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Monthly Progress Report #18

Monthly Progress Report #18



Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more deals tails. Thank you so much for your kindness and support.

Oh my, how time is flying. We’re already officially in summer, the weather is absolutely gorgeous and we’re about to celebrate July 4th.

Independence Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. It’s so low key and just a ton of fun. There’s no obligation to have a BBQ, hop in a pool or go watch fireworks but if you do it just makes the day that much better. 

I am curious how fireworks are going to work out this year with everything going on but I have seen some posts already saying that the show will go on. 

So be it! I will gladly socially distance and wear a mask to watch.

Even more exciting for me, my renovations have finally started! I couldn’t be any more excited. 

I actually had vacation time the week everything started but opted to work from home through it. At least that way I would be distracted and not constantly trying to check out what’s going on and what they’re doing. Noise has been about the only reminder they’re even here! 

I’ve been waiting so long it seems a little surreal to finally be seeing some progress. And of course, I’m still nervous about money, but I’ll figure it out someway, somehow.

Things change so much in a month. Maybe you’d like to take a look back at last month?

Since we started talking about money already, let’s get down to it.

Here’s my debt breakdown for the month:

Mortgage: $146,100
Car Loan: $5,300
Student Loans: $7,450
Credit Cards: $1,900
Grand Total of Debt: $160,750

My student loan balances

Including my renovation fund:

Renovation fund requirement: $8,950
New Grand Total of Debt: $169,700

We’re $1,000 better off than we were last month - good news! 

Even better news, my one student loan is below the $500 mark! The end is in sight!! Hopefully that will be paid off before the end of the year.

Unfortunately, my credit card balances are still a little bit higher than I would like them. Definitely something to work on.

But hey, we’re under the $170,000 mark and that seems like something to celebrate.

And really the renovation shortfall probably isn’t going to be that bad. Hopefully if we can save some money is some places and figure out some DIY on some areas, we’ll be in much better shape.

But, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised that we came in a little lower than expected.

On to the savings side of things:

Savings account: $2,500
P2P Lending account: $200
Investment account: $500
Grand Total of Savings: $3,200

Nothing to see here. 

I didn’t add to any of my savings with the pending renovations so close and so many things up in the air right now. 

Hopefully soon I’ll be able to focus more on my savings.

I hope you’re continuing to stay healthy and safe as we head into the holiday weekend.

Do you have any big plans for the Fourth? Are you brave enough to go to an actual get together?

As of right now I’m slated to go on a road trip with my mom to pick up some lawn chairs. 

Is it me or am I always buying new lawn chairs?

I am. I definitely am. But these guys will live with my mom.

And finally:

Remember, we will get through this ❤️
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Broke Dolly
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Monthly Progress Report #17

Monthly Progress Report #17




Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more deals tails. Thank you so much for your kindness and support.

I can’t believe it’s June. Well, not technically, but you know what I mean. June means we’re about to be in full fledged summer mode.

Albeit, a bit different this year. This year we’re looking at a summer potentially without concerts, camps and who knows what else. This year we’re looking at a summer with social distancing and mask wearing. But I guess summer is summer and in my backyard it doesn’t make much of a difference.

It’s amazing to me how far we’ve come since I wrote my last monthly progress report - New York has started to reopen! Sure, it’s still early in our reopening, but I’m so hopeful things will go well and we will be able to return to a sense of normalcy.

Alright, enough COVID talk, let’s get back to the reason I started all this.

Here’s my debt breakdown for the month:

Mortgage: $146,300
Car Loan: $5,500
Student Loans: $7,700
Credit Cards: $1,900
Grand Total of Debt: $161,400


My student loan balances

Including my renovation fund:

Renovation fund requirement: $9,300
New Grand Total of Debt: $170,700

That’s $1,000 paid down during May. One good thing about not really being able to go anywhere and do anything is that I tend to spend less money.

Well, that’s not 100% true. I did make one splurge this past month - I bought new curtains.

This wasn’t exactly an unnecessary purchase - my poor dog had gotten caught up in them on multiple occasions and ended up ripping a couple of panels.

Caught at the scene of the crime!
(Excuse the dog hair - it’s a never ending battle)

It wasn’t entirely her fault. She did nothing but get a little tangled and she’s a big girl. Apparently, pretty and gauzy curtains aren’t the most Newfoundland proof items I own.

Unfortunately, since I didn’t want to replace the curtains again anytime soon I needed to up the quality and the price tag a little. As my dad says - pretty isn’t always practical!

And oh what a splurge it was! Partly my fault, I like expensive curtains - so that was a $250 investment (she ripped two but I had to replace four panels). But, they are higher quality, thicker curtains this time around. Hopefully these can stand up to my Sadie Donatella.

By the way, that’s the used price! Crazy, right? And they’re not even all correctly sized! Thankfully, Mike’s mom offered to sew two of the panels to fit the sliding glass door.

Mike nearly had a cow when he found out how much they were. But I mean - fair. They were expensive.

Next time I’ll start with how much they would be new and he’ll be so proud of my bargain shopping abilities he couldn’t possibly be mad. That’s how it works right?! Ha!

Anyone else willing to make giant splurges on the house but not on themselves? Like I would walk into speeding traffic before spending $250 on a shirt but when we’re talking about something that makes the house better, or in this case prettier, I don’t hesitate.

Alright, moving on! Here’s my savings balances:

Savings account: $2,500
P2P Lending account: $200
Investment account: $500
Grand Total of Savings: $3,200

Guys, I just found out how cool it would be to have serious money that could make you more money. I didn’t add any money but my investment account recouped $100 after tanking earlier this year. Oh man am I jealous of people that have like $50,000 in there that just made a ton of cash for doing nothing but having money invested.

I suppose that’s a bit of a double edged sword though because I was frantic losing a portion of my little tiny bit so I couldn’t imagine if my losses were in the four or five figure range.

One day maybe I’ll know what that’s all like.. Hey, I can dream!

I hope everyone is doing well and is staying safe and healthy. It’s exciting and scary to see states opening up and life returning back to normal. I hope that things continue to improve as we move forward.

And finally:

Remember, we will get through this ❤️
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Broke Dolly
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Monthly Progress Report #16

Monthly Progress Report #16



Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support.

Today, as I’m working from home and enjoying the nice warm spring day, I’m thankful for the beautiful sunshine and the optimistic signs that the COVID-19 onslaught has finally started to turn the corner. Deaths are down, hospitalizations are down, new infections are slowing and the governor of NY is starting to talk about reopening the state.

No, we’re not out of the woods yet. But maybe we’re starting to see a little glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Even if it is just a tiny pinprick of light, I’ll take it over the uncertainty and fear that played center stage in my last monthly progress report.

Even the stock market has started to recover with some positive news from Gilead using Remdesivir to treat severely ill patients in clinical trials. Now that is some good news!

And with that, let’s take a look at my debt this month:

Mortgage: $146,500
Car Loan: $5,800
Student Loans: $7,850
Credit Cards: $1,900
Grand Total of Debt: $162,050

My student loan balances
Including my renovation fund:

Renovation fund requirement: $9,650
New Grand Total of Debt: $171,700

That’s a $1,550 reduction over the last month! Thanks in part to the stimulus check. Totally weird to receive by the way. Having remained employed I certainly appreciate it and won’t look a gift horse in the mouth but I do hope people that have lost their jobs are receiving the help they need.

But I do want to celebrate two bits of good news with my debt pay down: 1) one of my student loans has gone below the $1,000 mark and 2) my renovation shortfall is below the $10,000 mark. Two huge successes for me! I hope more positive progress like this continues to be made throughout the year.

Now, moving on to savings:

Savings account: $2,500
P2P Lending account: $200
Investment account: $400
Grand Total of Savings: $3,100

I added some more money to my savings and my little investment account this month. With the gains from the last few days I’ve even recovered some of my initial losses. I’m still no where’s near the black but my losses are now about half of what they were at the worst of it. I’ll take it.

It’s been quite a wild ride for me - and I’m talking about a couple of hundred bucks - I can’t even imagine what people with real money in the market must have been going through.

I hope everyone remains healthy and safe. I’m hoping by the time I write my next progress report things are starting to look a little bit more like normal (whatever that new normal may be). Hopefully the good news keeps coming and the bad news stays at bay.

I liked the way I signed off last month and I think I’m going to keep doing so until things are looking up. So, again -

Remember, we will get through this ❤️

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Broke Dolly
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Monthly Progress Report #15

Monthly Progress Report #15



Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support.

I was so excited Spring was coming when I wrote my February monthly progress report, now COVID-19 has taken center stage. It’s not like I wasn’t aware of the virus when I was writing last month, but maybe I still had some misguided optimism that the spread would stop.

Of course, I felt awful for the sick people in Wuhan, the overworked doctors and nurses and people who were not sick but were unable to leave their homes. But China is a world away, I’ve never even been off the North American continent. I knew it was happening but it seemed distant and maybe a bit too reminiscent of the time a few years back I closely followed the Ebola outbreak. But then they contained the outbreak. That’s what they do isn’t it?

Side note - who is this mysterious they? Healthcare workers, WHO and governments I suppose? I’m not sure but certainly they’re akin to real life superheroes - saving the world and whatnot.

But then a day later, on March 1, the first case was confirmed in NYC. Iran and Italy became new hotspots, followed by other European counties and the United States. The news is only news of the virus. The stock market has plummeted and people have been losing their employment en masse.

And now we’re under a stay at home order, life has basically shut down around us and the new epicenter of the virus is close to home.

Everything seems so uncertain and scary. I don’t want to dwell on it but I very well can’t not mention it either. I know that no one is certain how it’ll stop or when it’ll stop but I certainly hope it’s soon. I hope the curve is flattened, health care workers are provided with necessary supplies and lives are saved.

Now, let’s venture back to the reason I started this blog - to get a hold on my debt. I feel silly writing this with all that’s going on. But it’s been my tradition to update you monthly and I suppose the normalcy is comforting, so here goes nothing..

As I write this I’m worried. Worried about my employment prospects. Worried that a recession comparable to 2009 will happen again. Worried about how I would pay my mortgage if I was unemployed.

But, I guess I’ll have to worry when it happens. No use worrying about something I have no control over.

And I know those aren’t the big things. I’m not a monster worried solely about the S&P and my 401k account. I’m also worried about my elderly relatives, my immunocompromised mother and my own weak immune system.

Alright, I’m done lamenting about the virus.

Here’s my March figures:

Mortgage: $146,700
Car Loan: $6,000
Student Loans: $8,200
Credit Cards: $1,900
Grand Total of Debt: $162,800

My student loan balances

And now factoring in my renovation fund:

Renovation fund requirement: $10,450
New Grand Total of Debt: $173,250

That’s a $1,000 reduction over the last month. Not bad.

I’m struggling with my renovation fund. I’m thinking in times of uncertainty like we’re in, maybe I should focus on not spending money.

The good news - I have time to reconsider. Maybe all my bad luck last year with stalled renovations was foreshadowing. Or maybe I just have bad luck. Time will tell.

Now let’s take a looksie at my savings:

Savings account: $2,300
P2P Lending account: $200
Investment account: $300
Grand Total of Savings: $2,800

I lost some value in my stocks but luckily it wasn’t too bad. I’m down $50 but I did buy an additional share so I’m probably more likely down $100. But hey, everyone is down and I won’t complain about my minimal loss when some people are losing thousands and thousands..

I hope everyone stays healthy and safe. I hope that by the time I write my next monthly progress report we will be seeing some real positive progress. I’ll be thinking about everyone.

Remember, we will get through this ❤️

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Broke Dolly
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Monthly Progress Report #14

Monthly Progress Report #14



Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. 

Spring is in the air!

Well, not today exactly. It’s a brisk 30 degrees out there right now - but it has been in the air with a few days reaching the 50s this past week.

It was just glorious I tell ya. Everyone at work has been on a kick to get in shape for summer and I have spent my days browsing for this year’s swimsuit.

I’m waiting impatiently for the weather to officially break. I just love summer (and spring by association). I’m so sick of winter, blah weather and dead looking everything. It’s time for flowers, sunshine and longer days.

At least the longer days are coming soon even if I have to wait another couple of months for true spring weather.

But I’m pretty sure I spend more money cooped up inside during the winter.

I’ll have to look back at some monthly progress reports to test my hypothesis. Speaking of past monthly progress reports, maybe you’d like to check out last month’s?

Spoiler alert: I won nothing in the office Super Bowl pool.

But that’s just par for the course!

Moving on to better things, let’s talk about how my debt pay down and savings have fared over the past month.

First, let’s take a look at my debt:

Mortgage: $147,000
Car Loan: $6,200
Student Loans: $8,350
Credit Cards: $1,800
Grand Total of Debt: $163,350


My student loan balances

Nice! That’s $1,100 less than last month.

The biggest difference was a change in my credit card balances. I’ve been working hard on trying to pay one card off and it’s finally starting to show!

I love, love, love when that credit card number is below $2,000.

And now factoring in my renovation fund:

Renovation fund requirement: $10,900
New Grand Total of Debt: $174,250

Alright so not too bad, my total debt went down $1,600 during the month of February.

Now let’s take a looksie at my savings:

Savings account: $2,300
P2P Lending account: $200
Investment account: $350
Grand Total of Savings: $2,850

So obviously a $50 increase is nothing to write home about but at least it’s something.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ll take any positive progress no matter how small it may be. It’s certainly better than the alternative.

With the recent dip in the stock market it seems like my whole office is talking about investing. I would love to add some funds but I don’t have much to spare and who knows if we’re really at the low. If I do buy anything it won’t be much (obviously! I don’t have much..) but maybe I’ll test my luck.

As my boss said, anyone been brave enough to buy this last week?

If you did buy anything I’m curious to know what you did buy and what you’re rationale was for both pick and timing. So please share with me in the comments!

But maybe for now I’ll just stick to trying to keep adding small amounts to my savings and building my emergency fund. Especially with all the recession talk going around.
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Broke Dolly
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Burger King is Giving Out Free Whoppers for Anti-Valentine’s Day!

Burger King is Giving Out Free Whoppers for Anti-Valentine’s Day!



Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. 

It’s that time of year again! We’re past the holiday season and New Years. The groundhog has made his appearance (yay for an early Spring!) but we’re not quite there yet.

So it’s the dead of winter, there’s snow on the ground, you’re going a bit stir crazy - which means it’s now time to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

I know, I know, not everyone is a fan.

It’s kind of a controversial holiday. Or non-holiday. No matter where you stand on the debate, this article provides some interesting history about St. Valentine’s Day.

Listen, if you hate it and think it’s a holiday celebrated because of a genius marketing department at Hallmark, I totally get it.

For what it’s worth, Hallmark denies they invented the holiday. Still, they’ve been selling V-Day cards since 1913!

Holy Hannah! Talk about getting in on the ground floor.

I bet by now you’re wondering why I’m being critical of a holiday you know I love?

Because I’m here to spread the news of Anti-Valentine’s Day and the awesome news that Burger King is celebrating with free Whoppers!

You read that right. Burger King and Warner Bros. are celebrating the release of Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)... and Harley Quinn’s breakup from the Joker (don’t worry it was completely mutual! HA!) by giving customers a Whopper in exchange for a photo of their ex.

In case you haven't seen this, here is my favorite trailer for Birds of Prey:



If you live in New York City, you can also bring in old love letters, stuffed animals or clothing. Come on, I know you have no use for that silly bear your ex won for you at the fair in like tenth grade and you've been meaning to get rid of his old hoodie - now's your chance to get rid of it and get free food!

And the offer is valid from February 14th until the 16th in NYC.

I'm guessing New York's extended celebration is BK's tribute to Gotham?

Now for the bad news, the offer is only available at the following select locations:

- 327 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

- 35 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

- 545 North Victory Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91502

- 150 Everett Avenue, Chelsea, MA 02150

And sorry, the Impossible Whopper isn’t an option.

Now go get yourself a free Whopper and celebrate Harley Quinn’s breakup - if not your own!

But if you are planning on celebrating Valentine’s Day with your significant other, I got you covered. Check out my 10 budget friendly Valentine’s Day ideas.

How do you plan on celebrating the 14th? I’m going low key this year with takeout and Netflix.

Unfortunately, I’m not close enough to one of the participating Burger Kings to take advantage of their celebration.

FYI, if you’re also too far away, Burger King is offering $3 Whoppers for taking an in-app quiz and correctly answering four or the five questions.

No matter how you celebrate, I hope you enjoy the day!
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Broke Dolly
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Monthly Progress Report #13

Monthly Progress Report #13



Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. 

We’re on year two of my monthly progress reports!

And since I decided to skip number 13 in December and instead sum up my progress over the entire year of 2019; we’re now at my 13th monthly progress report!

Is 13 lucky or unlucky?

They skip the 13th floor in buildings and the whole Friday the 13th thing seems pretty ominous..

But I’m still hoping that 13 will end up being just a little bit lucky for me! Hopefully I made some good progress.

But probably not.

I had to take out another student loan to pay for this semester because I needed to take a whooping six credit course. Kind of intimidating when all my other classes have only been three credit classes!

But I did pay off one of my other student loans so the increase wasn’t that bad.

Alright, enough rambling. Let’s do this.

As always, let’s start off with my debt:

Mortgage: $147,200
Car Loan: $6,500
Student Loans: $8,400 (Yikes. I liked last month’s number a lot better but hopefully it only goes down from here!)
Credit Cards: $2,350
Grand Total of Debt: $164,450

My student loan balances
Ok. Not bad. Not great either.

But I was expecting worse.

I took out a $4,500 new loan! But paying off an older one with my reimbursement from work (have I mentioned how much I love my company?!) and some other payments, my balance only increased by $1,200. I’ll take it!!

Now let’s factor in that pesky renovation fund:

Renovation fund requirement: $11,400
New Grand Total of Debt: $175,850

Factoring in my renovation savings, my total debt went up $550 in the month of January.

Not awful. And I hope this is it.

This should be the highest my debt will be for a while. Barring any unforeseen circumstances of course.

Dear Universe, please don’t take this as a challenge.

On to the savings side of things:

Savings account: $2,250
P2P Lending account: $200
Investment account: $350
Grand Total of Savings: $2,800

Success. Ive finally made some progress on my savings!

I added to my savings account and also purchased two shares of Discover stock. I’m just a big fan of Discover - I’ve borrowed money from them, I use their credit card and I do my banking with them.

My stock immediately took a nosedive, like the worst fall Discover has taken in a decade. That’s DECADE folks! But that’s ok. I’m in it for the long haul.

In better news, I have finally gotten a decent box in the office Super Bowl pool! It’s only taken close to a decade for that!


What are your plans for this year’s Super Bowl? Are you going out to a bar or a friend’s party? Are you going to be watching on the couch in your pjs? 

No matter how you plan to spend the day, I hope you have a great time and I hope your team wins!

And if you bet, I’m pulling for you to win some moolah! Unless your name appears in the above picture, if that’s the case, I wish you better luck next year! Just kidding, I’ll be happy for you even if I don’t win for the tenth straight year. Hey, why break up such a great streak anyways?

Have fun and stay safe!
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Broke Dolly
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