Beachgirl's Budget Blog

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  • Debt-o-Meter (as of 12/31/15)

    Citicard BT - Paid Nov '14

    D's Law I - Paid Aug '14

    D's Law H - Paid Oct '14

    D's Law C - Paid Dec '14

    D's Law G - Paid Jan '15

    D's Law D - Paid Jun '15

    D's Priv #1
    Current Balance: $4,383.23
    Interest Rate: 4.75%
    Amount paid: $6,633.31

    D's Law A
    Current Balance: $8,569.29
    Interest Rate: 6.55%
    Amount paid: $31.46

    D's Law E
    Current Balance: $8,602.91
    Interest Rate: 6.55%
    Amount paid $0.00

    D's Law F
    Current Balance: $15,589.70
    Interest Rate: 6.8%
    Amount paid: $48.99

    D's Priv #2
    Current Balance: $17,345.59
    Interest Rate: 3.44%
    Amount paid: $3,596.82

    D's Law B
    Current Balance: $41,736.70
    Interest Rate: 6.55%
    Amount paid $0.00

    T's Law
    Current Balance: $40.979.85
    Interest Rate: 6.8%
    Amount paid: $0

    T's Fed #1
    Current Balance: $11,328.32
    Interest Rate: 1.375%
    Amount paid: $2,870.42

    T's Fed #2
    Current Balance: $19,615.78
    Interest Rate: 1.375%
    Amount paid: $6,384.22
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    *Please note, I am not a financial expert and any information on this site should be taken with that in mind.

Let me introduce myself

Posted by beachgirl on 08/12/2016

It took me a little longer to get my new project ready.  But now it’s ready.  So, without further delay, let me share with you my new blog:

I decided to do a new blog (instead of sticking with this one) because I wanted to expand what I wrote about.  I love writing about my journey with personal finance, but I wanted to talk about other things too.  And, since this blog has been so focused on personal finance, I thought it would be better to start anew.

Also, I had kept this blog anonymous over the years.  At the time, it made me feel comfortable with being so personal about my finances.  But, with my new blog, I’ve decided to out myself and show who I really am (faults and all).

Anyway, I hope all of you who are still around or find this blog will check out my new blog.  I hope to see you there!


Posted in About Me, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Anyone out there?

Posted by beachgirl on 07/18/2016

Hello to anyone who still checks this site or hasn’t removed it from their RSS feed.  I’m sorry that I fell off the blogging world for the last 7 months.  Things have been really crazy.

My husband and I bought a house.  We made an offer at the end of February and closed on March 31st.  From then until May 22nd, we were doing some work on it before we moved in.  (The biggest project was taking down the popcorn ceilings.)  We officially moved in on May 22nd and finished moving the last of our stuff out of our apartment and cleaned it on May 30th.  It was a crazy couple months with us working on the house every weekend and 1-2 nights after work during the week.

Since then, we’re continuing to do stuff with the house (it’s a bit of a fixer upper, plus just regular stuff), we adopted two new kittens (Sota, short for Minnesota, and Cuse, short for Syracuse…named after where my husband and I each went to undergrad), and I started working at the minor league baseball stadium again for the season.

Anyway, I have something new in the works and I’ll let you all know about it soon.  In the meantime, if you want to let me know you’re still our there, I’d love to hear from you.  I’ve missed you all.

Posted in Misc | 7 Comments »

December 2015: Debt Update

Posted by beachgirl on 01/09/2016

D made his first payment on his loans.  We set up his payment as an auto payment to be able to take advantage of the .25% interest decrease.  The loan company, however, only set up a portion of the payment so less was paid down.  Based on the statements, it looks like only two of the loans were set up to be paid in December, while the other two weren’t.  I’m not sure why that happened.  Hopefully it’ll get squared away this coming month.

In spite of those issues, our overall loan total only increased by $52.41, which is a significant decrease from last month ($213.43).  (However, D made his January payment for the Private #1 loan in December, so we likely won’t have another payment on that one in January…unless he pays it early again).


Posted in Debt Repayment, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

December 2015: Snowflaking

Posted by beachgirl on 01/06/2016

Total to House Downpayment: $1,925.22

  • $920.00 – Monthly (for Dec)
  • $67.02 – Left over from groceries (from Nov)
  • $860.00 – Monthly (for Jan)
  • $66.08 – Left over from groceries (from Dec)
  • $12.12 – Interest

Posted in Snowflake, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

My Net Worth: December 2015

Posted by beachgirl on 01/03/2016

Net Worth

  • Current Net Worth: -$27,812.32
  • Change since previous month: -$1,700.76
  • Change since 12/31/2005: -$4,408.60

We put almost $2,000 towards our house down payment fund.  We have an appointment to get pre-approved on the 7th…just around the corner.

However, my 401(k) balance decreased by over $2,000.00.  And several of our student loans are accruing more interest than we are paying each month.  (Though, we are paying more than the interest on others.)  Once we buy a house, we’ll focus our attention on paying down the student loans.

Posted in My Net Worth, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

November 2015: Debt Update

Posted by beachgirl on 12/08/2015

I’ve now made payments on all of my loans, but D’s first payment on his Law loans isn’t until the end of this month.  So, his law loans are continuing to accrue interest.  Even though I made a payment on my law loan, the interest accruing is higher than the payment…meaning the total amount owed goes up (but by less than it was before).  But it’s a start.


Posted in Debt Repayment | Leave a Comment »

November 2015: Snowflaking

Posted by beachgirl on 12/05/2015

Total to House Downpayment: $1,012.71

  • $914.00 – Monthly
  • $87.61 – Left over from groceries
  • $11.10 – Interest

Posted in Snowflake | Leave a Comment »

My Net Worth: November 2015

Posted by beachgirl on 12/02/2015

Net Worth

  • Current Net Worth: -$26,111.56
  • Change since previous month: +$1,264.92
  • Change since 12/31/2005: -$2,707.84

November went pretty well.  We put a little over $1,000 towards our house down payment fund.  We’re planning on getting pre-approved just after the new year, so we’re getting closer.

We finally got our Income-Based Repayment issues resolved.  I’ve already made at least one payment on both of mine, and D makes his first payment this month.  It’s nice having this taken care of.

Posted in My Net Worth | Leave a Comment »

Wedding Spending: Reception

Posted by beachgirl on 11/14/2015

We spent most of our wedding budget on the reception.  Overall, we spent $8,354.51.  It would’ve been nice to have spent less, but it covers a lot of things and we found many ways to save and keep that number from going higher.

Venue fees – $3,579.44

This included the fees associated with renting the venue for both the ceremony and reception, linens and dishes, the staff, gratuities, and taxes.  We used the same venue for both the ceremony and reception, so that saved some money.  And, since most of our guests were from out of town, it allowed them to only have to worry about getting to one location.

Food – $2,893.18

This covered the food at the reception for 79 guests and the desserts.  We made most of our desserts ourselves, only buying two gluten free chocolate cakes from Trader Joe’s (my aunt can’t eat gluten) and two carrot cakes from our local grocery store.  (We used one of the carrot cakes as our cake-cutting cake, so that’s the one with the Precious Moments figurine on top.)  For the desserts, we made brownies, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, rice crispy treats, and two pound cakes.  The figurine was on my parent’s wedding cake, so it meant a lot to be able to use it on our cake.


I think making our own desserts saved us a lot of money.  We spent $128.18 on everything we needed for the desserts, including ingredients, a new brownie pan, serving platters, the store-bought desserts, and a stand to hold up a sign with info about the desserts.  (I used a piece of Ivory and Brown card stock left over from the invitations to do the dessert menu card.)  We easily would’ve spent significantly more than that on a traditional cake.  And it was a lot of fun making the desserts.

Beverages – $1,155.00

This covered beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for 79 guests.

Centerpieces – $110.04

  • $8.55 – Mason jars
  • $24.95 – Pinecones
  • $4.79 – Tealights
  • $66.63 – Silk flowers
  • $5.12 – Wire cutter

We didn’t have to buy all the mason jars…my aunt collected many mason jars from friends, so we got a bunch for free.  (I can’t remember the exact number of mason jars we had, but it was like 6 or 7 boxes worth.)  That really saved some money.  I used 40% off coupons at Michaels to buy the tealights, silk flowers, and wire cutter, so that saved a bunch of money too.  We used some of the leftover brown and ivory card stock to make the table numbers.  My aunts let us borrow the leaf place mats and one of my aunts gave us the twine for free to tie the table numbers to the mason jars.


Guestbook – $28.91

  • $21.39 – Signature frame from Michael’s
  • $3.41 – Pens ($3.41)
  • $3.04 – 8×10 picture to put in the frame
  • $1.07 – Stand to hold up the instruction card

I used a piece of Ivory and Brown card stock left over from the invitations to do the instruction card.  We now have the signature frame hanging in our living room with the handfasting ribbons draped over it.  It’s great being able to look up and see that all the time.


This picture shows the guestbook frame lying on the table on the left and the escort board on the right.

Escort Board – $49.28

  • $16.05 – 6-pane window
  • $21.72 – Two stands to hold up the window
  • $11.51 – Paint

We found the window at Habitat for Humanity.  The paint was chipping and it wasn’t the right color.  So, I bought paint to make it look better.  (We’re eventually hoping to re-purpose it somehow when we buy a house.)  I used 6 pieces of Ivory and Brown card stock left over from the invitations to do the list of everyone’s names.

Card Box – $3.20

I already had a box, so I didn’t have to spend anything on that.  I bought some wrapping paper ($3.20) to decorate it.  I also used a piece of Brown card stock we had left over from doing the invitations to spell out “Cards” and attached it to the front of the box.

Music – $181.90

A friend of D’s served as the DJ.  The friend lives out west, so he couldn’t bring his own equipment with him.  So, we rented a microphone, speakers, and speaker stands for him to use.

Gifts – $253.56

This includes gifts for the wedding party, friends and family involved in the ceremony, people who helped set up the venue, and our friendors (officiant, photographer, videographer, and DJ).

Favors – $100.00

We made a donation to a charity in lieu of giving favors.

Posted in Wedding Planning | 2 Comments »

Wedding Spending: Ceremony

Posted by beachgirl on 11/11/2015

D and I really wanted our wedding ceremony to be very “us,” so we ended up writing our entire ceremony ourselves.  Some of our favorite aspects of our ceremony were:

  1. D is mostly Irish, so we did a handfasting ceremony.  One of my sisters spoke about the history of handfasting and some other things we came up with to go along with it, while my other sister wrapped our hands in the ribbon.  (See picture below.)
  2. D recorded himself playing “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” on the keyboard.  He, the officiant, our families, and our bridal party walked down to it playing.  D’s mom and grandma were so touched by that detail.
  3. Since we’re both attorneys, we decided to have someone “advocate” on both our behalves.  They each spoke about us individually (i.e., how they knew us, any funny stories) and as a couple.  It gave everyone in attendance a chance to know more about us and was really touching to hear what they had to say.
  4. We each wrote our own vows, which were very personal to us and our relationship.  For example, the first time D and I met, he asked me to watch his beer while he ran to the bathroom.  So, I vowed to always watch his beer when he needed to go to the bathroom.  It was very special to us to have it be so personal.

To help reduce our costs, I bought flowers at the local grocery store the day before the ceremony and then put them together myself (see picture below).  We also saved money by buying our rings on Etsy.  We found exactly what we wanted from a couple that makes the rings out of titanium.  Overall, we spent $203.64 on everything for the ceremony.

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Bouquets – $38.58

  • $32.05 – Bouquet flowers
  • $2.13 – Ribbon
  • $3.18 – Pearl pins
  • $1.22 – Floral tape

Rings – $83.00

  • $45.00 – D’s ring
  • $38.00 – My ring

Other – $82.06

  • $22.06 – Ribbons for handfasting
  • $60.00 – Marriage license

Posted in Wedding Planning | Leave a Comment »