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A question

June 14th, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Do you think that people who are employed have the ability to save money even in smaller amounts no matter how deep in debt they are? I'd like to read your take on this.

$$$ update

June 1st, 2020 at 02:43 pm

Payday update:

----We paid July's mortgage payment today and hope to pay August mortgage payment by mid June.

----Transferred $300 to the savings account

----Contributed $100 to my Roth IRA. I'm hoping to contribute another $200 by mid June. I'm a bit behind because of some financial setbacks due to the pandemic, but I am determined to fully fund for 2020.

I have two more paychecks to go as the school year ends pretty soon. July and August will be tough with just my husband's pension check and whatever income we get from the rental properties. This is the reason we prepaid July and August mortgage payments. On the bright side, there will be no house heating oil bill or car insurance to pay during the summer. Come September, I'll start working again and things will ease up (hopefully).

I hope all of you are safe and well.


May 12th, 2020 at 08:14 pm

Hi All-

I hope you are all well. My husband and I have been at home since March 17 with little physical contact with the outside world. DS#2 who lives with us is still working. Our town's tally of deaths due to COVID is somewhere in the 40 range and closer to 700 in the positive cases. We live in a blue collar immigrant community with many people working in factories and crowded living arrangements. Needless to say, our town has been hit hard. Frown

On a bright note, we've been keeping in touch with friends and family via Zoom and Google Meet. We have laughed a lot and that's comforting. We are almost at week #3 since our last grocery haul, but we will have to shop soon. Home heating oil price per gallon is also down. We filled our tank the other day for less than $400, a first for us. I've also continue funding my Roth IRA and putting some money aside in savings.

I've also accepted a new job for the next school year. I'm going to give it a shot one more time. We are committed to remain consumer debt free despite the significant increase in income. If anything we will use the added income for home improvements and travel. I'm going to have a positive attitude, but I will not stay beyond the contract commitment if I feel that it's not where I want to be. My husband had a difficult time coming to terms with the reduction of income last year when I left my job. We have learned to live on a lot less income and we can do it again if necessary.

Please stay safe and well SA family.


May 1st, 2020 at 07:48 pm

Hi All-

It was payday for both my husband and I. I'm still getting paid and as always I am extremely grateful. My husband receives a small small pension with health benefits for both us. I was able to make a contribution to my Roth IRA ($350), a partial payment to the credit card ($500), electric bill ($52), a charity donation for a local food pantry ($25) and $600 transferred to savings. I left a few hundred in the checking to pay some small miscellaneous bills.

About the rents...tenant #1 (children in the household) said he could give us half of the rent this month because he still had to buy food and pay some utilities. We told him to hold on to the money and we would figure something out once he started working. He mentioned that he will start working next week. We just could not take the rent, not even half, when he has not been working at all. Money isn't everything and he is a good person. Tenant #2 paid via Venmo and we have not heard from the other two. We are prepared to pay the mortgages ourselves for a few months if necessary.

We are more fortunate than most during this pandemic. Nothing has been handed to us, purely hard work and knowing the importance of putting money away for a rainy day. COVID-19 has claimed the lives of people we know or people that my friends and children know. We are definitely not out of the woods by any mean. Husband and I have decided that when this storm passes, we will dedicate a good part of our income doing things that we've sacrifice throughout the years. We plan to travel more, donate more and enjoy life's simple pleasures.

Life is so unpredictable and short. Please be safe and well.


April 20th, 2020 at 03:32 am

I honestly lost count on how many days we've been in quarantine. I think it's been 33 days with many more to go. As you may already know, New Jersey has been hit hard trailing New York. It seems that everyday, there are over 3,000 people testing positive for COVID-19. The last count for our town is 367 positive and 11 deaths. Our county is the ninth in the state with positive COVID. Our governor said that the curve has been flattening, but the amount of stories of people losing their love one is heartbreaking. The paper featured a story of a family who stayed on the phone with their dying father for 36 hours. They just wanted him to know that they were there even if it was not physically. I cried.

Not all is negative, lots of communities have banned together to collect food and money. Today, my BFF dropped off a bag of potatoes and beer for my husband just because I mentioned it in a conversation. On a personal level, I feel that this has brought me closer to my faith. Going forward, I hope not to take things for granted. Financially speaking, the last 30 days have been the lowest in terms of money spent on life. My cc closed yesterday at a little less than $800. It's usually about $1300-$1500. We charge everything and pay the credit card in full at the end of the month.

Please stay safe and well.

Pay day

April 15th, 2020 at 07:18 pm

It's payday today. As always, grateful that I still get a paycheck even when schools are not in session. COVID19 continues to be devastating in my state and in my town, there are close to 300 people with the virus and 10 deaths have occurred. One, a person that I was acquainted with. We went to the same high school. I confess that I've been an emotional wreck during this pandemic; I've been praying for humanity and those afflicted with the disease. I hope that when it passes, we come out of it better human beings. Both of my sons are still working so I pray for their safety all the time.

Financially, we are in a good place. The stimulus check will be used to pay the mortgage on one of our rental homes. So far, in that specific home, one of the tenants will not be paying his rent. We reassured him that we understand and to concentrate his efforts on having food on the table and utilities paid. He has two small children and their well-being is most important. He mentioned that he has enough food to last him for a while. Last month, I saved the $1,500 that we usually profit from the rental properties to cover part of the mortgages this month if necessary. That money used to go towards the FL house mortgage. The goal is to stay away from the savings account. So far, we've been reimbursed for homeowner's insurance and the escrow reimbursement is on its way (according to Wells Fargo).

That's it for today. Please be safe and stay well.

Payday and other things

March 31st, 2020 at 03:16 am

The USA Naval Ship Hospital has arrived in New York. It is sad to have the need for it and at the same time, it makes me so proud to be so blessed to live in a country like ours.

It is difficult to talk about money when lots of people are struggling to pay their bills. Here it's what's happening financially in our household. As you know, our house in Florida was finally sold a week ago. Aside from the money we expected to receive at closing, we were refunded $400 today for something that was itemized in the seller's disclosure, related to the HOA. I cancelled all utilities and we are expected to receive a small refund on our water bill. We also cancelled HO insurance and the remaining mortgage escrow should be refunded in the next 30 days. All of this money will be going to our savings account.

One of our tenants paid rent already, but not sure how things will be next month (his own words). Another one texted me this morning and asked me if she could pay on Friday. The third said he will pay this week as well, but he is not sure how it will be next month. We are grateful that they are paying and we are prepare to cover the next month ourselves. We asked them if paying the rent was taking away their ability to buy food and they all said, "No". If we get the stimulus check from the feds, we will save it to pay mortgages. I don't count on it until it's in our hands.

I also got paid today (the district is paying all employees). I put $100 in the 2020 Roth IRA, some in savings and paid some bills. We have a hefty credit card bill due on mid April.

I'm also on my third week of no grocery shopping and hope to be able to make it another two weeks. I'd be going for walks around time while practicing social distancing. I will tell you that I am very anxious about COVID-19 especially since I have two sons who are essential personnel; one working at a hospital. We disinfect floors, bathrooms and kitchen on a daily base and staying home.

I sincerely hope and pray that you are all well and safe and those of you with family members experiencing health issues, please know that I think of you often and pray for a safe and speedy recovery.


March 26th, 2020 at 04:56 am

Well, we closed on our Florida home and although a bit sad, I am relieved and grateful to find a well-qualified, conventional loan buyer. Due to COVID-19 lockdown state order we closed through a conference call Notary service. Different experience but efficient and painless. Our furniture is in storage but we hope to be able to retrieve it during the summer (hoping and praying). My brother has been a huge help with moving things out of the house. As I mentioned before, we lost a considerable amount of money due to realtor fees. Lesson learned.

On another note, 3 out 4 tenants are not working. This will most likely mean that we will have to withdraw from savings to pay these mortgages and we are prepare to do so. We will not pressure our tenants nor stress them out. They are good to us in terms of paying the rent and keeping up with the apartments. Besides, we have a heart. It will be an I owe you.

I'm out of work but still getting paid and I am so very thankful. Many of my family members are not working and struggling. My husband will file for social security benefits in July (75%/age 62). He won't collect until October. We are on our second week of not stepping foot in the supermarket. I hope to stretch thing until the first week of April. TP stash is very low but I found a solution to our problem. It helps that I am the only female in our home. Besides, I have a ton of paper towels and there is nothing water and soap can't clean. Smile

Well, that's it for today. Please be safe and well.


March 17th, 2020 at 01:39 am

It's official, I'm done funding all $7K on my 2019 Roth IRA. I just set up a $120 contribution (one month ahead of schedule). I won't be able to begin 2020 Roth until next month. We have some unforeseen expenses that we want to cash flow this month.

School is not in session for at least a month here and there is talk that it will be for a much longer time. The governor of New Jersey instituted an 8:00-5:00 curfew today and Teaneck, NJ is completely quarantined. That's not too far from us but in a different county. We have 4 confirmed cases in my county. Frown

We have also spend a bit more on groceries this month but we've not gone crazy buying stuff. We have plenty of food for at least three weeks or so. Nothing is wasted and we will eat normally but smaller portions. Let's hope and pray (if you believe) that this passes soon. Please stay safe and take care of yourself.


March 14th, 2020 at 02:03 am

Closing on our FL house is supposed to be on the 24th of this month. I was supposed to travel to pack our things but decided against it. My brother will be packing for me and putting everything in storage for at least a month or until he feels okay to travel from NJ to FL. He volunteered to U-haul our stuff for us and then fly back home. He's diabetic and neither one of us feels comfortable with him traveling right now.

We are under contract for about $5K above what we paid for the house, but by the time we pay realtor fees and moving expenses we will lose about $10K or more. Luckily, we will get a good portion of our down payment back, but still a loss. On the bright side, we will be able to free up $1500 a month in mortgage payments. Lesson learned.

The school district I work for will close for nearly a month, which includes a week for spring break and four days of unused winter days. All staff will be paid. It seems like the stomach virus is also in full motion this time of the year. Kids are coming down with it and so did I. I missed two days of work. The stomach ailment subsided quickly but I had a headache all day yesterday and felt very much run down. I am much better now.

Payday today for me. $500 went to savings and $475 to credit card payments. We also had to replace another water heater tank in one of the apartments yesterday, $500. This is the third one we replace among our properties in less than a year. We put it on the credit card due in April.

Well that's it for today. Please be safe and stay healthy.

Financial highs/lows

March 8th, 2020 at 12:20 am


So, I kept $50 of the $250 from the unexpected payment I received from a relative. I just set up an electronic contribution for the remaining $200 to my Roth IRA. Another $270 will be transferred on Friday. That leaves me with $120 to pay before April 15 for my 2019 Roth IRA. I can definitely handle that! I can't wait to start 2020. I am proud of myself for making this a priority even when my income is meager compared to prior years. I also discovered that I can continue to make contributions to my 403B since I am working for a board of education part-time. I can't do much. but I am going to commit to at least $100 a month to that.

I have $241 saved from the 52 Weeks Savings challenge. I am trying to reach the $1,378 in six months and repeat the challenge. That will give me a total of $2756 saved by December 31st. This money is going towards fulfilling things on my Bucket List.

We are getting a little over $1200 from income tax returns this year between the Feds and the state. That money has been designated for home improvements.

We have to replace the entire front porch decking of our house. It's a lemonade porch so it will definitely not be cheap to fix.

A little extra

March 5th, 2020 at 05:52 pm

A family member, whom I lent money to a while back, Venmo me $250. Repayment is sporadic, but anything I get back is a plus. I am going to keep $50 of it to spend on a meal out or a treat for me. I am trying to enjoy a little bit of our money lately. My husband’s cousin is terminally ill and his stepchildren are fighting for some antique cars he has. Good grief, the guy is not even dead yet. I told my husband that there has to be a balance in life and he should enjoy some of his money. My husband tends to be very conservative (extreme) with money. I told him that he is leaving it for someone else to enjoy and that you only live once.

Mula disbursements

February 29th, 2020 at 03:22 am

It was pay day for both us. Here is the rundown:

Disclaimer: We still had $215 left in our checking prior to payday and that was swept to our savings account.

$700 savings
$270 Roth IRA, $590 left to fund 2019.
$500 to cc and household bills
$100 groceries (allotted, but might go over)

No mortgages to pay until August and November. I mentioned before that prior to quitting my job I payed many months in advance to ease the transition to a significant reduction in income). Hopefully we can resolve some warranty issues with our Florida home so that we can move forward with the sale. If sold, it will free up $1500 from our budget.

Tomorrow, both husband and I will be volunteering our time in a fundraiser to benefit the people affected by the earthquakes in Puerto Rico. All proceeds will be distributed to the people and no government agencies involved.

Update/Sale pending/Show review

February 27th, 2020 at 12:57 am

I really enjoy my job and I'm grateful that I was able to get rehired after my short hiatus in Florida. Well, as of yesterday, there is a sale pending on our Florida house. The prospective buyer had the inspection today. Not sure how that went, but our realtor is very good at keeping us informed. Next up, appraisal. I hope everything continues to go well as I really want to get this monkey off our backs. It's not over,'till is over.

Friday is pay day for both hubby and me. I've already set up a $270 Roth IRA contribution. That leaves me with a $590 shortfall to be paid by April 15th. I'll contribute another $270 mid March, $320 at the end of March. It's much easier to do this now that I'm working.

About West Side Story on Broadway. It is a good modern twist to the classic. The projection screens in the back of the stage are very distracting, however. The cast is incredibly talented but I would've rather seen a revival to the classic. I am also glad that I did not paid the $250-$300 for good tickets. Average seats are just fine. Of all the Broadway shows I've seen, this one was my least favorite. The Lion King and In the Heights are my absolute favorites.

An exciting freebie!

February 19th, 2020 at 03:26 am

I start my part-time job tomorrow. I am looking forward to earning an income. My earnings are enough to pay utilities, food, insurance and my Roth IRA. We cut the cord with the cable company and my hubby seems to doing okay with just having Netflix. I watch TLC online through the kindness of my sister. I'd be crushed if I could not watch Dr. Pimple Popper (my friends think that I need therapy for wanting to watch that). Smile I also like to watch 90 Day Fiance. What a circus!

Now for the exciting freebie! Guess who's going to see West Side Story on Broadway this coming Sunday? Me!!!! I posted on FB to see if any of my friends wanted to see it in the Spring. A good friend of mine called me to tell me that they have an extra ticket and invited me to go with them. She won't take any money from me but I'll pay the tolls to cross from New Jersey to New York and help with the parking. I am so excited to see it.