Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm back!

I apologize for the 2 week hiatus from posting. My computer was infected with nasty stuff (spyware and all kinds of nasty stuff). My Symantic antivirus could not get rid of it and it kept getting worse and worse. Finally, I took the computer to the local repair shop and after two attempts and I'm finally free of all the bugs.

The bad news is that through a series of unfortunate event, I accidentally tried to reinstall Windows and erased some of my programs--like YNAB. I spent yesterday evening entering the data from the last two months and I think I'm pretty accurate.

I'm glad to be back! Has anyone else had problems with computer bugs?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Debt is Going Down!

My credit card debt is coming down! It now stands at $4140! I am very excited to be below $5000 and I should be able to get below $4000 by the end of the month. Maybe a payoff of July is possible :).
Tracking my spending is still fun. I'm going to check my spending percentages in each category at the end of the month to see if my spending is in balance with what Dave and other financial gurus recommend. I don't want to be obsessed with spending, although I must confess that I am right now. My goal is to get a workable system in place, and then move my energy to other hobbies.
On another note, I mistakenly deleted my blog roll on Sunday. I'm slowly building it back up. If you see that your blog is missing from my blog list, please leave me a comment so I can add it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Master Gardener's Class

I've wanted to take a Master Gardener's class for several years. The class is 13 weeks and is offered by our state university extension office. The requirements are passing a post test as well as 30 hours community service project.
I went to the first class this week. The topics were native animals and then landscaping possibilities with native plants. The speaker had studied both for over 40 years and was very knowledgeable. Using native plants for landscaping makes so much sense. I don't know why I had never considered it before! I'm looking forward to learning much more in the coming weeks.

Anybody have experience growing native plants?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How Did I Do in January?

January is finally over! It seemed like a really long month, because I actually started tracking my expenses on Dec. 29. How did I do on my 2009 goals?
  • Track spending with YNAB weekly. I love using YNAB. I've been updating almost every day. It just takes a few minutes. As I suspected, I don't really budget accurately. I went over budget by $299, I tend to be too optimistic about the expenses. YNAB will help me become more realistic. I also started putting money each month in irregular expense accounts which will help with unexpected expenses.
  • Begin sinking fund account. I'm getting 5% interest at my credit union. I just had $5.14 credited to my account!
  • Pay off $6000 in credit cards by July 1. I was only able to pay $600 instead to the scheduled $900 because of the plumbing expense. So I am -$300, so far.
  • Save emergency fund of $3600 by Dec 31. I put $80 into my EF for a balance of $930. This amount will go up to $600/month in Sept.


  • Work out or walk (1 mile) 2x week. I rejoined the gym for a 6-week strength training class. For the last two weeks, I went to class 2x/week. The walking has not been going well. I want to step the aerobic workout.
  • Walk Gretsky every day. I missed 3 days out of 31--90%.
  • Do Flylady routines. Not doing great with all the routines. The sink is going OK.
  • Bible study. I signed up for a group Bible study that starts next Friday. I'm excited!
  • Learn something new. I may be going overboard here. I joined the local astronomy club two weeks ago. I'm starting a Master Gardener class on Tuesday. Tonight, I went to a support group called DivorceCare for people who are separated or divorcing. I'll keep you all updated on these in the coming weeks.
  • Compost bin/garden. On hold
  • Monthly house project. I put up curtains on two basement windows. Still need to buy tension rods for the other two. Did not get the chairs recovered.

I'm a little disappointed that I won't be able to make my July 1 payoff goal, but I'm modifying the payoff goal to July 31, 2009. I'm still optimistic!

It's time for "The Office". DS is a big fan and I'm becoming a fan so that we can enjoy watching it together.