Oh No!

One of my goals for this year is to max out my 401k at work.  $18000.  That’s a huge amount of money to me.  So, after fully funding my IRA I turned my focus to my 401k contribution.  I figured out how many more paychecks I was going to be receiving for the year.  Then I calculated how much money I would need to contribute each paycheck in order to max it out for the year.  $764.40 was the scary total.  Scary, but doable.  At work I printed out the 401k contribution form and wrote in the amount and gave it to HR.

Friday was payday.  When I woke up that day I excitedly went to the computer and logged in to my bank account.   Shock hit immediately.  $414.76 had been deposited into my account.  I normally take home about double that after my 401k contribution.  Excuse the language, but WHAT THE FUCK!!  I didn’t miss any days, so there was no reason it should by that tiny.  My only thought was that the 401k contribution got messed up somehow.   I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my paystub on Saturday when it came in the mail.  $414 is an extremely small amount, but honestly, I’ll be just fine until the next payday.  I normally put everything on my credit cards to get the points, then pay those off every other Friday.  This Friday though, I was only able to partially pay one of my credit cards off.  Not a big deal.  If I can’t pay it off with the next paycheck I’ll just transfer some funds from my savings account.  I’m not paying interest on my credit cards!!

I work overnights, so I sleep until late afternoon.  Mail arrives at the Frugal Turtle household in the morning.  So, when I woke up on Saturday (today) I pretty much bolted for the mailbox, grabbed the paystub out of there, and ripped it open to see what went wrong.  I looked at the deductions and sure enough, there was a 401k flat amount deducted along with my original 401k % deduction.  I didn’t even know that was possible!  How could HR forget to stop the percentage deduction??  Before I had turned in my contribution change form, I had some questions so I had sent them an e-mail explaining my plan to max out my 401k for the year, so they should have known I didn’t want the double deduction.

So here I sit.  I’ve already calculated the new amount that should be deducted from my 401k in order to max it out.  Unfortunately it’s Saturday and there is no one from HR at work.  I’ll have to wait until Sunday night when I work next to write them an e-mail and get this mess fixed.  This is going to consume my thoughts until I get this straightened out.  *Sigh.*


One Regret

When I was seventeen I got my first real job.  I was a hostess at a Mexican Restaurant.  I’m pretty sure I got paid around $5.50 an hour.  Obviously my paychecks weren’t huge since I was going to high school as well, but a few months after I started working there I got my first car and my first car loan.  My parents co-signed for a 1990 Ford Probe.  I loved that car and was in charge of the payments and the insurance on it.  That didn’t leave me a whole lot of money to spend on other frivolous things. About a year or two later, I got an idea in my head that I would save up a bunch of money and drive my car around the United States.  I started saving 10% of my take home pay.  I hid the money in an envelope under my mattress.  Mind you, I was never very adventerous and I’m not sure that I ever would have had the courage to do it.  I never got the chance to find out.

When I was twenty-one years old I met a guy (…I met a guy.  Isn’t that how a lot of stories start?).  Tim (not his real name) was older and very cute.  He worked construction and had that tan that men have when they work outside all day.  Our first date should have tipped me off that this was a guy that I shouldn’t be with, but I was blinded by his naturally wavy, dark blond hair, and blue eyes.  I was expecting a normal first date of dinner and a movie when I drove to his house forty minutes away (hint #1?).  What I got was watching him get drunk in the garage of a house he was renting a room out of (hint #2).  Unfortunately there were many more “dates” that eventually morphed into a relationship.  Every time we hung out together there was beer involved (hint #3).  For the longest time, I didn’t realize he was an alcoholic.  I think he fooled me because he usually didn’t get out of control drunk, and he still managed to wake up and go to work every morning.  Eventually he got tired of his construction job and wanted to sell cars for a living.  So he quit his job.  He was very charismatic and knew how to talk to people, so I thought it might be a good change for him.  Not having any experience selling cars, or selling anything for that matter, he had a tough time finding a job.  Eventually he convinced a small father/son used car dealership to give him a chance as a salesman.  He made a very small base fee, plus commission.

Financially, times weren’t easy for either of us.  I was still a hostess at this time, having tried waitressing and realizing I hated it.  I applied for and received student loans for college.  I only took out enough loans to pay for my tuition, so I was still living at my parents.  Through all that, I was still secretely saving 10% of my take home pay and by this time it had accumulated to a decent (to me) amount.  I remember counting over a thousand dollars and just having the biggest smile on my face.

Tim had moved to his own apartment and was barely making rent some months.  Why he thought drinking beer was more important than paying rent was beyond me.  That’s right, folks, he was still drinking almost a case of beer every. single. day.  Eventually, any money that he had was spent.  That’s when he turned to me.  I remember us sitting in the car outside a liquor store and he was pretty much begging me for money.  “You have to have some money that I can borrow, don’t you?  I’ll pay you back.”  He said so sweetly and convincingly.  So I caved and started taking money from my secret stash to give to him for beer.  A couple twenties here and a couple twenties there.  I gave up contributing to it.  After a short amount of time, it was gone.  Along with it, my dream to drive around the United States.

I stayed in that relationship for over seven years.  Don’t get me wrong, there were some good times.  Unfortunately, most of those involved alcohol.  In the beginning of the relationship when we would hang out together, I drank with him.  But something changed about four years into the relationship.  I think I started to see things for how they really were.  He was an alcoholic and I was supporting his habit.  He was going to drink whether I was around or not.  I stopped liking the feeling of being drunk, and I hated being hung over so often.  So I stopped drinking with him.  He never tried to stop, and I guess I never really pushed for him to stop.  When I left that relationship three years later, the only feelings that I had left for him were anger and resentment.  Over the years I had helped support him financially and he owed me thousands of dollars.  I never got the money back after we broke up.  I probably could have kept in contact with him and tried to get it back, but I’ll never forget the feeling when I was driving away from him for the last time.  Freedom.

Maybe when I’m retired I’ll take that drive with Mr. Frugal Turtle.  I’ve never told him the story of me saving up my money so I could tour the United States.  I bet he’d love to ride along.




So let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of my finances.

Net Worth

Beginning of June 2015 – $53,903.08

My net worth includes my 401k, my IRA, and my savings account.  I have been contributing to 401k’s on and off for about 12 years.  About four years ago I rolled over all of my small, random 401k accounts into a Vanguard IRA account.  Last year I maxed out that IRA for the first time ever.  I am thrilled to announce that I just maxed it out for this year as well!  Now my goal is to also max out my 401k for 2015.  I’m in the process of changing my 401k contribution in order to do this.  The feeling that I’m getting for finally being able to do this is amazing.  I don’t make that much money, but I’m saving so much of it!  That’s $5,500 for my IRA and $18,000 for my 401k!

Income for May

May was a three paycheck month.  My net income was $4,827.63.  This amount includes the contribution to my 401k.  My job is my only source of income.  I don’t have any side jobs, rentals, or money making hobbies. 

Expenses for May

My expenses for May totaled $1905.57.  This is much higher than normal due to a week long vacation in the Virgin Islands and a gift for my parents wedding anniversary celebration.  It was a milestone anniversary.  55 years they’ve been married.  They didn’t celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary due to my brother’s death from brain cancer just a few months earlier.  So this year they had the huge celebration with family and friends. 


Rent 400
Netflix 8.54
Household items 84.64
Mother’s Day gift 37.57
Cell Phone 37.58
Groceries 102.43
Gas 36.26
Oil Change, New Wipers, Car Wash 64.62
Concert tickets 97.41
Virgin Islands expenses 484.04
Movie Night 16.91
Anniversary Gift 573.64
Credit Union Checking Fee 3.95


I think I’m pretty lucky with pretty low living expenses.  I live with my boyfriend in his house, and I pay him rent of $400 a month.  We don’t have cable or satellite, so Netflix is where we watch most of our television shows.  I pay for the disc only account, and Mr. Frugal Turtle pays for the streaming account.  I’ve had my 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix paid off since 2010, so I don’t have a car payment.  I have a no contract Virgin Mobile cell phone, that I pay $35 +tax every month to use.  We usually go out to eat maybe once or twice a month.  For May the restaurants are included in the Virgin Islands amount since we went out to eat once or twice a day there.  We didn’t go out to eat at all otherwise.  It should also be noted that Mr. Frugal Turtle pays for groceries as well.  We usually end up taking turns paying the bill.  I also bought two tickets for an upcoming concert in September.  There will be two bands playing who we both really want to see.

I’m hoping June’s expenses aren’t quit as high as May’s, although I’m not out to a great start with blog related purchases!  The initial amount to start up the blog was a little expensive, but, it is paid up for three years.

Here’s hoping it’s a great three years!