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Archive for June, 2014

Honesty

June 30th, 2014 at 07:34 pm

I did not want to post this. Who wants to admit that they didn't do what they said they were going to do?

I am anticipating a NSD today. We don't need anything food wise and I hope to be going home right after work. So I'm going to post my numbers.

Category, amount budgeted, amount left

Gas (car), $100, -$45
Household, $120, -$15
Grocery, $300, -$28
Entertainment/Restaurant, $165, -$16
Car Maintenance, $0, $0
Clothes, $40, -$223 (more on this)
Personal care, $75, -$51
Gifts/donation, $150, -$5

I was going to be negative anyway, but I didn't anticipate this much. On Friday, boyfriend signed up for a Tough Mudder. He has about 3 months to get into shape (and I'm not talking about round). His workout shoes are over 10 years old and are cross trainers. On Sunday, we went for a run and it hurt for him. He wanted to go where I go for my running shoes to get fitted. They do an excellent job there at fitting your feet and getting you in the right shoes for you.

Unfortunately, I could not stand the temptation. I buy new running shoes in July every year since I started running. I could have waited two days to buy them in July, when I normally buy them. The store is about 45 minutes from our house. I completely and totally justified my purchase of my new running shoes two days early and during my No Spend Month. I also bought a water belt that I have wanted since the beginning of the month. Running on the trail on Saturday I realized that if I'm going to train for a half marathon or a marathon, I'm going to need a way to hydrate. I also drove to the store and had to get gas for the Bug. I would have had enough to get to work today, but would have had to get gas tomorrow (for the July budget).

When I logged into my credit card account today, I saw that my Weight Watchers online subscription was charged. I'm on the 3 month plan and I thought my three months were up in July. I was wrong. So my personal care budget shows that.

I'm tempted to try another No Spend Month in July. No weddings. No hair appointments. One birthday at the beginning of the month--someone who is totally non material. I don't see anything else on the calendar that worries me.

I did not want to post my negative balances. I think of myself as someone who sticks to what I say. Maybe that's why I immediately want to try again!

Frugal thing done Friday: I did stick to my list for all my shopping

Frugal thing done Saturday: I ran on the trail and boyfriend rode his bicycle, the trail riding was free!

Frugal thing done Sunday: I packed water bottles for our shopping trip so we wouldn't be tempted to stop at a gas station while we were out.

That's the reason I do this, right?

June 27th, 2014 at 04:12 pm

Fail.

I think this is the part of goals that I'm not good with. I'm very black and white. Either I succeeded or I failed. I don't look at it like "I got farther than I would have if I didn't set the goal." I know I should look at it like that, but I don't.

Having said that, this No Spend Month didn't go the way I had hoped. I could make excuses. It was boyfriend's birthday. I had bowling every Thursday. But, to be honest, there are always going to be unusual things going on in any particular month. Money is tight for me right now, but that is because I'm throwing everything I can at the credit card to get it paid off. Looking at my spreadsheet, I'm over in almost every single category. Which is why I'm saying "fail."

I might like to try for another No Spend Month in July. Probably because it didn't feel like I did a whole lot different in June than I normally would. Or maybe I'll give myself a month "off" and try in August. Bowling will be done. There will be a lot going on at work with the start of the semester, which will keep me busy. There aren't any birthdays.

I'm here posting because I want to be accountable. By not hiding where I'm at, I'm hoping that it will help me make better decisions. I'm hoping to provide a record to myself so I can figure out what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong.

sigh.

I didn't spend any money on Tuesday or Wednesday. Thursday was bowling, boyfriend bought dinner, and I bought drinks (gatorade & iced starbucks) after bowling. I have already spent money today and anticipate spending more.

Frugal thing done Tuesday: I brought 4 pair of shoes to the shoe repair guy. 3 need resoled and the pair of sandals need their straps shortened by an inch and a half. My two Danskos that are being resoled are my work shoes and I wear them 90% of the time to work. I wanted to get them done before I started going into the wood of the sole.

Frugal thing done Wednesday: when we eat at Wendy's, I've been getting a salad. They give us two packets of dressing, but I only use one. I bring the other one home and on Wednesday I used it on my dinner salad.

Frugal thing done Thursday: Ate toast. Boyfriend likes super soft bread for his lunch sandwiches. He hates hard, dry bread. So I bring it to work and toast it for breakfast. With some peanut butter (stored in my desk) and a banana, I've got breakfast!

I promise to share my final numbers on the 30th. It's not going to be pretty. Maybe I need to adjust numbers. Maybe I need to tell myself no more often. Maybe I'm just one of those people that think they want to be frugal, but really still want to buy their $4 grape tomatoes.

No Spend Weekend

June 24th, 2014 at 11:45 pm

I parked the car when I got home from work on Friday and it didn't move until I went to work on Monday. A true No Spend Weekend. I didn't go anywhere all weekend and it was awesome. Boyfriend had to work on Sunday, so I was able to clean the house and go for a run while he was gone. I didn't spend anything on Saturday and Sunday.

Yesterday I spent $20 on fence post caps (my fence will finally be done!!), and $12 at Meijer for ice cream, lettuce, cakes for work treats for boyfriend's birthday, ketchup, and frozen pizza. I used my $11 credit and a coupon for the cakes. I rode the bus from work to Meijer, so it limited my spending. Thank goodness.

Yesterday I was going to pick up some milk from the grocery store, but I was just too lazy to stop. I don't normally like shopping anyway. I just couldn't make myself stop and get the milk. We had some milk in the house, so I drove right on by. Lazy frugalness. I'm probably lazy frugal more often than I would like to admit.

I just finished 7: An experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker, where she picks seven things to limit in her life. Example: for one month she picks 7 things to eat and only those 7 thing. Or only 7 things to wear. It was...interesting. I'm inspired by books and blogs about having No Spend Months and thought this would be the same kind of thing. It wasn't. She did give up things, but it was a very God-centric book. That's fine, but not what I was looking for. You do hear about some of her struggles to only survive with 7 items of clothing, but I think I was looking for more of how she did it than relating it to how you can then donate all your clothes to something benefiting God's glory. Instead of feeling inspired (hey, I can pare down my closet too!), I felt guilty for having extra clothes in my closet. I'm thinking this isn't what she was trying to do, but that's how it hit me anyway.

Frugal thing done Saturday: Didn't go anywhere.

Frugal thing done Sunday: made boyfriend's birthday dinner of steak, fries, and corn at home instead of going to a steakhouse. For the price of one restaurant meal, I have two full steak meals at home.

Frugal thing done Monday: I checked my tires to find out they were a little bit low, so I inflated them to the recommended pressure, hopefully getting better gas mileage.

Wow

June 21st, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Did I ever spend money. $5 at SaveALot for cheese. $7 at McDs for lunch. $8 on the sprayer that boyfriend wanted for washing his boat. $105 (!!!!) at Meijer. I bought food, another workout shirt for boyfriend, mascara and eyeliner, cat food, laundry detergent, and a wedding card for the wedding we're going to next weekend.

Holy cats.

I spent $30 of the $68 on meat. I'm set there for a long time. Then it was eggs, popcorn kernels, ice cream, cracker chips, a veggie tray for boyfriend's birthday work "treat", bananas, cheap pizzas, tomatoes, apples, potatoes...I'm sure I'm forgetting things.

Anyway, with the $240, I still look to be in the black, but sheesh. It surprised me, although it shouldn't have. Thanks to their deals, I have $11 to spend on my next shopping trip--but I shouldn't need hardly anything this next week. Lots of food in the house now.

I'm hoping to have a No Spend Weekend.

Frugal thing done yesterday: I took a few online surveys, two of which may turn into product testing. Even if they don't, I earned some points towards my next Amazon gift certificate.

Big shopping today

June 20th, 2014 at 07:11 pm

5% off everything at the main store I shop at. I have a list--it has about 15 things. I anticipate spending a bit of money. I have already spent money today, but I should be able to have another No Spend Weekend once I get done with the grocery shopping.

Yesterday I spent $10 on bowling; $9 on dinner for me; $5 on dinner for boyfriend; and $26 for the lunch time spin class at work.

What came in was a $10 gift certificate from amazon from one of the survey sites I belong to. I'm up to $275 in non-paycheck money that has come in. Admittedly, most of that is from the ex for his portion of the student loan. I would like to roll that into my budget categories for the month, but I wouldn't be able to do that until I actually receive the check.

Actually, I think I'm going to do that. When I receive his check, I will use it to cover those categories where I need it for the month. I'm hoping to put a lot of it into savings or paying off debt, but sometimes I will need it in other categories, depending on the month.

Frugal thing done yesterday: I picked up a penny when I came across it in a parking lot. I always pick money up!

Passive Tightwadery

June 19th, 2014 at 04:14 pm

In the Tightwad Gazette books, Amy D talks about passive tightwadery. Where the TV cameras could focus on the chip aisle as the family grocery cart zooms on by, never stepping into that particular aisle. As I'm doing my daily "what frugal thing did I do today?" sometimes it is hard to think of an active frugal thing I did the day before. It is sometimes the avoidance of stuff that saves me money.

Yesterday is a perfect example. I went to work. Drove right from home to work. It absolutely stormed at lunch, so I read my book at my desk, eating my lunch. After work, I drove straight home. Made dinner, read more of my book, watched a little DVRed TV, went to bed. Never spent any money.

Today I will; it's bowling night! $10 for bowling. Something for dinner. $26 for the spin class at work that is held during lunch. It doesn't start until July, but it looks like it will be a popular class and I wanted to make sure I got in before it was full!

Frugal thing I did yesterday: brought my lunch from home. Good thing I did because there was a huge thunderstorm right at my lunchtime. I didn't want to go anywhere; it was downright nasty! I almost always pack my lunch. My co-workers are usually shocked when I buy lunch because it happens so rarely.

I like routine

June 18th, 2014 at 07:20 pm

*Lost my last entry because I took too long*

Last night I worked the front gate at a local fair to help benefit the Friends of the Library of my local library. I am a serious library user and like to look for ways to pay back all the entertainment I get out of it. I was nervous about it.

It was fine. I worked the gate and collected the money and met some other great Friends supporters. It was 2 1/2 hours and the time flew by.

I am a creature of habit. I love routine. I love having a plan and sticking with the plan. Doing something like the Friends thing is outside the routine and is good for me. Even though it makes me nervous, you gotta shake things up sometimes!

On my way home, I went to the grocery store. I spent $55 (!!!) and bought milk, meat, cheese, bananas, chocolate cake mix, frosting, cupcake liners, fish, ice cream, and butter. Boyfriend requested cupcakes for a birthday work treat and the steak is for his birthday dinner. Meat is stinkin' expensive!!!

Frugal thing I did yesterday: I used the gym at work to work out at lunch. It is free to me to use and it was a humid, rainy day outside, so I ran on the indoor track. It is one of the many, many perks at my work that make me feel lucky to be working here!

3rd NSD in a row!

June 17th, 2014 at 01:43 pm

Today, the NSD streak stops. We are completely out of milk. And ice cream sandwiches. Not a big deal to me, but I said this wasn't going to affect boyfriend's life and ice cream sandwiches are a must. Tonight, I shop.

I am a bit nervous about today. I'm on the phones all day at work. Then, after work, I'm working the gates for a county fair. My library asked for volunteers to work the gates; I guess this is one of the fundraisers for Friends of the Library. I am a heavy library user, so I wanted to give back when I could. I give a small donation at the end of the year, but when they posted this, I signed up.

Now I'm nervous about doing this. I don't know anything about the fair; I've never been to it. I'm hoping it will be an easy 2 1/2 hours. Doing my good deed. Afterwards, I'll get the grocery shopping done.

Frugal thing done yesterday: picked up a couple of library books I had on hold. I love my library and use the online system to order books that interest me and pick them up on my way home. The library is also a place to leave (and pick up) magazines and they sell puzzles in the lobby to benefit the Friends. Sometimes they have Wysocki puzzles, which are the only ones I own. They only cost $1!

More wordy update

June 16th, 2014 at 04:30 pm

On Friday, I did buy the cat stuff. As an added bonus, there were $2.50 off coupons on the cat litter I purchased, so I spent $28 for 76 pounds of cat litter and a large bag of food. Then, I spent $11 on Chinese for dinner. I love, love, love Chinese.

Boyfriend cleaned his boat while I cleaned the house. Do we know how to party on Friday night or what?!?

Saturday and Sunday were both NSDs for me. Saturday we went to the mall. Boyfriend needed shorts and took me out to lunch, using a BOGO coupon. We were also looking for marine wax, but couldn't find it. We went to several stores, but not the right stores. Bummer. Luckily, I was not tempted at any of these stores to spend money. When it cooled down a little, I weeded out the grass from our rocks.

Sunday we went out on the boat. Boyfriend got pizza from his favorite pizza place on the way home from boating (it isn't convenient from where we live, but if we head north for some reason, he usually wants to stop and bring pizza home). We got home around 5:30 and just hung around the house.

Today I'm back at work. I hope to not spend any money today either. I'll be going to the library on my way home after work and then stay home.

Frugal thing done Friday: combined sales with coupons to get a lot of cat stuff and stuck with my cat-only list.

Frugal thing done Saturday: used a BOGO coupon at the restaurant

Frugal thing done Sunday: packed lunches and drinks to take on the boat instead of buying something from the snack shack.

1/2 way through!

June 16th, 2014 at 01:28 pm

Thought I would do a budget update since we are 1/2 way through the month. I'm trying a No Spend Month, which has actually turned into a Low Spend Month.

I'm only going to update the variables

Item budgeted spent left
Gas (car): $100 $100 $0
Household: $75 $93 $-18
Grocery: $300 $130 $170
Entertainment/Restaurant: $125 $79 $46
Car: $0 $0 $0
Clothes: $0 $25 $-25
Personal Care: $75 $0 $75
Gifts/donation: $50 $45 $5

Extra income: $265

Gas for the car is a gift card, which is why it looks I don't have any $$ left. I have $65 left on the gift card. Household went crazy with garden and I put the cat stuff under this category.

Spending

June 13th, 2014 at 01:51 pm

Today I will spend money. I will spend all my money (I think). I take out cash when I get paid every two weeks and I think today I will be spending the last of my cash. I get paid Monday, so that just means no spending for the weekend. That isn't that hard for me. I like to stay home, so I won't spend any money that way.

Yesterday I spent $10 on bowling; $9 for dinner (sushi from the grocery store); and $19 at the grocery store (bread, 2 pkgs cheese sticks, 2 pkgs shredded cheese, special k chips, and a diet coke).

Today I will spend on kitty litter, cat food, and the Chinese I didn't buy on Tuesday. I might be able to resist the Chinese. We'll see. Unfortunately, I have it in my head and can't get it out. Maybe, like on Tuesday, I will drive right on by and not get any.

Frugal thing done yesterday: boyfriend and I carpooled from work to bowling. I dropped him off at his car this morning so both of us could go to work.

Another NSD

June 12th, 2014 at 01:03 pm

Yesterday managed to be another NSD. That makes #5 for the month. I forsee the next two days to have spending in them, but I'm hoping for a No Spend Weekend!

On Tuesday, I did not get myself Chinese!!! I picked up boyfriend's pizza and then went home and went for a run. I was so proud of myself for not getting Chinese and instead eating the meal I had planned.

I did spend $20 on a magazine renewal. That was for two years for Cooking Light. I often will make meals from the magazine, so this is a good spend for me. It keeps me trying new veggies and eating better.

Frugal thing I did on Tuesday: I rode the bus from my work to the big grocery store. I didn't have much to get, so I saved myself the gas money to drive there. Riding the bus is free for me with my work ID. Smile

Frugal thing I did yesterday: I made up a big batch of my homemade cocoa. I add this to my coffee both at home and at work to make the coffee special. It is just a combination of dry milk powder, splenda, and unsweetened cocoa powder.

Today is bowling, so I will be spending $10 for bowling and $something for dinner. I will also be taking back something that boyfriend bought that I love, but we don't need. He has been spending a lot of money on fixing stuff around the house too and doesn't need to be spending money on pretty things that we don't need. He didn't want to take it back, but I have no problem doing that.

I almost feel like I'm not doing No Spend Month quite as strictly as I would like. Workout shirts for boyfriend; eating out on bowling nights; pizza for boyfriend. All these things are wants, not necessarily needs. I don't know if I need to crack down on myself or if I should just shrug and keep doing the best I can. I guess, for me, there would never be a real "No Spend Month" where you don't spend anything at all. There is always going to be gas for the car to buy and groceries. Maybe it is enough that I'm questioning what I'm buying.

Yesterday

June 10th, 2014 at 06:29 pm

I did not spend any money yesterday. I went to work, walked at lunch, went home right after work, and didn't do a whole lot at home. Read my library book, took a bath, watched some hockey, and watched some DVRed shows.

However, today....today. I did not sleep well last night. My tiredness is making me cranky and wanting to eat unhealthy food and spend a lot of money. I don't know why one night of sleep would affect me so dramatically. I did not run this morning as I had hoped and went to the grocery store at lunch, so I didn't run then either.

I stopped at the local, smaller grocery store on my way into work and bought: milk, blueberries, water, and a head of lettuce. At lunch, I went to the large grocery store and bought: tomatoes, yogurt, 90 calorie bars, special k chips, asparagus, and raisins. I spent $30 between the two stores. To get me into next week I will just need to buy bread, milk, and string cheese. But that will be later, so the bread is as fresh as I can get it.

I also pre-ordered boyfriend a pizza for dinner. He's a little bit down because he also has had a lot of money going out the door for various things. I'm rather used to being on a somewhat tight budget; he is not. He loves, loves, loves pizza and was in the habit of asking me about once a week to pick him up a pizza and he would pay me back. His budget is now so tight that he wants the pizza, but doesn't want to buy it and hasn't been asking me to get him pizza. Just trying to perk him up a bit.

But, since he's getting pizza, I want chinese. I don't want to eat his pizza, but I love, love, love chinese from the chinese place by our house. Nothing compares. Not a home cooked meal, not a frozen meal, not even another chinese restaurant. And, since I'm tired and grouchy, I am doing the dangerous thing of telling myself that I deserve it. Yeah, except I don't.

Frugal thing done yesterday: Ate a spicy chicken ramen noodle soup thing I've had since I moved to Michigan (5+ years ago).

Sunday NSD; Monday NSD?

June 9th, 2014 at 07:57 pm

On Saturday I ended up not getting an elephant ear. The place that was selling them didn't look to be set up for a real elephant ear station. I want deep fried dough, not baked!

But I ended up spending $13 at festival anyway. I was waiting to meet up with my cousin and she was running a little bit late. I was standing next to the hair wrap people and I have always wanted one. The last time I saw them I was interview for jobs (5 years ago) and I didn't think it would look very professional to have my hair wrapped. I spent $11 on the wrap and gave $1 tip. Then, when my cousin did come, we ended up getting a program for $1 donation so we could find things to do with her kids.

At Meijers on the way home from festival, I spent $26 on exercise shirts for the boyfriend and $30 on food. Boyfriend went to go mountain biking the other day and couldn't find his one "wicking" shirt. I want to encourage his exercise, so I bought him a couple of 40% off short sleeve shirts. It's his birthday at the end of the month, so maybe I'll count this towards that. I don't have my receipt with me, but most of my food was produce--broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, bananas, strawberries.

I had a NSD on Sunday and I'm hoping for one today.

Frugal thing for Saturday: combined all my errands. I hit the library, the gas station, festival, and the grocery store on the way home. I try very hard to never made a special one-off trip somewhere.

Frugal thing for Sunday: I didn't go anywhere! I ran in the morning and painted my toenails and just hung out at home. It was lovely. I didn't get many things done (like cleaning the house), but I did have a relaxing day!

2nd NSD!

June 7th, 2014 at 03:33 pm

Had another NSD yesterday. My goal is to have at least 15 of them this month. Maybe I should aim higher since I'm trying to do a No Spend Month?

Yesterday I had big (no spend) plans after work. I was going to go for an inline skate and clean the camper. At my last break of the day at work, I decided to just sit in the sun and read my book. Normally, I go for short walks on my breaks. Sitting in the sun reading felt amazing and I decided that when I got home, I would bring up the folding table and chairs from the basement to sit out on the deck.

When I got home, I did just that. I ate leftovers for dinner and took them outside to eat at the table on the deck. It was just a perfect day! Once I was done eating, however, I lost all ambition to do anything. I decided that I would wait until it was cooler before completely giving up on the ideas of an inline skate or cleaning out the camper.

After about an hour and a half, I decided to go and at least pop up the camper to prepare for cleaning. And I couldn't get the wrench that you use to crank down the "feet" of the camper in between the camper and the garage. So, I rather easily gave up on the idea of cleaning out the camper. Instead, I pretty much just read my book until bedtime and went to bed.

This morning when I got back from my run, I realized that probably boyfriend and I could push the camper up about a foot and I could then get the wrench into place to crank down the foot. He had to work this morning, so I have not yet presented my plan to him. I could have cleaned the house while he was at work, but instead I have done some swagbucks, written in my journal, read my book, and did some laundry.

Today I anticipate some spending. I'm meeting my cousin at a festival downtown. Her daughter has an art piece in the show. The only thing that is going to tempt me to spend money is the elephant ear cart. I get one elephant ear every year and we don't go to too many places that sell them. So, I'll be tempted to find the cart and spend $5.

Afterwards, I will go to the grocery store with my list. Need to stock up on some fruits and veggies to keep me on Weight Watchers. Carrots, Broccoli, Bananas, Strawberries, that kind of thing. I have coupons for the carrots and broccoli. This shopping trip should get me set for the next week for dinners and lunches. If I had to guess, I'd say I'll probably spend $40 at the most.

Edited to add: frugal thing done yesterday! During my lunch break at work, I walked to the bank and deposited $12.50 in coins into my savings. I save all my change in a jar and once a month, I count out what I have and roll up what I can. Then I deposit it into my savings.

After that, no plans for today! Have a great weekend!

Day 5 (Bowling night)

June 6th, 2014 at 01:28 pm

Yesterday I spent $20 on bowling ($10 for last week; $10 for this week), $9 on dinner (sushi from the grocery store), and $26 at the grocery store.

Grocery store:
10 frozen dinners ($3 coupon + on sale) I use these for easy dinners and lunches at work.
2 - 4 packs of yogurt ($1 coupon + on sale) This is what I eat for work lunch when I don't do the frozen meal thing.
Loaf of bread (boyfriend's lunches)

Frugal thing done yesterday: surfed a few freebie sites to get stuff like sample shampoo and cat food. I actually use the freebies I get in the mail, so I look at this as stretching my budget. Also, it is fun to try new things without paying for them!

I'm hoping for a NSD today. My plans are to go for an inline skate after work on the paved path by my house and to pop up the pop up and clean it out from this past weekend. I don't know when we are going to use it again, so I'd like to do a quick wipe down and take out things that shouldn't get too hot or too cold (like the gallons of water and the dish soap).

Finally a NSD!

June 5th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

You'd think since I'm trying to have a No Spend Month that I would have had a NSD before day 4! Just goes to show how hard it is for me to do this, I guess.

My boring NSD: ran in the morning before work, walked at lunch on the indoor track (it was raining), went right home after work. Made dinner, made lunches, cleaned up the kitchen, took a bath, watched some hockey, read a library book, did my crunches and planks, went to bed.

It was very nice. I do love days like that.

Today I did not run before work, so I will run at lunch. Bowling after work. I'm going to hit to grocery store while I am waiting for boyfriend (we drive together to bowling), I anticipate spending about $25-$30 on things that are on sale and I have a coupon for. Then bowling ($20) and probably dinner for me ($9).

Frugal thing done yesterday: I made up about two weeks worth of oatmeal packets to keep in my desk at work for breakfasts. 2/3 cup instant oatmeal, sprinkle of salt, heaping tablespoon of Splenda, heaping 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a ziplock bag. I have little tiny boxes of raisins to add to my oatmeal and there's breakfast! I have access at work to a hot water dispenser, so this is an easy way to frugally eat a healthy breakfast.

Day 3

June 4th, 2014 at 01:12 pm

I have such exciting titles, don't I?

Yesterday I bought my monthly gas card--$100. That normally takes care of all gas I need for my Bug to get to work and do what I need to do. I don't mindlessly drive around, so bringing that amount down this month probably isn't realistic.

I went to the grocery store to get the things that I don't like to buy at WalMart or to get things that were on sale. I bought bananas, milk, tomatoes, taco shells, and powdered creamer.

I anticipate a No Spend Day today.

Last night after I got home from work I finished planting my garden. I only have two 4x4 raised beds, so it didn't take long! I have tomatoes, peppers, corn, zucchini, cucumbers, and radishes planted. I started to figure out how to water my garden when boyfriend came home and wanted to mow. My hose has to go across the lawn to get to my garden, so I watered by hand and will work out the sprinkling this weekend. We're supposed to get rain today and we'll be bowling tomorrow night, so I won't get to play in my garden 'til Friday.

I cooked dinner while I was out in the garden. Chicken thighs in the oven (along with chicken breasts for taco meat), rice in the steamer and when the rice was done I steamed up the last of the asparagus.

Took a shower (I had to bug dope myself to work in the garden. The mosquitoes are HORRIBLE!), organized my coupons, watched a little baseball, and read my library book. I was probably asleep before 10 PM.

Day 2

June 3rd, 2014 at 02:33 pm

New gardeners should have a guide when they go to the garden center! I went to use my groupon and was completely overwhelmed. I wandered around for over 1/2 an hour not even knowing where to start. I knew I needed a watering can, so I had that in my hand. I had a groupon for $40, so I knew I needed to spend at least that much and hopefully, just over that amount. I ended up spending $24 over the groupon because I did not read it closely enough to realize that the groupon only applied to plants, not to my watering can.

But that's the end of my gardening spending for a while. I have seeds to plant and some starts I did indoors to also plant. NO MORE GROUPONS!

Then I went to Bath and Body Works to use my BOGO coupon and my freebie coupon. I had a gift card so no money out of pocket.

Onward to WalMart where I had a $50 gift card. I ended up spending $5 out of pocket. Everything except the hose was on my list. I purchased:
Dry Milk
Gatorade powder
Strawberry Jam
Chocolate Syrup
Rice
Eggs
Cocoa powder
Baked Chips
Special K Crackers
15 foot garden hose
Airbourne chewable tablets

Today's planned spending is my monthly gas gift card and a few things from the regular grocery store: bananas, taco shells, milk, grape tomatoes.

Later this week I'll go to Meijer for a few things that are on sale and I have coupons (carrots and broccoli).

No excuses, but not a good start

June 2nd, 2014 at 02:08 pm

I'm starting my No Spend Month. Yesterday was the first day....and I already spent money! We were on our way home from the dirt bike track yesterday and stopped at Sams and Home Depot on our way home. I spent $7 on grapefruit at Sams and $40 at Home Depot on plants and tomato cages for the garden. Neither of these two things were unplanned, but I spent a little bit more than I expected at Home Depot. Plants are expensive!

Someone mentioned that I should post my budget. I keep track of my budget in google docs on a spreadsheet.

Savings/debt: $250
Rent: $600
Cell Phone: $67
Donation: $75
Student Loan: $366.04

Gas for car: $100
Household: $75
Grocery: $300
Entertainment/Restaurant: $125
Car Maintenance: $0 (I just had a big car fix, so I anticipate no repairs this month)
Clothes: $0
Personal Care: $75
Gifts: $50

Extra Income: $15 so far

Some notes on the numbers:
Household is high for garden stuff. This is my first garden and I pretty much don't have anything.

Entertainment is slightly high because boyfriend and I are on a bowling league and pay $10 each week for the league. We normally grab something to eat since we go to bowling right after work.

Personal Care is also high because I get my hair cut and colored every six weeks by one of my good friends. This time it is happening the day of a wedding of another friend. It normally is about $48 (including tip) for a cut and color.

I already feel a little bit defeated because I look at a No Spend Month to be just that. Not spending money on stuff like bowling and hair and garden. :-/ I have a groupon that I need to use before next Monday on another garden place and then I should be done spending on the garden for a bit.

Another rule for my No Spend Month. I'm not counting spending gift cards in my budget. So, using up my $5 Starbucks card will not be reflected.