Monday, July 29, 2013

Chitown Needs a New Car...

I need a new car!!! My car is a 2002 Nissan Altima and it is dying a slow and painful death from rust corrosion. I fought Nissan last year and I was able to get the rear subframe replaced but not the floor boards. Instead of replacing them out of pocket, I had them reinforced at the body shop. I was in danger of being like Fred Flinstone last year! Anyway, the last two weekend, we've had rain here in Chicago and I noticed that the passenger side floor was soaking wet. I pulled up the carpet on Friday and to my absolute horror, I found a pool of water under the carpeting but no obvious sign of where the water was coming through. I used my phone to take pictures underneath and sure enough, the corrosion is back with a vengeance. I don't want to put any more money into the Altima because once there is rust present, it will only get worse. Plus, I need additional regular maintenance on my 11-year old car with 126,000 miles. I was hoping it could wait until next year but looks like my time may be running out.

Since the beginning of the year, I have lost about $700 in monthly cash flow with the roll off of the middle class tax cuts, increased utility costs from the water leak and the switch to bi-weekly pay. Chitown needs a break I tell you!Here are some pics of the car. I have the windows down to dry out the carpeting and padding.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chicago Half Marathon...

In addition to trying to get my finances in order, I am also working on my health & fitness. Since June 5th, I've lost just over 10 lbs and a full pant size doing Insanity and Hip Hop Abs from Beachbody. I even wore a bikini in FL for the first time in years just after the 4th of July.

A few weeks ago, I started running again and decided that I will run the Chicago Half Marathon in September. I have just over 7 weeks to train and I ran 9 miles on Sunday so I think I can get there by September 8th. Finger crossed! I feel a lot better and I have more energy and focus. Wish me luck!

My goals are:

1) 8 hours of sleep
2) A gallon of water a day - minimum 1/2 gallon
3) Water only and no beef or pork
4) Stop eating 3-4 hours before bedtime
5) Exercise 5 times a week

Weekly Spending

I am back to trying to spend under $200/week. Although I spent more than $200 last week, $130 was to get my air conditioning unit cleaned which was an absolute must. Eliminate the $130 and I was at $144 for the week. Not bad at all.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Change in Pay Frequency....

There is so much change going on with my Organization. I have been employed with the Bank for 13 years. They key players are almost unrecognizable especially since the merger that occurred a couple of years ago.

The most recent change is the change is in pay frequency. For the past 11 years, I have gotten paid once a month which some might find difficult but I am comfortable after all this time. Starting this month, the Bank moved all employees to bi-weekly pay and my monthly take home decreased substantially since it is spread out over 26 pay periods versus 12 pay periods. My monthly income decreased $460!!! Ouch! Sure I will get two extra paychecks in a year but that is a drastic change. So, I am back to the budget to see how I can make it all happen and let me tell you, I am trying to plug numbers in here and there and it's just super TIGHT!!!

Ouch is an understatement!!!