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Archive for January, 2014

January Avalanche

February 1st, 2014 at 01:50 am

January was a great month for snowflakes mainly because of the CC rewards. This is the highest amount than any month in 2013. All CC rewards are going towards paying extra on the mortgage while the other amounts go towards the 52 Week Savings challenge. My challenge total so far is $523, so only $227 remaining and I will have Christmas 2014 covered! Bring on February Smile

Swagbucks 35
Pinecone 6
$1 bills 25
Returns 28.4
BoA rewards 53
Bill credit 13.72
Under budget 56
Citi Walmart GC 150
Chase Checking 200
Chase Sapphire 530

Total: $1097.12!!

Disconnect Day

January 29th, 2014 at 02:33 am

I spend entirely too much time browsing the internet while I could be doing more productive things, so I decided to have a "Disconnect Day" every month as one of my goals for 2014. I tried this last year but fell off in April when I started my PhD journey but I realize I can still take at least one day to disconnect if I plan accordingly. Since I'm working part-time now, that will help out as well. My first Disconnect Day of the year will be Thursday 30 Jan! Basically I will not get on the internet for the entire day. The below is my after work to-do-list for that day. Anyone care to join in??

1. Get tax documents together
2. Laundry
3. Purge Legacy folder and include new documents
4. Read ahead for school
5. Update Feb budget in YNAB
6. Whatever else pops to mind Smile

Hit By An Avalanche!

January 22nd, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Yesterday I posted that I received my $200 bonus for opening a checking with Chase. Well my Sapphire statement closed last night so I was already by 50,000 point bonus! Add that to the 30k I earned for spending, I netted 53k bonus points which equals $530!! I already requested the funds to be deposited in my account, so once that hits its going on the mortgage. That brings my monthly snowflake total to $1,016, I don't know about you but that's an avalanche instead of snowflakes Smile

Chase Snowflake

January 22nd, 2014 at 02:00 am

Towards the end of last year I opened a checking account with Chase in order to take advantage of a $200 promo. Well today I got that $200 and will be putting it towards the mortgage. That brings my snowflake total for the month to $486 so far. I'm also waiting on a few more rewards from Navy Federal and my Chase Sapphire card. If those don't hit this month, then next month will be more like an avalanche versus snowflakes!!

Everything is going good so far with my part-time job. I think I should be getting my first pay check this week so that will be going straight on the mortgage as well. Last but not least, I have had a green smoothie or juice everyday this month so far!!

Changing Strategy

January 15th, 2014 at 05:04 pm

Earlier this month I posted about receiving my Citi Preferred rewards in the form of gift cards. Since then, I've been only counting snowflakes as I spent on the cards but this tracking crap is for the birds. So now I'm just going to take the entire remaining amount out of my budget and be done with it. I also returned a couple items to Walmart yesterday and received $9 back which I'm adding to my 52 Week Savings Challenge. Now weeks 1-15, 36, 48-52 are complete!!

Part-time Job

January 14th, 2014 at 08:33 pm

I cannot recall if I posted about taking a tax course with Liberty Tax last fall or not. Anyway, it was a 10 week course that I attended twice a week. Well after completing all of their requirements, I'm happy to report that my first day of work is tomorrow! One of the main reason I chose to do taxes is because it will aid me in gaining additional experience I need to become an Accredited Financial Counselor. Since taxes are seasonal, they are very flexible with my work hours seeing how I'm only doing it part-time. Another benefit is that not only are my taxes done free but I can refer one family member or friend to get theirs done free as well. All of the income I earn will be thrown at the mortgage so that makes me happy as well Smile

Side note: Day 14 of smoothie challenge is complete!

Energy Bill Credit=Snowflake

January 10th, 2014 at 04:50 am

Our energy company just went through a merger and I noticed on this month's bill there was a $14 credit because of it. Since I'm on the fixed payment amount every month, this month's bill is $14 cheaper than the amount I budgeted. So you know what that means, $14 has now been added to my 52 Week Savings Challenge! Weeks 1-14, 36, 48-52 is now complete. I also completed a Pinecone survey yesterday so that $3 more dollars on the way.

Day 9 of green smoothie challenge is also done Smile

Build Your 72 Hour Emergency Kit in 52 Weeks

January 9th, 2014 at 12:02 am

Someone shared the below site which has a great checklist that breaks down creating a 72 hour emergency bag over the course of the year. I have made it one of my goals for this year. With all the crazy weather going on around us, I think this came in perfect timing. Anyone care to join me? Tonight I will be clearing out two back packs(1 for me and 1 for my daughter) to accomplish week 1 and then moving on!!

http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2012/07/build-your-72-hour-ki...

Christmas 2014 Half Funded Already!

January 8th, 2014 at 05:21 pm

Just like a few of you, I'm also doing the 52 Week Savings Challenge. Because I'm using this challenge to fund my Christmas sinking fund in the amount of $750, I started this challenge 1 Dec. Today I received a few snowflakes that I'm adding to this challenge. I got a $25 payout from swagbucks, returned items for $6.40 and I got $6 from Pinecone surveys. I have now completed weeks 1-13, 36, 48-52 total to $377, which completes 50% of my Christmas goal already!! I know you heard this before but tracking those small amounts and not letting them melt in your checking account really adds up.

I'm also looking forward to February because it will be more like an avalanche instead of snowflakes, but more on that to come.

Final note: day 8 of the green smoothie challenge is complete!

52 Week Savings Challenge Update

January 5th, 2014 at 07:17 pm

I hope everyone that's experiencing the cold weather is staying warm. It's about 60 degrees here in VegasSmile Quick update on the challenge, I returned an item yesterday to Kohl's for $13 and I just cashed in on my BoA rewards earned in 2013 to the tune of $48. Since I redeemed the rewards to my account, BoA actually pays an additional 10%(that's the main reason I like this card), so my total was $52.80(rounded to $53). So I'm taking that $70 in snowflakes and adding it to the challenge. That brings my challenge total to $350 which allows me to mark off weeks 1-13, 48-52!! That also means I'm only $25 away from being 50% towards my 2014 Christmas goal of $750. I know I will reach that this month because I have more snowflakes projected!!!
Once gain all of this has come from snowflakes and not my income. I love the power of snowflakes!!


Edited to add: I've completed 4 days of drinking either green juice or smoothie and day 5 will be done shortly as well!

First Snow of the Year

January 2nd, 2014 at 04:56 am

In the form of snowflakes that is, last year one of the CC rewards I signed up for was the Citi Simplicity card. Well I was awarded enough bonus points to get $200 in gift cards. Actually it came to $210 after my required spending. So I ordered 4 $50 gcs from Wal-Mart and $10 from Starbucks. I will use the Wal-Mart cards to off-set my grocery budget and will give the other as a gift. I will count the snowflakes in my monthly totals as I spend them. I'm also waiting on $25 Paypal payout via swagbucks before I transfer the $9 in earned in Pinecone surveys.

Lastly, instead of a green smoothie this morning I had a green detox juice(cucumber, celery, lemon and an apple) since I celebrated a tad much last night Smile Tomorrow I will have a smoothie and its already sitting in the fridge ready for me to just crank up the Vitamix!! Happy New Year everyone!