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3rd day

October 21st, 2010 at 04:49 pm

Not one penny spent in three days -- haven't paid for the lottery ticket yet -- funny the balance in both bank accounts hasn't moved either. I like it!

No Spend Days

October 20th, 2010 at 04:06 pm

This is the second day in a row that I spent absolutely nothing. Tempted, yes, but held on. It's not that easy when you are out of the house all day. I packed breakfast and lunch for the last two days and it really makes a difference. Spent my lunch hour at the park instead of the grocery store or pharmacy. My co-worker asked if I wanted to play the lottery today. I actually said no because I had not a nickel in my wallet. I think she put the buck in for me so I'll end my nsd streak tomorrow when I pay her back.

Almost gone

June 15th, 2010 at 01:00 pm

The slush fund will barely make it to the end of the year.


Property taxes - August/October
Vacation - August
SON1 Shoulder rehab co pays - August-Sept
SON1 party - July
Books for college x 2 - August

However, something unexpected and wonderful happened this week! My DD has started a summer stint at my office. Out of the blue, last Friday my manager asked if my DD (19 y/o) would like to work for a few weeks on a special project. She jumped at the chance. Today is her second day and she is already in a department meeting -- fun! Best part? $15 bucks an hour.

Money out....money in.

TAFN

Groceries, surgery and a nice policeman!

May 13th, 2010 at 09:42 am

One of my goals this month was to only go grocery shopping at our local A&P store. Apparently, this was only my goal. DH and DD whipped up a fantastic Mother’s Day dinner for me and the family but it made a huge dent in the grocery budget. They went to THREE stores to get all the ingredients for dinner and spent an extra week’s worth of the grocery budget. I’m not going to consider this a failure. It’ll just be a non-recurring “extra” for the month. Dinner was really good.
So DD is home for the summer and will be transferring from a university in PA to one here in NYC. Farm country just wasn’t her thing. My slush fund has depleted another $800 for her tuition and room/board deposit. I’m hoping I can keep this account funded until the end of the year. September is usually a heavy spending month with all the kids back to school and having to purchase all their books. My two kids in college will be instructed to buy used books whenever possible. Last year my daughter spent $275 for a math book and then dropped the class. We tried to sell it on Amazon and craigslist. The highest price being paid for it was around $25 – what a rip! We were able to sell other books on Amazon and collect close to $200 which made me very happy. The newer/cheaper trend is downloading textbooks but I’m not sure if they are interested in doing that.
SON1 has to have surgery again on his shoulder. The surgeon is not in our medical plan, but thank goodness he has agreed to accept whatever the insurance company is willing to pay. The last operation cost $10K and he accepted $8K. He has to do something a little different this time so I don’t know if it will cost more. Either way, that’s $2K I will not have to spend, although, I would if necessary. Physical therapy co-pays will probably cost close to that much anyway. (Thank you to the NYC officer who did not ticket my husband for an expired inspection sticker, while he was looking for parking so that SON1 could get his MRI – saving us about $50)
Besides the above, additional “extras” this month are a baby shower gift and a graduation dinner. I hope I can keep to it. Wish me luck.

My slush fund is melting away :(

May 5th, 2010 at 03:01 pm

$300 - bathroom building supplies (building shower/toilet in basement).

$200 - rooftop cargo container for car. Going to buy tonight so we can bring DD home from college on Saturday. Otherwise we have to take two cars.

$500 in one day...

I'm still reeling over those DMV bills :<

TAFN

DMV - ARGHHHHH

May 4th, 2010 at 04:29 pm

We just received registration renewals for two of our cars. 2 year renewals for 2 cars is going to cost us around $300. It wouldn't have shocked me as much as it has if they hadn't imposed a new user tax. $60 on one car and $33 on the other. An extra $93 in taxes!!! I'm so fed up with NYS taxes.

Other non recurring expenses: $20 for SON2 for the Yankee game; $80 for a Broadway show in NYC as part of his Metropolitan Day at school.

Another $400 in two days...ugh...no wonder I feel broke.

Fixed, Variable and Non-recurring

May 3rd, 2010 at 12:49 pm

As I go through this process everyday of planning and budgeting I can see so clearly now why having a slush fund is so important. If I didn’t keep money in a separate account for non-recurring items, they would have been put on the credit card without a thought. The fixed and variable expenses were not a problem in the past but the non-recurring is what ran up the cards. I can imagine that it would be hard to build one up if a budget is already tight. I’m lucky that I was able to start this slush account with a couple thousand dollars of our refinancing funds in January. Then I put all our tax refunds in it as well as a bonus check from work. I try to put as much as possible in every month as well after all bills have been paid, but as you can see, some months you just can’t do it when non-recurring items sneak in.

SON1 makes good money at his part time job so I rarely spend any money on him. But in months to come the following will be coming out of the slush fund in honor of his high school graduation:

$250 – Senior Prom Tickets
$160 – Decline his monthly payment for car insurance and phone service which I will add to my budget this month. Just to be a nice mom!
$160 – Fee for orientation at the University he will attend in the fall.
$200 – Dinner for the family at our favorite local restaurant after graduation ceremonies on the 26th.
$1,500 – A college send-off party for him in July. We have a big family and he has a lot of friends.

Total - $2,270.
Ouch!! :O

90 again

May 2nd, 2010 at 10:06 am

It's ninety degrees again today but it's also muggy so its worse than yesterday.

DH and I had our breakfast out: $23 w/tip and that's all I've spent the whole weekend. No test drive at Ford as we've been too busy around the house. I'm cooking dinner now, yes because of the weather but also because I'm tired or busy in the late afternoon and just like knowing dinner is finished. SON2 hasn't gotten up yet and didn't require $ this weekend so the American Eagle rewards card is still in my wallet. Will save grocery shopping for tomorrow -- at the A&P.

A thrifty weeked indeed!

I'm Cooking Dinner at 8:00 a.m.

May 1st, 2010 at 05:59 am

The news this morning said it is going to be 90 degrees today! You know what my first thought was? The beach?--no. Dinner. Why? We no longer have AC downstairs and we were certainly not prepared to have purchased one so soon in the season. Therefore, it will be unbearably hot at 5:00 p.m. in my kitchen. To avoid the quick fix of picking up dinner out, I decided to cook now and then just heat it up later. If I didn't lay out a plan for weekend spending yesterday I probably would not have given it a second thought. This blog makes me feel more accountable for some reason -- more so than just my budget.

There was a time when we rarely ate out. Mainly because to feed a family of 5 would be expensive. But last summer things changed. My boys were out of the house most of the time and my daughter left for college in August. I would come home from work and feel like I didn't have to worry about dinner so much anymore. And when I did cook, I found that no one ate leftovers and food was getting wasted. Maybe I cooked 3 times a week instead of 6. Became a habit quickly. But eating out gets old after awhile and you realize that what you cook at home really is so much healthier and with a little effort tastes better. DH is a great cook so with a little assistance from him I will strive to eat at home much more regularly.

Payday and the Weekend

April 30th, 2010 at 05:49 am

I am determined to have a much more controlled budget for May than April. Because what is the point of a budget if you really don't try to make it work.

So payday is today and I just paid the mortgage, two small credit card bills, property insurance. Later in the next week automatic deductions for our family "Y" membership, life/ltc insurance and college loans will be processed. Grocery shopping can be held off until Monday or Tuesday since I went way over my weekly budget last week. I still have some frozen chicken for the weekend. These are the rest of my money goals for the week:

1. Do grocery shopping at the A&P only! No fancy/gourmet/organic stores. Very bad for the budget.
2. Test drive Ford vehicles to claim 2 $50.00 gift cards – FREE. I think I’m going to choose the Mustang or a gigantic truck.

3. Bribe SON2 with the FREE $50 American Eagle gift card from my bank in exchange for household chores.

4. I can get really lazy when it comes to cooking on the weekends so my goal is to limit eating out to Sunday breakfast with DH only.

Wish me luck!


I knew it

April 28th, 2010 at 11:26 am

At 7:00 a.m. I said more spending would be coming today as I cannot seem to get through a day w/o spending money.

$15 for lunch (sushi)- not expected.

I packaged up a nice lunch for myself from home and promptly forgot to bring it with me when I left the house. Probably because I had the travel coffee mug and a cheese sandwich (breakfast) in my hand at the time. Not enough time to turn back once I realized I forgot. I guess I'll have it for dinner as we get company lunch on Thursdays.

$14 for Girl Scout Cookies

On my desk at work when I arrived. Totally forgot about them.

TAFN

Today's deductions

April 28th, 2010 at 03:56 am

7:00 a.m.

$1,000 prepayment for summer condo rental - expected.

$250 - senior prom tickets for SON1. Not expected as previously advised SON1 that he would have to pay for prom himself since I paid for his junior prom last year. This kid has more money in the bank than me but has been spending like crazy on his car. He wasn't going to go to his prom (by the way he is going to his girlfriend's senior prom) because he didn't want to spend the money. DH felt bad and told him we would pay.

If he wasn't such a good kid I might have put up a fight. What can you do?

When people don't see the money going in and out of the account it is very easy to spend it.

I'm sure something else will pop up today -- it's early yet.

And the faucet keeps dripping

April 27th, 2010 at 03:43 pm

Additional expenditures not expected today:

$20 for SON2 for Yankee tickets - two games upper deck Cheap entertainment for a 16 year old. Couldn't say no.

$30 copay for last minute Dr. appointment for DH.
$47 for medication.

A little history:

After refinancing in January, we wiped out our equity line and major credit cards and created a detailed budget which obviously includes fixed and variable expenses. Additionally, I included a category for misc expenses, those you can't really think of but know you will have, with a few hundred dollars allowance. It has been amazing to me to see what the "misc" expenses are and how fast they add up. I have been keeping a record on my spreadsheet. Sometimes up to $1,000 in one month. In hindsight I can see how we racked up credit card debt over a 10 year period. The equity line was mostly for renovating the house and educational expenses. We were able to pay the bills before refinancing but it was getting extremely time consuming. Even though we increased our mortgage I'm much more comfortable having all that consumer debt paid off. I like to prepay the principle anyway.

Eliminating the multiple monthly credit card payments leaves room in the budget for the college loan repayments that have recently ensued -- help!

I'm jumping into the blogosphere.......

April 26th, 2010 at 06:10 pm

Been meaning to do this for a long time now. I don't know why today is the day, but it is.

Well, I don't get paid until Friday and I'm negative $130 in the checking account. We were doing great until we went grocery shopping on Saturday at a new "higher end" store that just opened. Sort of splurged. Will have no spend days all week. I will not buy coffee or lunch. Brown bag lunch and travel mug coffee. I deserve it. Funny how we can eat peasant food one week and then endulge in overpriced fancy shmancy food the next.

if at first you don't succeed..........