Productivity in 24 hours

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It’s been a very busy week for me and I’m hoping I’ll be back on track blogging-daily. Last week was full of commitments especially we’re preparing for filing our taxes before this week ends.To tell you the truth,I’m having a hard time to keep up with our house and thank goodness to my husband who’s  very good at it. I think this is the month of doctor/dentist appointments and we are nearing to finish our investment house and hopefully it will be in the market in few weeks.

What I usually do during these busy times and work?I really need to have a game plan how I should manage my time and tracking it is a very great idea.I’m trying to minimize my internet wandering and good thing,I’m not into Facebook much!

I work mostly from 5 am to 1 pm. Plus two overnights a week.This work schedule kills my productivity at home.I might sound a whiner but I really do feel lethargic after working those hours. I should only give myself half hour rest and do some chores afterwards.But no,I let the time go and wait for tomorrow or another day to do things I wanted to do. Obviously,things get piled up and it’s frustrating.

My productivity plan in 24 hours

  • Time tracking. I’ll be doing this for a week and I’ll find out how I spend every minute of my time. I will also find out what are the productive and unproductive things I do every day like blogging,work schedule,picking up our daughter from school,etc. I will track everything from now on.
  • Less internet surfing. I don’t update my Facebook account as often as I used to but reading articles online leads me to click more links out of curiosity and before I know it,I’ve been doing more internet surfing than I should. And this thing alone makes me very unproductive and procrastinate.
  • Setting deadlines. My day off started yesterday and   I took 3 hours nap after working overnight then I did laundry and folded clothes that been sitting in the girls’ bedroom for few days. I was so determined to finish all of them and I’m so happy to see that goal. I think setting deadlines for a certain task really helps our productivity.
  • Plan ahead. Few times we go to the nearby town to do some errands like grocery shopping,depositing check in the bank,picking up medications in a week and other “little emergencies”. Those errands mean driving 20 minutes one way and wasting gas. We will make sure to do these run around all at once so that I will do more productive things at home.

The money we saved this week

blog 003We’re really getting serious paying off our debts and finding ways to save more money is the best start. This week is pretty a good week for us. We got our money back and use it as our gas money that will take care of us for almost the whole week.

  • We saved money on medications. My husband has prescription medications and even he has health insurance to cover his prescription drugs,still he has to pay copay and some of them are not cheap.I try to research online how to save money on his drugs. Although some of  them are cheap which is only pays nothing but the dispensing fee but he has these medications that even after the insurance pays its part-the cost is still hefty. He got two medications that are very expensive. He paid $78 for one prescription and $60 for the other-both are good for one month. He got coupon for the $78 drug from his doctor for $0 cost in his pocket. Sounds really a good deal,but I didn’t know that my husband got a coupon from them.I just found out right after I got home,with the medications purchased,that my husband just left the coupon in the car that I was driving that day. The second prescription was a little hard. He didn’t get any coupon from the doctor office because they ran out,so I printed online but couldn’t activate it because we mistakenly answered two questions. I was a little bit frustrated when I couldn’t activate the coupon. We sucked up paying  what the normal charge after insurance but since I wanted to save more money,I made sure that both coupons will be activated and we will get our money back. And we did. In total, we got $77.36 and $55 back! We should live with the quote “health is wealth” because medications aren’t cheap.
  • Cheap fuel. Life gets better and better here and other parts of the country as the fuel prices keep going down.Last night when I filled up gas in our car,the cheapest gas is $1.93/gallon! The lowest so far after long years. It was so scary months before that we used to pay almost $4  a gallon.And yesterday, for less than $40 our car was full tank.
  • Winning from Keno. This is my husband’s little splurge to himself. Every month he likes going to Keno,not to drink and play excessively but to spend time with our very good friend and have a good time.It doesn’t cost them much.Sandwiches and water for drink are enough for them. They go there twice a month and they have agreement that will alternate who buys their meal but they play Keno separately. For the first time,my husband won $60 playing his favorite numbers and (of course) he remitted it to me.

Steps to pay off credit card debts

blog 023-002 Maybe I’ll be posting a lot about paying off credit card debts (and organizing too!) from now on. We’re really getting serious about this. I know that there are countless families and individuals who are in the same boat like us. I’m learning a lot from how credit card companies work and what’s the impact of having high balance on your credit score.It’s all interesting. I will share with you the highs and lows of dealing with this.As fast as I could,I wanted to pay off our debts.It’s really stressful most of the time to worry about how to make your budget works when you have a lot of bills to pay at top of credit cards,there are other bills not to miss like mortgage,utilities,groceries,etc.

Steps to learn (based on my experience)

  • Know how much you make. How many of us really know how much we make a month? It’s easy to tell someone we make this kind of money per hour and yet we still can’t figure out how much our take home pay is.I just learned this few years ago when I started tracking our budget.
  • Where the money goes? Aside from fixed bills and if you’re like us with credit card debts,it’s really important to know how do you spend your money?As I checked,we charged almost everything except mortgage,utilities,car and insurance payments on credit.I learned the trick of credit card companies,they will offer you very enticing credit promotions like cash back,0% interest for 15-18 months and other rewards.And here you are,a weak target will charge up until you’re on the maximum limits.
  • Ways to cut back. Pretty much,we cut back on everything like our $38/month phone bill and groceries. You know I make pizza from scratch and cook a lot of homemade meals. As I read few blogs about saving money,some do their kids’ haircuts,making dish soap and a lot more.I find the cheapest refill drinking water,I use store coupons that Food4Less sends me every month for produce and meat products.I should be finding more alternative not to spend money buying other items in store.I will try more.
  • Ways to make extra money. If only our schedule permits,I want to extra income but I don’t know what part-time jobs I should take since my work schedule is crazy. For now,we earn a little extra money by working overtime at work. Both me and my husband do every month. And bringing extra $50 a month means $600 in one year. We have a little money in savings account with little interest earned.We also earn a little money by using some rewards programs but since we’re stopping to use credit cards,we will find another way.
  • Reward yourself. This is true. I’ve been reading this in various articles about saving money. My thought was,it’s all psychological to reward yourself,you can make it even without doing it. I was wrong. Giving yourself a little treat once in a while with all “the little sacrifices” you do in the name of your “road-to-debt-free-life” doesn’t hurt as long as it won’t be as expensive as one of your bills.

We already started this and hopefully we see results in few months!