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So Mint has made some good progress lately

March 30th, 2014 at 08:58 am

I am playing around with it for the first time in quite a while, and they seem to have made some very nice improvements as far as automagically categorizing transactions. And that was one of my main impediments - it was so frustrating to have to make the same corrections every month. Now it does "rules", similar to Outlook, that will go back and adjust categories and descriptions, etc. So now I am close to seeing a reasonable breakdown of my monthly spending.

It is very nice to be able to cut through the noise and see spending patterns. Now my next big challenge is unusual items always upset the pattern - big payments, yearly bonus, etc.

So maybe now I can get back to better monitoring and therefore adjustment of the old cash outpouring!

So are there any other users of Mint out there? The usability is getting close to the old Windows 3.1 Quicken that was very slick.

First week in my new job - so far so good!

January 22nd, 2012 at 09:06 am

I just started a new job within the same company at another location, after the old location closed.

So far it is pretty nice. There are a lot of similarities with the old job but there is enough that is new and different to keep me well stimulated.

I got very lucky in that the first few problems I was assigned were right up my alley, so I was able to help and also help transfer some of my skills to other people to help them contribute. All in all, very satisfying.

The main downside is the distance - for now I am commuting a VERY long distance. I need to figure out how I am going to handle that.

On the finance side, I was able to keep a nice salary and benefits, but with the added commuting costs it is a minor net loss, especially when compared to how bad it could have been. So I need to cut costs NOW! Hence, I am back here! I am spending today cutting down my ever-present stack of mail! Two things I need to do immediately are refinance some CC debt to 0% and renegotiate my cable bill and get rid of my landline.

So has anyone else here moved from Quickenonline to Mint?

August 31st, 2010 at 06:26 pm

I have and it looks pretty similar. It makes some pretty stupid extrapolations from data it gets.

Goodbye to bottled water (almost) PURFilter is nice!

July 18th, 2010 at 01:54 pm

Our tap water has a bad enough taste (mainly from chlorine) that we used to buy those 2.5 gallon jugs of water. But since we started using a PURFilter oval pitcher, that has stopped, except of course for the portable bottles. So besides the substantial savings, we are generating less waste, and both are nice frugal things to do.

There only real downside is that sometimes the filtering can be a little slow, as the filter gets older. Being cheap as heck, of course I planned to replace the filter way less than the recommended 1-2 month interval, since it is just being filtered for taste. I figure I would taste any breakthrough. But that plan looks like it is being jeopardized because the filter getting slow as it ages is a problem because then the unfiltered water gets poured out before the filtered water when used if the top section hasn't drained down yet. And man, is there ever a difference in filter price depending on where you buy it. At our local Shop-rite, one is $12.99! Versus about $6.50 or so at Amazon.

I find this pitcher a lot more aesthetic than having one of those big contraptions on the faucet, but who knows, I may do that later. But for now, I am very happy with it.

Oh man! I only paid off a net $100/month over the last four months!

January 17th, 2010 at 06:45 am

This is despite thousands in payments. No, I don't have massive interest rates (although some have skyrocketed and need to be paid off badly, Capital One), but I do have massive Christmas costs that pretty much offset my payments.



I guess I need to get more serious - I think getting some Dave Ramsey books is in order. I have got the family on board more than before, but Christmas has ALWAYS been our Achilles Heel. I would like nothing better than to institute a no charge policy for Christmas. We have at least made most Christmas costs clothing costs which have come down somewhat over the rest of the year. For now I will go run some numbers on Quickenonline, my usual post-Christmas wallowing in grief.

The New Year, Debt, and Insanity...

January 9th, 2010 at 06:58 am

I always love the fresh start in January, and if you plotted my post frequency here, well.. (maybe I'll actually do that for fun!). You know, - a new year, fresh beginnings, all that crap. Smile

I love doing the small things I can do to try to crawl out of debt - mainly economizing on food and cars and other household expenses. But as I was doing the math on the new year, I realize that that ain't enough! While we do finally now spend less than I make (except of course for college), the margin is pretty darn thin! So small stuff ain't gonna' do it. Frown

I have no real point here, just thinking out loud. And you know the old saw about insanity is doing the same old thing and expecting different results. I think I have managed on some level to convince my girls that money is hard to retain. They both realize they need to cut back on daily expenses and they do very well on that for the most part, but they love their big somewhat expensive trips. I guess you are only young once, and at least they know the trade-off they are making.

I think my malaise has to do with how the US has become a place where it is very costly to live! That has to be leading to our non-competitiveness, when you consider that we pay WAY more than most places to support our government. OK, maybe Europe etc. does pay more, but they get more in return, like HEALTH CARE! I'm mostly looking at China and India who are both chock full of people quite willing to do jobs we used to do for a LOT less, and IMO that has to be mainly due to a smaller government tax burden, cost of insurance, etc. Maybe not, but I think it's a good guess!

So anyway, help me out! How can I stop being insane, live a good life and pay off this darn debt?! What hurts me is I LOVE a frugal life, but trying to live like most Americans is what put us in this hole. That debt is mostly clothes, toys (I HATE AMERICAN GIRL), vacations, years of swim and dance lessons with associated costs, and eating out, AFAIK. We have always been pretty darn frugal on cars, buying good ones and driving them until they drop.

Oh man - what a difference a year makes!

July 28th, 2009 at 06:51 pm

I applied for a private student loan for my college daughter, and I was turned down, even with me as a co-signer, they said because of my credit rating! And last year I got one at 1% over prime. So in one year I apparently went from a very good rating to trash? I think the credit crunch is hitting big time!

This really stinks. I had planned to use loans to get both daughters through, and then once I could withdraw from a 401k after age 59.5 to get them paid off. But I was concerned that this might happen. Why have I died and gone to hell?

Man, graduation/birthday season is expensive!

June 8th, 2009 at 05:01 pm

It seems like April/May/June are pretty darn expensive months! If it isn't graduations, it's birthdays. OK, that's my poor excuse for a post for June. Smile I guess I'll go update my Goals pages.

Help me decide whether I should get my daughter a car!

May 3rd, 2009 at 10:08 am

OK, for the hardcore here, I'm sure that the correct answer is no, since I do not have the money. Case closed!

So if we go with that, do we be really mean and make a senior ride the bus to school, or more realistically, have her mom take her as in the last two years since the bus leaves WAY earlier.

One big problem is that the darn high school parking lot is like a demolition derby for not just door dings, but MAJOR door dents! They just about ruined the beautiful 2002 Accord my older daughter took there her senior year.

The killer for me is I am a cheap car guy (yes, I know, definitely an oxymoron, especially with insurance and repairs). So one of my favorite things in the world is to get a nice old fully depreciated Honda for her to drive. The killer is the insurance. Ouch! But I'm still thinking of a REALLY cheap car with only liability. Help me decide!

The Winter Savings Effect

February 19th, 2009 at 02:03 pm

Has anyone else noticed that it is MUCH easier to save in the winter than in the other seasons? I think it is because cocooning is so darn cheap. I know with my wife and kids, if they are out somewhere, they are spending money. So the only time I ever come close to catching up is January through April - unfortunately a very short season.

So what is the Ideal Budget?

February 16th, 2009 at 04:20 pm

Does it look like this, the top Google hit?

http://7million7years.com/2008/08/29/ideal-budget-allocation/

In lieu of anything else, it looks pretty close to me. I'd like to post my actual numbers next to it for a critique from you people, hopefully I'll have that ready in a few days. What I do know is mine is far from that! Oh, housing is dead on, but debt service is a TAD higher. Arghh.

So the numbers in descending order are :
Housing 30%
Transportation 14%
Food 12%
Entertainment/Recreation 7%
Clothing 6%
Misc. 6%
Debt 5%
Savings 5%
Investments 5%
Insurance 5%
Medical/Dental 5%
Total 100%

Some difficulties with quicken online are slowing me down, but luckily I found the help forums, and a fix for the problem I am having is due in February. In the meantime I'll probably just resort to Excel.

Man, budgeting is a bear!

February 15th, 2009 at 09:02 am

The good news is that Quickenonline FINALLY co-operated in accepting the CC data from my CU. I re-entered the login data and it finally started working, so now I have four months of CC data to work with. So it will pick up things like periodic charges for bridge tolls (it stinks having to commute over a toll bridge!) and anything else that goes on the CC and needs to be budgeted.

I guess it isn't telling me anything that I didn't already know, that our excess spending is manifested in a rising CC balance over the last six months or so. The trick I guess is annualizing things like auto maintenance and Christmas expenses.

And I have basically stopped using the CC, converting to cash for the occasional dining out so that I feel the pain, and it works! But my wife has not slowed down as much as I had thought. Arggghhh!!

Oh well, back at it.

Better to go Cold Turkey When Cutting Spending?

February 14th, 2009 at 11:56 am

A quote that really stuck with me from the TV series that I just discovered called "Maxed Out" was a woman saying it was easier to just stop spending money than to try to just cut back. This was in reference to eating out. Makes sense, sort of like alcoholism, you have to stop, not just slow down!

But realistically, severely scaling back can be a great feeling. Then it feels just wonderful to splurge once in a great while on very small things. It seems more special when it is unusual. The habit of eating out all the time drives me bonkers - what a waste of money!

We've still got a long way to go, and it is very hard for me because it's indirect, in that I'm trying to control my family's spending, although I still take challenge in making my frugal ways even more frugal. What I've realized is that my accounting sucks. It's not a be all and end all to know where the money is flying away, but it is a necessary first step to getting control and setting a realistic budget. It gives me a common language to use with them, like "we did very well on eating out last month, so we can go out once this month, etc." If it all just gets sucked up into the big black hole of debt, it's much harder to visualize. I think that is what most of America has lost with Credit Cards, that necessity of give and take to balance things out. It's like a cultural collective madness - I'm sure most people just follow the crowd, most of who can't afford to go out all the time either. That's why I've always appreciated the viewpoint of depression era people - they know the deal.

Who here watches Maxed Out on Style Network?

February 13th, 2009 at 11:51 am

And yes, I realize that sounds silly and hypocritical coming from someone who shouldn't even have cable. I've made many a tarry in that battle over many years and I've always been forced back. Just one more example of how my preferred monkish lifestyle is at odds with a family. I have to rationalize it (for now) by remembering that we spend VERY little else on entertainment.

ANYWAY, I've been sick lately and I ran across the Maxed Out series on Lifestyle network on daytime TV. I only saw the one yesterday about two 30ish single women who made the smart choice to share a condo, but they were each in deep debt due mainly to maintaining a single urban lifestyle, with WAY too much eating out. So besides slashing expenses, the counseler lady insisted that they sell or refinance their condo - they went for a refi. This was a little surprising since you usually hear not to do that, to pay off consumer debt with home equity. So I think I am in a similar situation. So far I THINK I can make the payments without doing that, but it is getting way too close for comfort.

So I will concentrate on analyzing expenses - both women were SHOCKED that they were grossly overspending. I'm not quite in that much denial, but there is some fog as to exactly how much we are overspending, so that is job two, right after stopping the bleeding from excess interest charges.

Anyway, it's a good show, and it just emphasizes to me what a constant battle it is to keep debt from encroaching if you don't make a serious and concerted effort to prevent that from happening. I think it is a little worse these days when costs are rising much faster than income, but it has always been a battle. I remember when I grew up, eating out was just not done, we just couldn't afford it. And now it is WAY too routine.

Yay! I'm getting the spouse on board slowly, and I'm working hard on a budget

January 27th, 2009 at 03:02 am

Lately my wife has been turning the computers off at night and whenever they aren't in use for a few hours. I had started doing that last year on my New Year's budget kick, but I got out of the habit as I worried about the BIG things, like balancing the budget and minimizing CC interest paid, keeping college bills paid, etc. So this is a great sign, I just have to build slowly on it.

And on the budget front, I know what I want to do now. I was working with the numbers exported from Quickenonline to a spreadsheet, and I want to graph them, to sort of emulate that new type of income/expense graph that they just added to Quckenonline. I'm trying to visualize how I can be overspending by about 10-20% per month on checking alone. Unfortunately, Quickenonline only goes back to May 8 for me - I'm not sure why that is - fixed number of transactions, software change, etc.? But it's a good amount of data to work with nonetheless.

I'll keep you posted! It's fun to at least have the hope of getting in control.

OK, I'm building a budget using Quickenonline

January 25th, 2009 at 10:20 am

Does anyone else here us that? We need to form a user's group if so! I signed up for it last year when it was $3 per month, intending to most likely cancel after the free trial, and then thankfully before I did they made it free! Nice! But it is pretty basic, and I see they've recently made some changes. I remember the old Windows 3.1 version was awesome, everywhere you clicked you could get a subtotal or a graph - really cool! So this online version is not so good in comparison, but I don't want to spring for the regular version just quite yet. So anyway...

It does well with the checking account from my CU. But it can't deal with the Mastercard account from that same CU. I've emailed problem reports to Quicken to no avail, so for now I am stuck with just the checking account, but that's ok, it's the lion's share of transactions anyway.

Job one is to clean up the categories. It is now doing better it seems on automatically categorizing transactions that clear electronically, but the smaller payees like doctors and so forth still need to be manually entered. And bafflingly, it guessed wrong on a few electronically cleared ones, so I wound up with a newspaper bill for $165 this month, but it was really Macy's. Weird! It is consistent though, always calling Macy's the newspaper, so it's easily manually fixed.

What I need to figure out is it says we are overspending by about 20% per month. We may be, but only on one CC, not the bank account, that stays positive with no infusions of cash, so I have to get to the bottom of that right after I finish categorizing to give me more clues.

This is sort of fun in a tedious way. But I can see right now that the four month trend of category spending should be very helpful. November and December spending is off the charts as usual. Frown

Ack!! I am now paying almost $20 per day in CC interest! I'm bleeding!

January 23rd, 2009 at 04:25 pm

On what used to be at 0% and 2%. Soo, my choices at this point are:
1. Withdraw from savings, take a huge tax hit and likely some penalty.
2. Keep desperately trying to refinance somewhere below 12%.
3. HELOC.
4. Remortgage. I think I have about 6 years left at 5.75%. I have plenty of equity but it makes me sick to even think of doing this.
5. Pay big bucks to get a financial planner who specializes in disaster recovery!
6. Run away to Brazil.

And of course continue to squeeze the budget, but it takes time to squeeze out this kind of dough.

Where the sidewalk ends - the end of the 0% game

January 20th, 2009 at 06:20 pm

The day I have been dreading for years is finally here - I can't refinance my wug of debt at 0% or 2% anymore. So now it's time to pay the piper, for the CC companies to get even with me for living off them for years now, to the tune of 12% and 14%!! But I can't afford to pay that rate, not without a fight!

So I'm entertaining ideas on what to do next! Every time I look at the taxes and penalty for withdrawing from my old work plan from a job that ended in 1995 that was SUPPOSED to be a savings plan, (a good bit of it is after-tax money), I get extremely shell-shocked. It seems like they force you to take money out of both before tax and after tax at the ratio of assets, which certainly wasn't the deal when I was actively employed at that company.

So my wife is still getting 0% offers even though she has no income, but she doesn't want the debt in her name. But that seems like the only easy way out, although I assume she will have very small credit limits. Discover has a nice deal at 4% until 21014 I think - that should give us time to get it paid off.

Let this be a lesson to those of you out there struggling to stay out of holes like this!

How did I let this happen?

January 16th, 2009 at 08:08 pm

I still can't believe that I am struggling under a mountain of CC debt at my age, since I have a good job and I personally am pretty darn frugal. When I think back at what snowflakes make up those big snowballs of debt, it's too much stuff (I LOVE Delbert McClinton's song of that name). A particularly bad memory is American Girl dolls - my wife blew a TON of money on that junk. But I guess the bottom line is it's my fault for not laying down the law. The fact is it is darn hard to live the life we have lived on one salary. Other things in those snowballs are every vacation we ever took after kids, I suppose. Also in there are swim and dance classes for the girls. There's a lot of costly packaged food in there, as well as too much dining out. Definitely WAY too many clothes for the girls, one that REALLY irks me.

So the irony is that in trying not to be the bad guy, we are much worse off than if I had had a backbone and stopped the insanity. I'm not sure what my point here is, other than to think out loud on what is in those snowballs of debt. The immediate problem is I'm not even sure we have stopped digging, so like every governor in the country I am scrambling to cut costs to the bone. Oh well, what's life without a challenge?

Paying for Christmas Past, Present, and Future - a Christmas Carol

January 8th, 2009 at 03:08 pm

It has gotten to the point where I hate to see the holidays coming because it means going deeper into debt every year. So I can't set aside money to pay for Christmas Future because I am still paying for Christmas Past and Present. And I can see it in my FICO score, which has a seasonal pattern, dipping around the holidays, recovering slowly throughout the year, and then repeating the cycle by dropping sharply at year end again.

I think we have done marginally better thus year, but it's still bad. OK, I guess I'm done venting, I just wanted to get in that part about how still paying for Christmas Past is no fun. Smile

What should I do about high lawn care expenses?

January 5th, 2009 at 07:25 pm

We have our lawn mowed for $32 per week, and a good lawn service for about $500 per year, so obviously that is not good for someone with debt to pay off. The problem is that both service providers do an excellent job. I think at a minimum I will ask the lawn mowing guy to go back on the alternating plan we did a few years ago. The main reason I don't just cut him off completely is I like him and he does an absolutely perfect job! And as my neighbor says, $32 per week doesn't seem bad, but 32 x about 30 is bad indeed! Same for the service that fertilizes and aerates and seeds- they do a perfect job. When I do that myself, the results are not so good, largely because I don't have the equipment to aerate, and I can't spread fertilizer evenly to save my life!

So should I cancel the fertilizing service for next year and see how it goes? And how can I tactfully cancel the lawn mowing guy, or at least reserve him for vacations? Or should I look elsewhere to save? This seems like a must when I look at what significant expenses I can cut.

How do you stay focused on saving money?

January 4th, 2009 at 08:40 am

As in most things, I tend to run hot and cold - I'll go whole hog on an effort only to burn out and ignore it for months at a time. One thing I MUST do better this year is to keep up with the mail and related financial commitments. But my situation is so depressing that can be difficult.

I think the answer is to be disciplined and segment each day into chores that must be done, i.e don't ignore things and let them pile up. Pretty simple plan, right? But not too easy to maintain.

I guess it is directly analogous to weight maintenance, another area I am falling down on. So unlike thin and rich, you CAN be too poor and fat!

Overall I have all the tools in my arsenal - I have a hobby that I love and that keeps me sane and is my main form of exercise - cycling. My weakness is that I tend to waste time on the Internet while ignoring household work, so this year I have renewed focus on ensuring that at least some of that time is here, where there is much comraderie and help to be found, so thanks! As far as the neglecting household work, I guess I may have a true Internet addiction. As they say, procrastination pays off NOW, and hard work only pays off over time, so...

Anyway, thanks for listening. I think I may have to reclassify this post as a rant! Smile Which brings up a fascinating question to me - how to classify posts - it seems to be a real art, a lot of it in picking useful minimally overlapping categories in the first place! For now, I put this one in all categories!

Cell phone rant!

January 3rd, 2009 at 05:01 am

Man, these things are a budget killer! So I wonder what people gave up for this new toy? I know, I'm very late to the party, they have been de rigeur for YEARS now, but it still makes me mad to pay for them for the family. Of course them all getting new phones right at Christmas time didn't help. Arghhh.

But I wonder, what has been given up for these things? Probably savings. Frown

Financial Denial and Hopelessness

May 18th, 2008 at 11:52 am

I have a feeling that "financial denial" is a major cog in the credit industry's machinery. Back in the day, people didn't have this tool to get them in financial trouble, they just had to suck it up and stop spending, to balance their budget in real time! I know I have always hated to think about money, and that's a mental block I really need to work harder to get past. And my immediate family also has it, big time. They are all too happy to let me suffer through the misery of trying to make ends meet all on my own. I've said it here before, that I always meant to go all Ross Perot on their ***es, to show them just where the problem is and what we have to do. I suppose it all comes down to me being too much of a wimp. But I am quite aware that it's doing my daughters much more harm to allow this to continue to fester than to get them involved in buckling down and dealing with life.

That said, when expenses just rain down, I understandably get depressed. Large dental bills, the ever increasing gas and food bite, and the big kahuna college along with persistent old debt can be a TAD overwhelming.

My current financial state...

April 1st, 2008 at 01:33 pm

Screwed! Well, not totally, yet, but I sure feel like it. I am realizing that I can't use my 401k for the kids' college costs because withdrawals go against my income, so I would qualify for no financial aid at all if I do that. And I can't borrow the whole thing, especially for 7 years in a row. And to make a sad story even sadder, it looks like my FICO score went down recently after I had to refinance some expiring 0% debt to a promotional 1.99%. BoA juggled the credit limits on three CC accounts I had with them. They said it wouldn't adversely affect my FICO score, but something sure did last month - not sure how much lag time is involved, it could also have been financing $10k of college costs on a credit card back in January.

So if anyone can see any bright lights at the end of the tunnel for me that isn't a train, please let me know! Thanks.

Dined out today with TOO much guilt

February 3rd, 2008 at 06:25 pm

It was a convenient time to have the family together, and it was combined with a required trip. The best thing was I felt like I got good value, largely since it was lunch and not dinner, so that goes a long way toward making it OK. But what felt the best is that it sort of fits into the budget since I realize we can eat out only SOME of the time, so we need to cut pretty deeply into our old habits. I had a feeling of being more in control since I have been scrimping more and more the last month, so a rare treat seems reasonable. That said, I know that we have lots of trips coming up that are VERY expensive largely due to eating out, so I need to keep this rare. And voila, when it is rare it is more of a special treat, as opposed to more of an everyday occurence. I still have a long way to go in improving our family's cooking and eating in capability, but I like baby steps, not wholesale change.

Gas and electric bills better this month

January 29th, 2008 at 02:48 am

I think I've been able to make a difference by more frequently keeping lights and computers off. And I'm ashamed to say that somehow the setback thermostat had gotten put on HOLD, so once I remedied that and went back to 60 degrees at night, I think that made a pretty significant difference. I'm thinking of shaving a few more degrees off at night since we all like it cool for sleeping anyway. And it's much more palatable to do that than to cut back on AC in the summer. It feels great to get back to my frugal roots. I had just about given up the situation for hopeless, thinking it wasn't worth sweating the smaller stuff. Boy, was I wrong!

Not exactly a zero spend day

January 27th, 2008 at 04:08 pm

In the interest of logging my expenses, today on a quiet Sunday I spent:
$20 for the daughter to go to a banquet - ok, she very seldom spends money so she is well entitled. BUT, while I was waiting for her, I checked out a used book store and spent $17.08. I think they were good investments though - two tremendous cookbooks - one vegetarian and one quick and easy meals. Like most people, cookbooks I buy often languish, but I chose these carefully. They are very simple with big pictures and simple ingredient lists and directions. And since I was thinking we need to go to more of a "rice and beans" type diet, these look like just the ticket.

I also bought milk and and $.80 donut for the daughter, again a well deserved rare treat. But I think that's about it! Dinner was leftover veggie lasagna that I made on a whim last night and it turned out to be very tasty, although a tad too watery. I had to spend more for the mozzarella since on Saturday they were sold out of the sale stuff. But I bought a brick instead of the pre-shredded stuff my wife usually buys - man, I hope she only buys that on sale!!! One step at a time. We are making great progress with another takeout free weekend! Yay!

I also refinanced some short term CC debt left from Christmas at 13% to 2% for a year. Unfortunately I had to roll some expiring 0% into that. And I got started with Quickenonline to put the finances under the old X-rays. And now I am going to renew my AAA at about $130/year for my wife and me. And I should decide if I want to go for the Comcast Triple Play for a year to get rid of $40 in phone bills. But I don't want to risk losing my phone # when I have to switch back in a year, so if anyone has experience with that, please let me know. So I guess this has been a somewhat expensive day! Luckily just about all weekdays are zero spend for me. I always take lunch to work. I sliced some Italian bread that costs $.99 instead of using bread from the $3.50 load of packaged bread. I want to start baking on the weekends, both to save a little and to have a better product. Did you know they use High Fructose Corn Syrup in bread?!!

Free one month trial of Quickenonline is pretty nice

January 26th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

It does have some limitations, but if you want to do a quick snapshot of your spending, it works very well. My Credit Union keeps three months worth of online data, so it downloaded that pretty easily. So the bottom line over the last three months is it said we are overspending by a couple of thousand! Sounds about right with Christmas. Frown It only does budgeting very simply by comparing the last month with the four month average. But it did point out that gasoline is killing us!! My wife drives a van that only gets about 17 MPG with her usual driving, so she must be driving a lot more than I thought!

One thing that is misleading is that we often get cash back when using the ATM card at the grocery store, so a lot of cash is lumped in with groceries. Any suggestions on how to handle that? I'm pretty sure I will buy regular Quicken with one of those tax software package deals very soon, maybe with one of my Christmas Gift cards, since I know it lets you split transactions like that and the web version doesn't. By the way, I tried the free equivalent at mint.com, but it didn't accept my credit union accounts.

Small victories and big setbacks

January 20th, 2008 at 04:02 pm

We avoided ordering out two nights this weekend, probably saving about $30 - not too bad, definitely a much-needed step in the right direction. Annualized, that comes out to $1560 after tax dollars!! And speaking of tax, it's good to keep in mind that ordering out is penalized by the government with the 7% sales tax.

So the major setback was that onto the CC went college books and a few hundred of travel expenses for taking my daughter back to college and stocking her up, totalling darn near $1000. Oh my, college is going to be a miserable financial experience!


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