for the month, $1,226! My student loan balance is now down to approximately, $15,273 (that's with interest through July 31-the next anticipated payment date). My payment date has been advanced to October 2017. Who hoo! I am getting that balance down!  My balance is almost down to the amount I have in savings, I think that knowledge is encouraging me quite a bit.  I have approximately a little over $13,000 in savings so the 2 numbers are converging.  I should be able to meet my goal of having the balance in the $14,000s by the end of July.

Looking back at my payment history, I have made more than the minimum payment required on the loan since February of 2014! I received a small raise at work (about 5%) so I will likely put that money towards the student loan (more on that in a separate post).  Also, I am expecting reimbursement for at least one more travel voucher this month- so a portion of that money will also go towards the loan. 

One last thing-I've noticed that when I make a payment in excess of $1000, before the payment goes through, the website will issue a warning advising that I input an amount in excess of $1000.  I know it's probably to avoid typos, but I thought that was hilarious! Everytime, I was like, "Yes, I know it's in excess of $1000, I'm trying to pay this stupid thing off!!!!"

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Budget July 1-15

$1,480 mortgage
$367 student loan (already paid and blogged about!)
$60 pet plan (still need to cancel this)
$90 groceries
$217 spending
$100 savings
$100 gas

I am still closing out my budget from the last two week period, but it looks like I will have some leftover cash in various budgeted areas to put on my student loans (I think about $150), i.e., snowflakes.  I am excited because I having been dreaming and planning about what I will do with my money once the student loan is paid off.  However, I am kind of a pessimist so I tend to think that something bad will happen before I can pay off the very last loan. I overcompensate by obsessively  focusing on finding money to pay on the debt, until it has been paid in full. Anyways, I think I will work on closing out the end of June so I can make an extra payment on my student loan and avoid just a tiny bit of interest charges.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's going down!

As of the end of June my student loan balance is at $16,632 (that's with interest calculated through July 15, 2015-the next anticipated payment date). I'm finally seeing the movement that I was looking for at the beginning of the year.  My hope is that by the end of July the balance will be in the $14,000s.  That's definitely going to take some work so  I will have to see what snowflakes I can add to the payment.  My payment date has been advanced all the way to January 2017 (my student loan company will advance the payment date and apply the extra to principal).  Does anyone else have a student loan debt around the same as mine? Let's race to see who can get there the fastest.  A little competition always gets the financial juices flowing!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Things at work are just terrible right now.  My boss is a liar (ha ha, I know all attorneys are liars) and because of his lies he is causing problems in the office. He is making life miserable for me.  I just want to find a new job.   I'll admit I kind of slacked off (totally slacked off) with regard to my job search.  The job market here is so tough, it's hard to find anything to apply for.  I can't seem to find any positions for which I am qualified that are decent paying jobs.  I feel stuck and I hate feeling stuck.  I am going to re-up my job search.  I might even start attending the bar meetings with the hope that I'll make a connection for a new job. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

June 16-30 Budget

$250 utilities
$100 groceries
$1040 student loan
$600 sister's birthday
$33 alarm monitoring
$241 spending
$50 savings
$100 gas

In addition to the student loan payment budgeted above, I paid the $108 I cashed out from my credit card rewards and some travel voucher reimbursements and made the $1,784 payment referenced in my previous post.

To date, I have $3,151.97 in my online savings account and I am on track to make $1.90 in interest this month. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Is it sad

That the most exciting thing in my life right now is making big payments on my student loan? I made a whooping $1,784 payment yesterday (pay day) on my student loan.  It made me so excited!  I was literally giddy with excitement when I logged into my account this morning to check that the payment went through. It did, everything is well with the world.  I now owe $17,025 (with interest through June 30, 2015) on my one and only outstanding student loan! I am happy to be finally making progress, earlier this year I was busy making payments on my dental work so I was unable to make huge payments on the loan.  I should be just about done with paying for dental work (Still waiting on the final work as to whether I need anything else done) so hopefully the rest of the year will be spent putting extra on the student loan. I am currently paid up through October of 2016, so a little over a year (my student loan company will advance the due date AND apply the payment to principal). 

Okay debt bloggers, what makes you excited??

Friday, June 12, 2015

Travel voucher drama

You all have heard me complain (numerous times) about the extremely long length of time that it takes my firm to reimburse travel vouchers.  This year, I had expended over $1,400 out of pocket to travel on firm business and not one dime had been reimbursed.

So I took a stand, I advised the firm bookkeeper that I needed to be reimbursed for something.  I had been waiting over 3 months and was out of pocket almost $1,500.  I told her (although I did not want to) that I would speak to one of the partners if I had to as I could no longer bear the expense of extending credit to the firm for over 3 months at a time.  Well I guess she wanted it to come from her and not from me- so she spoke to one or both of the partners and the reimbursements starting rolling in. I had a check the very next day.  It was wonderful because I did not have to speak to my boss (whom is impossible to deal with) and I still got most of the money I was owed.  To date I have received checks totaling over $2,000 (this represents out of pockets costs-plus the mileage reimbursement). I still have a few travel vouchers outstanding (less than 30 days old), but that's all.

I have asked and asked over the years for my travel vouchers to be reimbursed more timely.  I always got some kind of crazy excuse (I have to balance my books first and it'll be a few weeks before I can get to it, the partners won't let me reimburse you until the client pays the bill, etc.).  However, typically the amounts were small enough that I felt that making a fuss out of a $150 travel voucher would not present me in any flattering light to my superiors.  Well, anyway, the stars perfectly aligned and everything worked out with very little chaos or stress.  That is very unusual in this firm and I expect that I will pay for it later.  Also, knowing that bookkeeper, she probably has it out for me now because she had to admit her faults to the partners.

Oh well, at least it's Friday!

Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 Goals- Status

I made 10 goals at the beginning of the year.  Let's see how I am doing.

1. Pay off $10,000 on my student loans.

To date I have paid off $4,711 on my student loans this year.  I do have a stretch goal of paying off $12,000 this year on this loan.  To reach my stated goal of $10,000 I am  ahead, technically I have until the end of June to pay off $300 more dollars ($1,300 to reach my stretch goal).

2. Pay off the smaller student loan completely.


3. Cash flow the dental work I have left.


4. Be a better friend to my friends.

5. Read at least 24 books

6. Give more (time and money).
7. Lose weight = 30lbs. OMG!! Weight loss to date--3lbs. Sigh.

8. Find a new job.

9. Be more positive!

10. Increase online savings account to $3,500.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 1-15 Budget

Here's the budget for June 1-15

$1,480 mortgage
$367 student loan
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$217 spending
$100 savings
$100 gas

I made the payment on my student loan late last night and it has finally posted! I now officially owe $18,937 (and change) on my student loan (that's with interest through June 15).  I've been waiting to see some progress and falling in the $18,000 range is making me feel so much better! I owed approximately $23,650 in December of 2014.  If I can get the balance down to $17,650 by the end of June I will have met my (internal) goal of paying $1,000 per month.  Just $1,300 to scratch together. I'm going to try to come close!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Debt Updates

I'm still feeling less than gazelle intense with regard to debt payoff. Here are the numbers as of today:

$1,028 credit card- this represents the leftover balance from some dental work I had done this year.  I'm waiting to pay off the remainder once my firm reimburses my outstanding travel expenses. I have been assured that I have a check coming next week for around $1,500.  Only time will tell. I have expended $1,400 in travel expenses since February and haven't gotten one dime back.  I feel terrible having to continually ask for my vouchers to be reimbursed.  It kind of feels like I am begging for my own money. 

$19,283 student loan- I am waiting to make a big payment on this loan once my firm reimburses my travel expenses.  I have budgeted a $367 payment for this loan for when I get paid on Monday.  I'm hoping to put over $1000 on this loan in mid- June from my June 15 paycheck.  I need to see the numbers start falling!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 16-31 Budget

$190 utilities
$100 groceries
$159 Mother's day Gifts
$41 saving account
$150 student loan
$650 car maintenance
$450 dental fund
$200 emergency fund
$140 travel fund
$33 alarm monitoring
$201 spending
$100 gas

Sigh, I was hoping to put about $1000 on my student loans for May.  That of course did not happen.  It would have happened had the firm paid any of my travel vouchers submitted in the last 3 months, but beyond that I won't complain anymore about that issue.

With the transfer of $41 to my online savings account that officially brings the balance up to $3000!! I am on track to earn $1.86 in interest on that account this month! I am working my way toward $2/month in interest.

Things at work have been crazy.  I will try to do  post on that later.  My job search efforts have not been going well, but I will forge ahead. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Emergency Fund To the Rescue!!

Thursday, I came home from work and noticed the house was kind of warm.  I turned the thermostat down to see if the house would cool down. It didn't.   I was distraught. I cleaned the filter and turned the unit on and off.  Nothing worked.  I went outside and checked the outside unit and noticed that the fan wasn't turning.  I spent a very warm, humid night tossing and turning stressing about the cost to repair the a/c.

The next morning I called a local a/c repair shop to have a technician come out and take a look.  After anxiously waiting all day, a guy came out and repaired the unit within an hour. The capacitor on the outside unit had gone bad. It was fixed for a total of $200.  I had spent 24 hours terrified that I would have to pay for a whole new unit and use my entire emergency fund to do so.  I was so happy that the cost was only $200 and that I had the money in my emergency fund to handle it.

On Saturday morning I took my car in for a 90,000 miles service.  I knew it was going to be expensive so I set aside $650 out of my budget to cover the expense (I take my car to the dealer, it is a SUV and every 30,000 miles there is a huge service expense).  Anyways, I checked my car in and I had to have: (1)oil change,(2) tire rotation, (3) timing belt replacement and (4) water pump replacement. 
Ultimately, the total cost of the service was $750.  I was close to that amount with my estimate.  Again, I was happy that I had the money available to cover the expense.  I hate paying that kind of money into my almost 9 year old car, however, it beats a car payment. Also, I know taking my car to the dealer costs so much more than taking it to a regular mechanic shop, but there is a a very good mechanic at this particular dealership who has done very good work on my car in the past.  I hope to keep this car for 3 to 5 more years so I hope it keeps chugging along for a while more.  I just need to pull $100 from somewhere to pay off the balance of the car repair.  Budgeting and spending money is so stressful!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Career Change

My crazy boss has me so stressed that I am actually entertaining the thought of changing careers.  He has officially ruined my chance of getting a job offer from the company I interviewed with and he continues to behave in a counterproductive manner.  Sigh. I am VERY frustrated. 

 I still have student loan debt- so I'd like to pay that off and save up some money before heading back to school to seek a career change.  I have always liked math and science. I don't know what else I can do that will produce a comfortable living- so I am thinking a new career.  Any ideas?  What's a good career other than being a lawyer?

I need a plan because every Sunday night I feel like stepping out into the middle of traffic. I need something that I can take classes for online, at night.  I was talking with a friend on Friday night  (also a lawyer) and she told me that she would also like to change careers due to the deep dissatisfaction that she feels with her career as well.

Does anyone else feel this way?  Do you feel like you are working hard and not getting anywhere? 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Debt Updates

At the end of December of 2014, I owed $23,703 on my student loans.  I currently owe approximately $19,407.72, So, I have paid off approximately $4,295.28 in the last four months.  This, of course, averages a little over $1,000 a month (plus interest) that I have paid down on my student loans.  Grr...I'm still not getting things paid down as quickly as I would like. However, big picture-wise I need to realize that I would still be paying down $12,000 in student loan debt this year which would be awesome.

I owe about $1,921 in credit card debt, leftover from recent dental work.  I have the money saved, but I don't want to let go of too much cash at one time.  I'm hoping to get my travel vouchers reimbursed soon to replenish the cash that is going out of the door. 

I wish that I could get rid of all of this debt because it is so stressful to think about being in debt for years and years.  I know that I have said this before, but want to move towards using my money for better things, savings, investing, building up retirement and paying off my house. For some reason, I just feel all of the pressure right now.  I have to keep reminding myself that I borrowed against my future 10 + years ago and I am now required to pay that all back. It's all gonna work out and be okay, right?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Interview #2 Updates and May 1-15 Budget Updates

Yesterday I mailed off a shiny brand new resume for yet another local law firm.  Whew, the stress of preparing cover letters, selecting writing samples, etc is crazy. 

Also, I heard from one of my references and the company that I interviewed with Monday (or whatever day it was--this week has been a blur) is conducting reference checks.  Hopefully, I will be offered a second interview and then finally the position!

Okay, I've already changed to my May 1-15 budget to the following

$1,480 mortgage
$200 student loan
$167 garden stuff
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$217 spending
$100 gas
$100 savings

I really want to get some yard work done so I decided to include a line item in my budget for it.  I hate not paying as much as I wanted to on my student loans, but I need a project to work on to keep me going.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Budget May 1-15

$1,480 mortgage
$367 student loan
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$217 spending
$100 gas
$100 savings

I might change this around a bit- all of the travel of the last 2 months has stressed me financially.  I also have some dental expenses to pay for so I may need to put a little more money towards paying for those upcoming expenses.  I have to find a polite way to ask for the firm to hurry up and pay my travel vouchers. 

I still have not heard anything from my interview on Monday.  I imagine that the further away from the interview without any follow-up contact is not a good sign.  Oh well, I am still pushing ahead.  After I finish this post I have another resume to get out. 

Work is still tough.  My boss continues to take many days off at a time, which encourages his assistant to do so as well.  It's frustrating to me because they both get paid to not work.  Neither has any vacation time left or sick leave left, but they still get paid to be at home.  All the while, I can't get my travel vouchers paid within 30 days.  I'm so glad I don't depend on credit cards to cover my travel expenses. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Interview #2, part 2

Interview #2 took place yesterday.  This company has a very low turnover rate, all of the employees seemed happy and the 3 attorneys that I interviewed with seem very nice and pleasant.  It seems very busy and the company does a lot of volunteer work.There are awesome benefits, sick leave, paid time off, retirement, health insurance, etc. 

My interview total was about 40 minutes. It seemed to go very well.  I lack experience in arbitration and I asked to be able to give 4 weeks notice to my current position.  I think those were the only 2 things which were blatantly concerning. I did not get a chance to discuss salary with them.  If I make it through this round, I will be invited back for a second interview.  Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed for me!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Interview #2

I have a job interview tomorrow afternoon.  Usually by now I would be stressing out about an interview, but for someone reason, today, I am not.  I am going to put together some interview packets with my resume and writing sample and hope for the best.  I have researched this company on the internet, but there's not much out there.  I plan to ask for a pretty high salary despite the benefits offered by this potential employer.  This company has a retirement plan with a match and I am super excited about the possibility of being able to start participating in retirement savings again.

However, I'm not super interested in this position, but after the last blow up with my boss I decided just to apply for the job because I am qualified for the position. It seems this position would be limited to labor and employment law and I like the idea of being able to practice in a variety of areas, so I won't be upset if I am not offered the position.

While I am expecting a lot of backlash once my boss finds out about this interview- I tend to think that he probably won't say a word to me. He typically avoids confrontation. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

April 16-30 Budget

I'm so tired this morning.  I got back late last night from out of town and I will be working all weekend. I am definitely burning the candle at both ends.

Anyways, here is the 2 week budget. 

$190 utilities
$100 groceries
$100 savings
$1,560 student loan B (Paid in full!!)
$130 travel expenses
$33 alarm monitoring
$201 spending
$100 gas

I have around $19,600 left to pay off on student loan A.  I have a $10,000 emergency fund and around $2,800 in an online savings account. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Student Loan B- Paid In full

Student loan B is PAID IN FULL!! I saved over $2000 in interest by paying the loan off early.  I signed onto my account this morning just to make sure that everything was applied properly and it was. 

All I have is one student loan left.  So now's the time to focus all of my energy on student loan A. I hope to have it paid off by early next year- so my goal is March of 2016.  However, my absolute deadline is to have it paid off by July of 2016- refuse to take any longer than that to get rid of this weight around my neck. 

Okay, just had to report that- off to make a 4 hour drive south for work!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Job Market

For some reason this Spring, the job market seems to have picked up a little bit.  There have been quite a few jobs posted lately.  Well, maybe not quite a few but a few more than usual. That being said I still have to parse out the jobs that I am qualified for so as not to waste my time or the potential employer's time.  I have applied for 2 jobs- 1 at a large regional law firm and 1 for the city I live in.  The city job has advertised the position since at least January, so apparently the city does not move quickly.  The large law firm began advertising at the beginning of March and the ad ran for a month.  I have not heard from either- but I'm still hoping for good news.

I decided not to apply for a job with a local college (general counsel's office) because I just did not like the idea of being around young college aged kids.  (Boy, did that sound old or what!!) I also decided not to apply for a job with a recovery company.  The company, I believe collects credit card debt.  Neither of those positions really interested me.  I have also declined to apply for any of the state government jobs that have been posted.  I worked for the state right out of law school and I really did not like the bureaucracy of state government (I'll admit I was a bit hesitant to apply for the city job).

The last category of jobs that I have encountered have been nonprofits. There is currently a nonprofit that is advertising a position.  I think I am going to apply.  I have never worked for a nonprofit company, but I think I would like to try.  I have asked around and my understanding is that nonprofits are very political and the legal department is often caught in the middle.  I like the idea of becoming more involved with the political aspect of the nonprofits mission and thus, only having to deal with a limited amount of the bureaucracy of government.

Wish me luck in the continuing job search!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Checking In

Hi everyone, I'm just checking in today.  I don't really have anything important to post about right now.  Payday is next week so I can update debt payoff and budget planning then.

I did have to make some modifications to this current budget (April 1-15) due to a death in the family of a close friend. I took the money I had set aside for Easter and savings and had a basket of goodies sent to her. It does hurt a little not to put some money aside for savings for this budget period- but it was for a good cause. I hope it cheers her up.  Even without the extra money Easter was still fun-I spent it with my mother and sisters.  We dyed Easter eggs, did egg hunts, barbecued and had a great time on a beautiful sunny day. 

I know I'm not at the point of investing yet, but I have been spending a little bit of time looking at the different kinds of stocks to invest in. Specifically, I have been looking at dividend stocks.  I kind of like the idea of being paid to invest- even if it's not much.  I know I could be investing, but I really want to pay these student loans off, it will be 10 years that I have been paying on them come the end of this year.

That's all for now folks!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ethical Dilemma, Part 2 and Updates.

So here's the update to the ethical dilemma.  I have again started applying for jobs- I have applied for 2 so far and I hope to apply to at least 1 more this weekend.  I'm probably only really qualified for one of the jobs, but I plan to just apply for anything and everything at this point.  I'm ready to leave this firm and a raise wouldn't hurt!  Here's hoping that I get interviews for any of these positions and then, ultimately, a job offer (for more money)!

It doesn't hurt that my boss and I are not getting along right now.  He tried to bring the partner from the central/south Florida office into the disagreement, but she sided with me.  I can't stand all this drama and he (my boss) is very dramatic. He has yet to address it directly with me.

On to the updates.  I earned $1.71 on my savings account last month! I have earned $4.65 so far this year.  I have a total of $2,807.37 in the account.  I know that's not much, but I would rather be earning something rather than nothing.  I've already earned more than half of what I earned last year!

With regard to debt- Student loan A is at $19,587.89 and Student loan B is at $1,555.17.  Student loan B should be paid off in 12 days! Gosh darnit, I am going to pay off that loan no matter what.  Well, at least I hope so. I really, really want to pay that loan off. As of January of this year I owed $3695.56 on Student loan B.  I have paid off $2,140.39 cents so far this year.  That only averages $713.46 a month.  Arghhh!!

Lastly, still no travel reimbursements yet.  I have spent over $900 on travel (For February and March) and I have yet to see a dime back from the firm.  This still bothers me. I have a few more trips for April and I doubt I will get paid before May.  I also will need a oil change in a few weeks.  I need the reimbursements to pay down on my student loans, replacement the money I used from my dental fund, replenish my travel fund and get my oil change on my vehicle. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Where have I been??? Budget for April 1-15

$1,480 mortgage
$267 student loan
$33 alarm system
$50 savings
$60 cat plan
$90 groceries
$184 spending
$50 Easter
$100 gas
$100 lawn mower repair

Whew, this traveling has worn me out and my world is being neglected! Hopefully things will settle down in about 2 weeks.  Student loan B is down to $1,555.17 I hope to pay that off from my mid-April paycheck.  Then I can focus solely on Student loan A which is at approximately $19,587.89. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ethical Dilemma

Contrary to my previous thoughts, the partner is the Central/South Florida office was not fully aware of the disruption going on in the North Florida office.  So I told her.  I told her about how for the past year my boss (her partner) has not being coming into the office, not working when he did come in and how he was not interested in the firm or litigating the cases that we have. I explained to her our lack of cases and the staffs' fear of job loss.  She likes me and values me as an employee, she wants to work with me to attempt to move things forward.  I don't know if I am interested, but I did not say that to her. She is already taking steps to move forward.

This weekend I came across a job listing for which I am qualified.  I would have a great shot at landing the job.  I should definitely get an interview (as long as I don't have any major errors on my application, etc.). There are several women lawyers at the firm. but no racial minorities.  Nonetheless, I think I have a shot at this job. 

That being said, I don't know what to do at this point.  Would it be unethical for me to apply for this job after speaking to management at my current firm who wants to make things work?  My fear is that at the current firm, she won't be able to make things work and I end up jobless because they can't meet payroll. Then I will be pissed because I passed up this opportunity to work at a larger more stable firm.  Also, if I apply at this other job, I would likely be able to negotiate a pay raise of at least $10,000 a year.  At my current firm, it's been over 2 years since my last pay raise and I am doubtful that I will get a raise anytime soon despite my increased work load. If anything, my boss' assistant will get another raise. 

I want to talk to the partner in the Central/South Florida office and tell her my thoughts, but I don't know how to broach the issue with her again (she brought it up last time).  If nothing else, I feel like I should at least give her warning that I plan to look for a new job- since she is now involved in the situation. 

What should I do? Any advice?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Travel expenses for work- the Road warrior Edition

So as I previously blogged about before, the associate in the Central/South Florida office is off on maternity leave.  We have just learned that she will not be returning to the office after her maternity leave, it is not expected that she will be replaced.  (More on this subject in another post).  That leaves me as the only associate for 2 offices.  I am becoming a road warrior.  I had 1 trip in February, 3 in March (1 has been completed 2 more pending), and 3 in April.  Out of these trips 2 will be overnight trips.  I expect several more of these trips to get scheduled.

I generally have to travel a bit for work maybe 9 trips a year.  (This does not include day trips to the surrounding cities for small activities.) At this rate, I am scheduled to have about 40 trips this year.  I don't mind traveling for work.  But,again, I hate the extended reimbursements for travel- it takes about 3 months to receive a check.  This is problematic- with all of these trips, I will have to spend approximately, $1,250 total for meals, hotels and gas.  I will likely have to have an oil change sooner than I will receive my reimbursement. I will receive about $2,000 in reimbursements due to the 2015 mileage rate. 

$1,250 is significant amount of money for me to spend.  I only had about $550 in my travel fund and it is quickly dwindling, so the rest will have to come out of my monthly budget.  I am becoming extremely frustrated with this process.  My boss is so disinterested in the firm, I know I will not be able to get him to do anything other than say he will have to talk to the administrator about the problem. I would like to talk to the partner in the Central/South Florida office, but I don't want to bother her with petty things since she is so busy by herself right now.

I am also involved in an ethical dilemma with regard to quitting the firm, but I will save that issue for my next post. 

Lord, give me strength. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Budget March 1-15

$1,480 Mortgage
$390 student loan (the minimum payment is $202.37)- I make payments twice a month
$70 savings
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$224 spending
$100 gas

I have saved $2,659.25 in my online savings account (I also have a $10,000 emergency fund that I keep in my checking account). I have $874.96 in my dental fund and $520.25 in my (work) travel fund.  Over the next 3 months I have 3 work trips planned and I just came back from a trip yesterday. My schedule is filing up fast and I will probably add a few more.  These trips can be a little pricey and, again, my usual complaint is it takes the firm approximately 3 months to reimburse travel expenses. Unfortunately, all of my extra case (any cash leftover in any budgeted category) will be going to my travel fund, rather than my student loans.  This is so frustrating!!!

My credit card is paid off and remains at $0.  Student loan A is currently at $19,687.94 (which includes interest through the end of March) and Student loan B is currently at $2,538.26 (which includes interest through the end of March).  I have an additional $870 payment budgeted for my March 16-31 budget.

Personally, I feel a bit depressed.  I really want to see major progress on these student loans and I still don't feel like I'm getting there.  I'm still really frustrated with my work situation and recently I have gotten a lot of additional work dumped on me.  I've been having to cover for an attorney out on maternity leave and the other attorney quit after Christmas (both in the central/south Florida office). I'm extremely busy and my boss feels the need to volunteer for miscellaneous projects which he then, of course, dumps on me.  I'm pretty much the only one in the north Florida office working at this time.  My boss' assistant sits at her desk and plays on the internet and reads a book all day.  I'm not even exaggerating- she tells me about once a week bored she is, but how she is getting so much reading done.  She's making over $60,000 a year to do this. I have to go get ready so I can go to work, for the second weekend in a row. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Student Loan Milestone

I forgot to celebrate! My smaller student loan- Student loan B fell below $3,000 with my last payment!!It now stands at approximately $2,773.  I think I will celebrate in $500 increments for now.  Once the dental work is done I will start celebrating in $1000 increments! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

A day off

Today the office was closed for President's day.  I had a really nice day.  I am not looking forward to going into work tomorrow, but I am going to push that aside.  My sister is interviewing for a job out of state, if she gets it that will mean major changes to my budget.  However, I hope she gets it because it will mean that she gets a $20,000 pay raise. Please keep your fingers crossed for her. 

Meanwhile, I'm still looking for a job.  I haven't heard of anything, but I hope to start networking with other attorneys soon.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me too. Apparently, the partner in the south Florida office is aware of the disruption going on in this north Florida office.  I don't think it will help, but I'm glad she knows. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Budget for February 16-28 and Student loan update

 Here it is:

$260 utilities
$100 groceries
$100 savings
$750 dental fund
$385 student loan
$34 alarm monitoring
$500 Mother's bday
$190 spending
$100 gas

For the month of February I was able to put $975 towards my student loans! Yay!  I made a $350 payment from my January 31 paycheck.  Later I made a $625 payment from my February 13 paycheck (this includes my budgeted $385 payment plus the leftover from the $500 budgeted for my mother's bday.  My sister and I split the cost of her gift).  So, as of 2/28/15 I will owe $19,792.40 on loan A and $2,771.48 on loan B (these amounts include interest charges through 2/28/15).  Thus, I will owe a grand total of $22,563.8!  I'm so happy I dropped into the $22,000s!  I feel like I am finally seeing progress. Loan B is now paid up through July 16, 2021!

Oh, I finished Gray Mountain by John Grisham- it was a nice easy read and I really enjoyed the book.  That's all I will say because by trade I am a defense attorney and would be the villain in any Grisham book! :)

I may have an update later regarding future budgets, but I will wait to see what happens before I even open that door. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Budget and Updates

February 1-15 Budget

$1,447 mortgage--this will be going up to $1,480 due to property tax increases in March
$350 Student Loan
$60 savings
$60 pet plan- I have to cancel this this year-seriously!
$80 groceries
$227 spending
$90- voluntary bar association membership fee
$100 gas

I know it's only February, but I am already disappointed in my student loan payoff amounts.  I'm ready to see the numbers start really dropping.  I only paid $625 on my student loans in January (A $275 payment from my 12/30/14 paycheck and $350 from my 1/30/15 paycheck).  My minimum payment is $202.37.  I think I am going to revise my upcoming budgets to put more money towards student loans-it might help motivate me.  I still owe approximately $23,200 on my student loans. 

As far as my 2015 goals- I did read 2 books in January.  I read Sharp Objects by Gilliam Flynn and Beautiful Chaos by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia.  For February, I have already completed Beautiful Redemption (also by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia).  I have just started Gray Mountain by John Grisham.  Till next time kids!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Debt Update

Here are my currently outstanding debts:

Student loans
 $3,589.00- paid up through March of 2020


Credit Card
$33.00 (alarm monitoring and an itunes purchase)

My tax return and an extra $1000 from my budget should cover the remaining dental work that I have left.  That's great because all of my extra income will be able to go to pay off that small student loan.  I am estimating that the small student loan will be paid off by April  of this year.  If I only paid the minimums the loan would not have been paid off until 2030!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

2015 Goals

Okay, time for me to set forth some goals for 2015.  Hopefully I will do better than I did last year. 

1. Pay off $10,000 on my student loans.
2. Pay off the smaller student loan completely.
3. Cash flow the dental work I have left.
4. Be a better friend to my friends.
5. Read at least 24 books
6. Give more (time and money).
7. Lose weight = 30lbs. OMG!! Weight loss to date--3lbs. Sigh.
8. Find a new job.
9. Be more positive!
10. Increase online savings account to $3,500.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2014 Goals

So it's time to see how I did with regard to my 2014 goals---not so well.  Take a look.

1. Continue to cash flow all of the dental work-FAIL- I had about $2000 of dental work that remained on my credit card into January.  I have since paid off that balance. 

2. Pay down at least $2000 more on my student loans by the end of the year. I think PASS- I only get e-statements and I accidentally deleted.  Nelnet does not retain online copies for you.  But I know I made at least 2 $600 plus payments towards the end of the year. That $1200 plus my regular payments likely pushed me over the $2000 mark.  I will have to double check to be sure. 

3. Get my emergency fund up to $10,000 by the end of the year.- PASS I have $10,006 in my emergency fund.

4. Get my online savings account up to $2,500 by the end of the year. - FAIL- I only had $2200 and some change as of December 31, 2014.

5. Get all of the dental work done this year so hopefully I can take a deduction on my taxes. FAIL- I still have to get the 2 crowns put on at a cost of approximately $4,000.

6. Talk to my boss about my future at the firm and a raise. PASS- I talked to him alright, to no avail.