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Archive for April, 2013

Budget/Schmudget, what budget?

April 29th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Went a little crazy this past few days. I will definitely, positively be over budget on many categories when this all plays out. Dang.

I was going to have a whole pile of NSDs this month. I will still meet my goal of 14, but this past week was just going to add to the total. Instead....well.....

Wednesday, SO needed me to drive him to his van, where it was fixed. Since I was going to be "in town" anyway, I decided to get the errands done that I was going to get done on Saturday when I had to be in town for work. So, to the Apple store to exchange my wrong laptop cord for the right laptop cord. Then to Home Depot to pick up the cushions I ordered online and had delivered to the store.

Then to Meijers for groceries 'n stuff. Spent $7 on clothes (black socks for work, snaps to fix a lunchbag with a busted zipper), $17 on household/cats, $14 on groceries, and $11 on personal stuff (including $4 on nail polish that I didn't NEED, but wanted).

Then to pick up $21 worth of Chinese for take out. Yum!

Thursday I have nothing written down, but I also don't have NSD written in my calendar so I don't even know if I spent anything. Let this be a lesson to everyone: write it down!

Friday I bought SOs cheese sticks for this lunches and was having one of those days. You know, don't care, whatever, I think I'll eat pizza on the couch? $19 in Pizza.

Saturday I worked (sweet, sweet overtime) and on the way home, I needed to pick up some groceries so I could go the next two days for NSD. Spent $15. I was talking with Mom, who mentioned her mp3 player bit the dust. With Mom's day coming up, I knew what I was going to get her now! $62 later, Mom's Day for Mom is done. I went ahead and ordered my ex-MIL's gift at the same time--$24 for a magazine subscription I know she likes.

I ordered Mom's gift from Amazon and went ahead and signed up for Prime so I can watch movies and shows and have the two day shipping. Since I am a student, I was able to get it for $39 for the year. But, there is $39 I wasn't really expecting to spend.

Yesterday was a NSD and today probably will be. I took today off as a vacation day to "recover" from working on Saturday. It is supposed to be a great day after the fog burns off, so I plan on pumping up my bike tires and going for a bike ride.

I am disappointed at myself for going over my budget. I think I do so well for a while, then I burst out and spend more than I planned, then go back to trying to live frugally. I could make excuses that most of the things I bought were somewhat planned. I knew I was going to buy Mom's gifts. I just thought they'd come out of next months' budget. I will plan accordingly next time.

Some things, though, were just wants. Nail polish. Amazon prime. Luckily, I will be able to pay for all of this without too much trouble. That's why I took the overtime on Saturday. A little extra money for the fun stuff I want. I just need to figure out a budget that really works for me.

Blowing the budget a bit

April 23rd, 2013 at 09:34 pm

Today is a planned spend day. So far, I've spent $4 at the post office to mail out a book I sold, $15 for food (tomatoes, raisins, oatmeal, yogurt, water), $10 for Mom's Day cards, $8 for household (candles), and $36 at Amazon for food (dried apples and individual bags of pop chips for lunches).

Most of this was planned and on a list. Except the mom's day cards. I was at the store buying candles and thought I would take a look while I was thinking about it. The cards I picked out made me laugh hard while standing in the aisle, so I had to get them. It's a lot more than I would normally spend on cards, but with 3 "moms" to buy for and since the cards were really funny, I believe they are worth it.

I can already see that May is going to be a spendy month. A graduation, three Moms, two birthdays--yikes!

I'm not yet sure if I am done spending for the day. I already know what I'm having for dinner (leftovers). SO isn't going to be home until late, so maybe I'll watch some stuff from the DVR. I have it in my head that I need to do some...um....foundation shopping (if'n you know what I mean), but I could probably put it off a little bit longer.

Goal achieved!

April 22nd, 2013 at 09:35 pm

I have 14 NSDs for the month. Last week was a good week for NSD and I'm working on more this week. I'm really trying to conserve my money, in case a settlement is reached in the dealings with the mortgage crud.

Had my spendy Wednesday. Then didn't spend on Thursday or Friday. Saturday was planned spending of a hair cut and color ($65), small amount of grocery shopping (bread, milk, bananas, frozen greek yogurt, and a 20 oz of soda), and a milkshake from McDonalds.

I was disappointed by my shake at McDs. I just wanted a vanilla shake--the way they used to be. Instead I got a fancy, whipped cream with cherry thing. It was nice, but it wasn't what I thought I was getting when I ordered. McDs is getting all fancy. And it cost me $3 to find that out. Urg.

Sunday I cleaned the house, went for a run, made food for the week, took a nap, finished a book, then went and watched SO play hockey. Another NSD.

Today I think will be yet another NSD. I will be spending some money tomorrow to send out a half.com book and basic groceries to get us through the rest of the week. SO likes soft, fresh bread, so there is a lot of bread buying around our house. Then the next spend day should be Saturday. I need to make a trip to the Apple store to return the cord I bought for my laptop--it isn't the right cord. Sigh.

Spendy Wednesday

April 18th, 2013 at 08:37 pm

Broke my streak of NSD with a Major Spend Day (MSD?). At least, it seemed like it to me!

Groceries: $48. string cheese, lots of fruit and veggies, water, clif bars, taco shells, fizzy fruit drinks (I'm trying to kick diet coke and think that this might be my 'treat' instead of diet coke), lemon juice, cheese, tortilla chips, Doritos

Gas for month on gas card: $100

Econ book: $30 (used on half.com Checked into the awesome idea of renting and and found it would cost $40 to rent it)

Chair cushions: $47. Boyfriend bought this really cute folding chairs/table set for the deck and we found out at the store that cushions improved the chair's comfort substantially. Only, they didn't have a color we wanted, so I finally ordered it online.

Laptop Cord: $84. Dang Mac. I ended up ordering it at Apple, but I did take the suggestions into account and checked into amazon and ebay. Unfortunately, my laptop is old and needed a cord that I wasn't able to find cheaper than Apple.

Clothes: $30. Two new running shorts and a running shirt. I saw them last week and resisted, but kept thinking about them. They were on sale this week. This was a want. I wanted bright colors so drivers can see me when I run in the morning. Now I got 'em.

I think I can go today and tomorrow not spending anything. Saturday will be my next planned spend day with a hair appointment and out to eat. I will probably pick up bread and milk for the beginning of next week, so a small grocery shop is planned.

Here, it is raining, raining, raining. Rivers and creeks are over their banks and it isn't supposed to stop raining until tomorrow. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be affecting our basement.

NSDs

April 16th, 2013 at 08:52 pm

The NSDs are piling up around here.

I went grocery shopping on Thursday last week and haven't spent anything since. I have been very tempted, but have created a list of things I need to buy during my next spend day. I need a book for my summer class and a new laptop cord.

It does seem like when it rains, it does pour. I was doing so well financially before this whole business with the ex hit. It's sucking my savings away, which makes me sad. But also, the Bug has his check engine light on and last week I went a few days where I couldn't open my trunk(sigh) and the power cord to my laptop bit the dust on Friday night. I had been having problems with it, but had so far been able to make it work. My battery isn't all that, so it died on me while taking a survey.

On the bright side, the Bug isn't making any funny noises, the trunk is now able to be open, and my wonderful boyfriend had an extra laptop I was able to use until I order and get my new cord. I do swagbucks and take surveys, so I really do appreciate having the internet and a way to get on.

I will probably spend some money tomorrow. I really need to order my book before the semester starts and we're out of a few essential groceries at home. I hope to then not spend any money until Saturday when I get my hair done and meet with the ex-in-laws for a late lunch.

That didn't go quite as I thought

April 9th, 2013 at 09:47 pm

I was all set to go grocery shopping after work yesterday....

and then didn't.

Immediately after work, I went to the indoor track and did some running. By the time I was done running, I had talked myself out of the grocery shopping. I figured we had enough food to last until Thursday, so I would just not go shopping. Unfortunately, since I took my coworker out to lunch, it wasn't a NSD, but I didn't spend anything else.

I was not planning on spending any money until Friday, but I think I'm going to move that to Thursday to try to beat the crowds a bit. Then I'll have a NSD on Friday and maybe even into the weekend. I have my list ready to go. It does help that my boyfriend is out on a run, so I can eat easy and cheap.

Cereal for dinner, anyone?

Spending on Monday

April 8th, 2013 at 09:37 pm

It's my payday today! All the bill are already accounted for, so it's time to go shopping!

Ok, if only it was that exciting. I just get to do some food shopping on the way home. Nothing exciting to see here folks, keep on moving. My goal is to go shopping tonight and then not go shopping again or spend any money until Friday.

I did take my co-worker out to lunch to thank her for switching hours with me so I can go to class in the Fall. I have been spending a lot of money in the out to eat category. I may have to move some of the gifts category into the out to eat category. I guess taking dad and my co-worker out to dinner should be consider gifts, huh?

Another co-worker is getting rid of her cat stuff because her fuzzy recently passed away. :-( I was able to get a whole bunch of new mice and a very nice fuzzy cat bed for my Big Kitty (whose picture you see to the side). I'm sad for my co-worker, she is such a sweetie, but I'm happy for my Big Kitty!

I had two NSDs this weekend. We were supposed to do a lot of running around and being away from home and instead it turned into a nice weekend hanging around the house. I was able to do some running, some walking, some cleaning, some organizing. I was a very happy girl. I just love puttering around the house.

Tonight I will be up late to watch the NCAA tournament. I'm going to be dragging tomorrow morning, but GO BLUE!!

March update

April 7th, 2013 at 03:36 pm

My numbers:

Savings--went negative and I actually don't want to think about it because I don't know when the negativity will end

Item: Budget---Actual---Left
Fixed
Rent: $550---$550---$0
Cell Phone: $67---$66.66---$0.34
Donation: $50---$50---$0
Student Loan: $366.04---$366.04---$0

Variable
Gas (car): $100---$100---$0
Household: $45---$45---$0
Grocery: $237.80---$267.50---$-29.70
Entertainment/Restaurant: $90---$86---$4
Car Maintenance: $0---$0---$0
Clothes: $75---$0---$75
Personal Care: $85---$85---$0
Gifts: $45---$46---$-1
Exercise: $30---$57.95---$-27.95

Found/extra money: $312.77 (looks impressive, but includes $240 that ex pays me towards student loan that I don't count on).

Total: $2053.61---$1720.15---$333.46

If you don't count the $1000 that went to the lawyer, I was actually under budget for the month.

March update of yearly goals--
1. Save $X000. No, the financial issues have hit with a vengeance.

2. Run a 10K. I signed up for the River Bank Run 10K

3. Ride a "T-Shirt" bike ride. I'm leaning towards the Colorburst tour in October in Lowell.

4. Try one new recipe per week. Yes! This month I've made Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake, Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, Spicy Orange Shrimp w/Broccoli (this one was so yummy that I could happily eat this instead of shrimp with broccoli at the Chinese restaurant), and Spicy Chicken Curry.

5. 12 No Spend Days--Yes, I had 14

6. 20 Workout days. Yes, I had just 20.

7. New Running shoes in July

8. At least one 6 week summer class. I am actually signed up for 2. Economics and Accounting. One is the first 6 weeks, one is the second 6 weeks.

9. New Walking shoes in January--already done.

10. Read 50 books. I'm up to 11.

11. Up my annual donation by $X00. I have increased my donations by $25 over this time last year. Only $275 left to go!

Negative Money April

April 4th, 2013 at 08:53 pm

I have not been posting because I have no idea what to post. I was thinking I need to get back into this and post my numbers for March--except I can't get to those numbers now. The 2nd mortgage with the ex problem has not been resolved and I just made another payment to the attorney that is handling this for me. My savings rate will be negative for both March and April.

I have been keeping myself from spending any money in case I need it for the 2nd mortgage stuff. So, I've been pretending that money is super-tight and not buying anything that is not strictly needed. Makes for boring money posts. Although I did buy a box of cookies from a Girl Scout. Good thing cookie time only comes once a year!

Things are just going along here. I have been feeling that I need to plan something to look forward to--even if it is just to go and visit my Mom. Just...something. I am feeling that all the days are the same, just rolling and rolling. Maybe once spring finally gets here, I will be inspired again. For now, I'm just hanging in there.

I want to have a garden this year--I have nothing in place. We have bunnies, deer, and turkeys that wander around our neighborhood, so a fence would be nice. Some good dirt. Seeds, plants. I know that in the long-term a garden is a good investment. But with money being tight, is it a good investment now? I know there are some ways to garden on the cheap. But some things (i.e. good dirt) on the cheap require time to do stuff like compost. And do I want to add another thing on my list of stuff I want/need to do?

These are the thoughts that wander through my head.