I’m Going to #FinCon14!!!

By the time this post goes live, I will be sitting in an airplane on my way to New Orleans!

Not only will this be my first trip to The Big Easy, but this is also my very first solo trip ever.

Needless to say, I’m a bit anxious.

For those who don’t know, #FinCon14 is happening this weekend in NOLA! FinCon is a huge conference for the personal finance nerd in all of us. A lot of my favorite personal finance bloggers are going to be there, and there will also be a ton of sessions I can’t wait to attend! I can’t wait to learn more about growing my blog and creating awesome content for y’all!!!

I’ll be documenting my trip along the way, so make sure you’re following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Also, if you’re going to be in New Orleans this weekend, too, please hit me up! I’d love to meet everyone face-to-face finally!

I know, short post for today – I’ve got to get packing!

Oh, and if you haven’t already, make sure you enter the Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway right here on LvL!

Until next time…

AMDG,
Lisa

August 2014 – Expense Tracking Results

Last month, I vowed to start tracking my expenses after seeing my credit card debt yet again grow more than I was throwing at it.

Midway through my own personal challenge, I shared with y’all just how hard it was to track expenses at all.

To top it all off, I recently just got engaged, which means I need to be that much more mindful of my spending! Not only do I need to save up for a wedding, but most importantly, I need to save up for our future life together!

After weeks of keeping literally all of my receipts and diligently keeping record of every time I swiped, the results are in.

Let me tell you right now – the results ain’t pretty, y’all.

All in all – I spent about $4,613.84 last month. Here’s the breakdown of my August 2014 expense tracking:

August 2014 spendingSome observations

The majority of my expenses, $1,576.41 to be exact, is being thrown at my credit card debt. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I want that debt gone ASAP! However, since I’m still spending money on my credit cards, paying this much toward the balances feels like trying to fill up a pool that has several leaks/holes in it – it’s counter productive!

So how do I make paying off my debt more productive? I need to fill in these leaks/holes. I need to stop using my credit cards! 

Commuting costs are the next highest expense at $564.19. This amount includes gas, tolls, parking, and BART fare. Not only does my commute take up a huge chunk of my day, it takes up a huge part of my budget. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do about this expense. For now…

I pay about $500 per month towards the house – this includes mortgage, HOA, electricity, cable, etc. Not bad considering I’m splitting all these costs with my brother, mom, and auntie. Don’t think I’m changing anything in this category quite yet.

Retirement savings sits at $463.64 per month. This is the amount I need to max out my Roth IRA for the year.

My monthly car loan payment is $372.81 and my monthly car insurance payment is $154.67Yikes. This is what happens when you finance a brand new car, folks. As far as the car loan payment, there’s not much I can do. But I do plan on re-evaluating my car insurance – whether it means paying for the year in advance to save some money, or even jumping to a new provider, I plan on lowering this monthly amount by the end of the year!

I spent $203.23 on Merchandise and $162.95 on Restaurants in August. This is above the regular $120 in cash I withdraw each month for my regular “play” money. I definitely plan on cutting back on these categories. These were all unplanned and unnecessary purchases. If I can keep these kinds of purchases down to the planned cash of $120/month, I can really save some serious money this way.

Currently, I’m throwing $200 at my student loans and I plan on keeping it that way for a while. I’ve rounded my minimum payment to the next $100 increment, so I’m overpaying right now, but it’s still a manageable level for me. No change needed.

In August, I put $100 toward my travel savings, mainly toward my “fun money” for #FinCon14! This category will definitely increase and shift in the next few weeks, especially because I have a wedding to plan and pay for!

Seeing the naked truth behind my spending was incredibly eye-opening. Personally, I don’t think I can keep tracking expenses in this way in the long run, but I know I’m going to be a lot more aware of where I spend my money.

Action items:

-Stop using credit cards!!!

-Look into lowering car insurance payments

-Keep Merchandise and Restaurant spending limited to allotted “Play Money” of $120 per month.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be updating y’all on how I plan to change my budget/expenses to accommodate for The H2B (new nickname, thanks Daniel!) and my engagement/wedding festivities.

An Announcement

These past couple of weeks have been so crazy over here! I’ve been wanting to update you guys for a while, but truth be told I just couldn’t find the time to do so.

There’s a lot I want to write about, but now just isn’t the time. I will share this announcement though…

The BF's Proposal

The Ring!

Yes, it’s true folks – The BF and I are engaged!

Which means The BF is no longer, well, The BF. Does that make him The F? Haha!

There’s lots I want to update y’all about, but I’d rather sit and thoughtfully write everything out instead of rushing a post for you. I just had to share the news!

If you don’t yet – follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with me and all things LvtL!

Until next time…

AMDG,
Lisa

 

Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway!

Amazon September.jpg

Hi Lovelies! Today, I’m putting up my very first giveaway here on Lisa vs. the Loans!

I’ve teamed up with my blogger friends to bring you a Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway! This month we’re giving away a $750 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader!

 If you want a chance to be the lucky winner, here’s what you need to do – bookmark this page and come back every day to enter and earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with your friends on social media. Good luck!

Entering giveaways is one of my favorite money savings tips! I figured I could help you guys out and bring a giveaway to you! Let me know down below in the comments if you’d like to see more giveaways here on Lisa vs. the Loans! 

GIVEAWAY

Prize: $750 Amazon gift card

Organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Co-hosts: Dividing by Zero ♥ allisonleighann. ♥ To Be Bright ♥ Pretty Thrifty ♥ Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog ♥ Honey & Birch ♥ Do It All Working Mom ♥ Misadventures with Andi ♥ Stacy’s Savings ♥ Put A Little Umbrella In Your Drink ♥ Broward Saves ♥ Blog by Donna ♥ Random Thoughts ♥ Mandy Jean Chic ♥ Thrifty in Pittsburgh ♥ True Story Book Blog ♥ Mom and More ♥ Finger Click Saver ♥ Annabel & Alice ♥ Babushka’s Baile

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Besides the mandatory blog comment entry, all other entries are optional. Giveaway ends 10/3 and is open worldwide.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

Image via Unsplash

a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 2014 Net Worth Update

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Let’s jump right into the net worth update…

August 2014 Net Worth Update

August 2014 Net Worth Update

Net Worth as of August 31, 2014: $213,850

Overall, my net worth increased by $2,175 this month!

Cash: $2,575 [MTM $1,201]

An absolutely beautiful increase for my cash accounts this month! Thank you, over-time!

Savings: $1,225 [MTM $102]

My emergency fund is sitting pretty at about $1,000, earning less than 1% in interest. But hey - that’s okay, the purpose of an emergency fund isn’t to grow rapidly, it’s to simply be there in case something goes wrong. The rest of my savings right now is in my travel fund, ready to be used as play money at FinCon14 this month!

401k: $686 [MTM $273]

Again, great increase in the ol’ 401k this month. This not only includes my contributions, but also my employers and those amazing market gains!

Traditional IRA: $8,946 [MTM $160]

All market gains for the Traditional IRA this month!

Roth IRA: $15,621 [MTM $731]

I hate to sound repetitive, but not really because I can say thank you market gains all day! Yes, I max this out every month, but this increase was more than my contributions, which is always great!

Est. Car Value: $16,242 [MTM ($1,579)]

Ew. It’s no secret that I bought my car brand new almost two years ago. And there’s a reason why this is a big no-no in the pf community. Huge decreases in value like my car had this month is definitely #1 on the list of why buying brand new just isn’t a good idea. With that being said, I still don’t regret buying new, especially because I plan on running my car to the ground. Usually, I don’t really care too much about owning a brand new car. But it’s decreases like this that make me think twice.

Est. Home Value: $479,000 [MTM $0]

Last month’s increase for my home value was a huge help to my net worth! I wish I could have $88k increases every month ;) But alas, home values don’t usually work like that. Also, I’ve decided to only update this value once year, just to be conservative.

Credit Cards: $1,813 [MTM ($352)]

I am so sick of this credit card debt! But thankfully this month went my way – a decrease in my balances by $352 is awesome! It doesn’t look like this debt will disappear as fast as I’d like (which was practically yesterday) but as long as this balance slowly and consistently decreases, I know that eventually, I’ll get there.

Student Loans: $15,527 [MTM ($127)]

Same with my credit card debt, these student loans are slowly and steadily disappearing. Like, so slow a turtle is dragging it along to keep up. My mini goal for the moment is to get these down to $15k flat.

Car Loan: $18,171 [MTM $330)]

A solid decrease on my car loan this month. Nothing new, but progress is progress :)

Mortgage: $274,935 [MTM ($478)]

Again, slow and steady progress is just the theme for me and my debt right now. I pay the minimum payment on my mortgage and will be paying the minimum for a long time simply because it is the last on the priority list.

This past weekend was crazy and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Also, look out for my August 2013 expense tracking results! In the meantime, let me know…

How was your August?

AMDG,
Lisa
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