Actually excited about money!

Hello y'all!  I have filed our tax return online already and the IRS site says we'll have our refund (over $3000 yipee!) back by Feb 7th.  I was kinda bummed cause the H&R Block calendar said if I got it in by the 25th, I should get the refund by Feb 1st... but whatever, it's ok.  Still really quick. so I'm happy.

The very first thing we're doing with the money is putting $500 of it into the emergency fund savings account.
Then we're paying off all the cash advances we have outstanding.... when I added up what they'd cost us to pay off I about choked.  Over $1200! YIKES!  I do NOT even want to think about how much money we're thrown away over the last year(s) paying just to renew them so we could make it to another paycheck... frittering money away on junk and letting it to into overdraft anyway and paying those fees.  OMG  I can't even think about it.  It's all in the PAST!

Then we have a budget of $700 from the refund to redo the floors in the living room and hallway and paint the living room and kitchen. I've picked out a yellow that looks nice in the virtual painter thingy, but Christopher isn't sold on it yet.  I'm hoping to get a $2.99 sample of it this weekend and paint a square and see if we like it. It's called Carolina Inn Lobby Yellow  . I think it's pretty and soft, but still warm and I think it'll go well with our wood tones and antiques.  I know we were going to do the light blue, but Christopher kind of pouted when he wasn't going to get his yellow kitchen, so I figured, oh what the heck, let's do the whole great room in yellow.  It should really brighten up the space, which is important since the floors will be the dark wood.

We've already talked to people and found that screwing down the plywood underlayment without glue is the best way to do it. Now we just have to find enough nice smooth pieces of 1/4 inch plywood that fits our budget. The sanded stuff is twice as much as the plain plywood, and I don't really have any room to go over budget.  I do NOT want to touch the emergency savings at all, so it has to fit the budget.

Then we're giving each of the girls $50 to do with whatever they want. It's all theirs. Though I do hope they don't buy $50 of candy hehe.

We're giving Corina $50 to help pay her hospital bill she called me freaking out about. I told her back when she got the bill to call the billing office and set up payments, but she never did and got a final notice in the mail and thought the world was ending.  I don't want her to get into the habit of putting bills off like I do.

Then $132 of it is going to pay to get the treadmill out of layaway.  I am really excited about this one!  I've been trying to watch my diet, but I ran out of slimfasts early (I think Rhiannon has been drinking them), as wel as the "healthy" snacks I'd been eating like grain toast and peanut butter (very filling, protein, not bad in calories). So, I'm betting I've put back on the 2 lbs I'd lost. Blah.

I have $168 budgeted for household stuff. Things I've been needing or wanting around the house, like more bath towels, a new mouse for my computer, ink cartridges, a new bathmat for the main bathroom etc. Oh and the slipcover for the couch that Christopher has approved of - he hates the couch because it's ugly. He loves the size, so we're just slip-covering it.

$180 for Faelyn's field trip to DC.

$153 to get Christopher a new Android phone for the Virgin mobile prepaid plan we have. $27 for unlimited texts and web and 300 talk minutes (we never use all the talk minutes, but boy do we text and use the web lol). He's always been behind the times as far as phones go and he loves being connected, so I'm really excited to get him the HTC Wildfire.  It's not the BEST phone out there, but it's good, and he can watch videos and get on Facebook and play Words With Friends on his lunch break, and check his tweets and websites. He's as crazy about gaming stuff as most men are about sports scores.

$50 for Christopher's spending money. God knows he deserves so much more, but I'm glad we can find that much to give him to blow on whatever.  Soon, we'll be getting our own allowances, but that'll be in the Budget Post which I should be doing next. :)

Oh and $100 to my credit card that's gone over the limit and past due and all that bad stuff.  It's the only one we have that hasn't been canceled.  Did I mention we're bad with making payments?  yeah.  So, I'm gonna get it caught up as much as I can, and make regular payments to make them happy again and pay it off asap. It's budgeted. Then it'll get put in the drawer for real honest to GOD emergencies. I think I know where it is anyway heh.

So, that's it for the tax refund.  I really hope they lie and it'll actually come on the 1st (direct deposit), since the field trip money for DC really needs to be in way before the 7th.

After all is said and done, we'll be all caught up on bills, nothing behind.  The living room and kitchen will finally look nice and have our own touches on them instead of looking ugly and like it did when it was built in 2000. And because we aren't paying out a TON of money in cash advance and overdraft fees, we'll have money to finally do the things we should have been doing all along.

I'm going to do a post next on the budget and the tools I'm using and the system I think is going to work perfectly for us.  I've got to get some photos taken first.  So check back soon for that!

Hope y'all have had a great week and weekend! And I hope your 2012 is going fantastic!