Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday

My sister-in-law and I teamed up to brave the Black Friday crowds with much success. Old Navy advertised that they were giving away Kodak Sport digital cameras to the first 40 people in line. We sat up our chairs at 7:30 Thanksgiving night and got our free (after a $40.00 purchase, but that amount knocked out two gifts) cameras at 12:00 a.m. Its probably not the best camera but it is waterproof so I'm super excited about taking it to Dry Tortugas in May! We also went to two different WalMarts, Sears, Belk, Lowe's and Academy. I also went ahead and purchased all of the gift cards I was planning on buying for presents this year. So, as of today, I have the following left on my Christmas list: both my maternal grandparents, a picture frame for my paternal grandmother, a tote bag for my mother-in-law, a gift certificate for Cody's cousin, and possibly something small to add to my mother's gift. Then I'm done! And it isn't even December yet! To top it all off, I still have money in my Christmas envelope!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We're always going somewhere!

I booked our anniversary trip to the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville a few days ago. Since our anniversary falls on a Tuesday, we're going on New Year's Eve instead! Since that's a holiday, the prices were a little higher than usual but I went ahead and booked anyway. The next morning I received an email from Opryland (always sign up for emails!) offering specially discounted holiday rates which were roughly $40.00 cheaper than what I had paid the previous night. So, I called back and, after speaking to several individuals, was able to get our rate adjusted. I'm so excited for this mini-vacation with my wonderful husband!

Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm back!

So, it has been almost a month and a half since my last post. Things have been crazy around here. And by crazy I mean major life changing decisions, impossible school assignment deadlines, overtime at work, etc. First, I feel I need to give an update on our progress. We are on track for our goal of having $5k in savings by the end of the year. I have an envelope with $700 allotted for Christmas shopping whenever I get around to starting that. We've purchased $200 worth of Shell giftcards in preparation for our road trip to Dry Tortugas in May. Our emergency/secondary savings account has fluctuated between $1350 and $1500 (this is about to become a higher priority after Christmas). I've also saved around $300 for our anniversary trip to the Opryland Hotel in Nashville on New Year's Eve. HOWEVER, there have been two major bumps:

1. This past weekend, Cody talked me into getting an iPad 2. Of course, we paid cash and it is all ours and so, so much fun. BUT I am feeling really guilty about this and probably will continue to feel guilty for several weeks. Especially since my mother-in-law told us she had already bought one for our Christmas present. Darn.

2. This is a doosey. This is the real reason I haven't posted in a month... I've decided to go to law school.

Bump #2 has both positives and negatives. So, here is a list:

  • no four months of unemployment for me while I student teach
  • potential of higher pay in the future and to essentially work for myself
  • my current boss has offered me a full-time position, so more income immediately
  • I get to go to school for at least three more years!!!
  • Cody and I will easily be able to pay for my tuition with cash (which is half of what I'm currently paying for graduate school at UAB)
  • if I change my mind, I can pick up with my master's and being teaching
  • no possibility of my TEACH grant being repaid = $6500 of student loan debt for a master's degree I did not complete
  • Three payments of approximately $1800 per year for tuition
  • Driving 60 miles one way to Birmingham once a week for the next several years. Poor Civic.
So, we will see how this works out. I'm really excited and feel like this is a huge opportunity for me. Cody was immediately supportive when I discussed this idea with him and his opinion was my main concern. I am finishing out my class at UAB this semester. In January, I plan to reevaluate our budget so that my entire check goes into our house savings. Within three or four years, we could still be paying CASH for our first home! There will be many posts on this big change in the future!