Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Week Nine: I have stopped buying stuff

This week is a short post. My husband is doing all shopping and saving us a fortune. I am wondering after a month of this how much I will have saved up! GO TEAM WORK!!!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week Eight: March as a breakthrough month. Out of Winter and into Spring.

So with going back and forth with the budget and how to use the tax return, I decided to just ignore it. I will pretend it never happened and move along as normal. When my Lowe's bill comes due, I will have the money saved up and can make a choice on how to use it; of course it will be paid in full before the interest kicks in. 

Also, my husband and I decided he will do the food shopping; he seems to save more when he goes, so we will try this out for the next month and see if we like it. I still prepare the list and do food planning.

I am so excited for March to roll around; I know it is still 13 days away, but it feels like it is right around the corner. It will be the first month I don't have an austerity budget. I even planned some super fun things like using my credit card points to book a fun "stay-cation" for my son's birthday. Also, having a friend come for a visit will be a blast. I am hoping the weather will  be amazing for her visit. 

Overall, I think I have made it through the darkness, and learned a lot about money, stress, responsibility, and what really in my life is causing me to be sad. In the past, I covered up my feelings with spending, but now, I am looking head on into what I feel and think. It is not easy to face life's disappointments and my own personal poor choices, but moving ahead, I look forward to a better life and perhaps even taking advantage of some free counseling to process these things. 

March Budget Part 3-
Tuition and childcare 575$
Utilities 300$
Cell and Internet 105$
Cleaner 70$ :) I am so so excited I can afford this. 
Food, Toiletries, and Household 485$ 
Restaurants 70$
Amex Card 440$
Stay-cation spending money 100$
Debt Repayment Savings 600$
Dentist Visits 300$
Min Lowes Payment 45$

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week Seven: Hope in the form of a tax refund.

My husband just came back from our "tax guy" and we are getting a sizable refund: 5000$.  As is our habit, we will divide this between us, so I will get 2400. My husband payed 100$ to get our taxes done, so he will get that back from the refund.

Of course, I feel really hopeful that this cash will help me get out of this whole I have dug for myself. So how will it be divided up? I will plan out two different options of how this could go.

Option One:

Emergency Fund Savings 868.17 :) 
403B 2656.50 - 1,531.83= 1,124.67
Lowe's 4426.23 
Dad 1000

Total Debt after 6550.9
1,975.12 due by 6/15 to avoid interest charges.

I like this option because it makes the most of the money by avoiding fees from my 403B, but if that Lowe's bill goes over, I am in big trouble and would have to dip into my emergency money. 

Option Two:

Emergency Fun Savings 868.17 :) 
403B 2656.50
Lowe's 4426.23- 1124.67= 3,301
Dad 1000

Total Debt after 6550.9
850 due by 6/15

I like this option because it is the most comfortable. It feels safer if not the most mathematically sound. I am tired of being stressed about money, so this feels right. 

I am still torn between these two choices and go back and forth, but what a great problem to have :) 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week Six: Joy and a trip to Trader Joe's

After a very hard week, I decided to go to my very favorite grocery store ever: Trader Joe's. I even allowed myself to shop with abandon. I did a fair amount of damage, but it feels so great to have all sorts of treats in the house, after five weeks of just the basics.

My Very Happy List of Special and Tasty Treats Treats:
Vanilla Meringue
Cherry Juice
Animal Crackers
Spininch and Kale Dip
White Bean and Basil Hummus
Blue Tortilla Chips

These little yummies have been so fun to snack on this weekend. Of course, I bought loads of basics to round out a yummy meal plan and all sorts of yummy snacks. So the damage was significant, but I am hoping that we will avoid take out, and that my lunches will be something to look forward to; They have really been the worst and have left me feeling deprived and sad.

Total Damage: 162.18.

I had 100$ budgeted a week, but this was such a mood lifter to have some yummy stuff to look forward to, so I will just deal with this and move on.

Other damages include a 21$ haircut; I have an interview on Thursday and have not had a haircut since August, so it was needed.

Frugal Stuff:
My week was not all spendy spendy time. I did a lot of work in our half bath to clean up some messy finishes from when redid two years ago; I just used materials we had at the house, and made it look a lot better. My goal is to start to get the house polished, one thing a weekend, so it will be ready to sell in the summer if we end up moving abroad. We ate all meals at home this weekend, and only spent 10$ for my older son to go bowling. Also, I renewed our library items, so we can enjoy them for the week.

My bank account looks a bit sad with 461$ in the bank and three more weeks until pay day, so it looks like I will be in the red this month. In the past, when this has been the case, I have just given up and spent whatever I wanted. I will have to put somethings on a credit card, but this will not be an excuse to spend a penny more than needed.

200$ school tuition
325$ childcare
70$ phone bill
450$ groceries
127.17$ amex bill with hotel
75$ gas for interview trip
75-125$ food while on interview trip

886.17 in the red!!! Will I ever climb out of this hole!? Mad at myself, but also not seeing any other way to keep my spirits up besides a fun grocery week. Blahhh. 

SO here is my revised March budget.

Tuition and childcare 575$
Utilities 300$
Cell and Internet 105$
Cleaner 70$ :) 
Food, Toiletries, and Household 600$ 
Restaurants 70$
Emergency Fund Savings 386$ 131.83$ 
Vacation Savings 100$ 0$
Debt Repayment Savings 600$ 0$
Dentist Visits 300$
Min Lowes Payment 45$
Feb Debt 886.17$