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Archive for August, 2014

Just tracking

August 15th, 2014 at 08:37 pm

This month I did not create a budget for the first time in a long time. I am, however, tracking my spending. Here is where I sit 1/2 way through August.

Gas $138
Household $102
Grocery $243
Entertainment $150
Car $0
Clothes $82
Personal Care $52
Gifts $22

Extra Income $22.16


Total spent $789

Just feeling quiet lately, so that's all I'll post today. Have a great weekend!

Nothing too exciting

August 8th, 2014 at 04:25 pm

I had a No Spend Day yesterday. I ran on the indoor track at lunch (Summer has finally arrived and the indoor track is air conditioned!). After work, I went straight home. I cleaned the bathroom, played in the garden for a while, and finally, finally took apart our box fans and gave them a good cleaning. This is really something that should have happened at the beginning of the summer and I'm just now getting around to it.

By the time I did that and dinner, it was 8:30 at night. Boyfriend had gone out with a couple of buddies to go ride bike, so he didn't get home until after 9. Maybe that was why I was so productive.

Today I will be buying him a pizza and me some Chinese. Friday night celebration! I was going to put myself on a to-do streak and make plans to do something tonight, but I think I'll take it easy. Tomorrow is vet appointment for both cats, then a hair appointment for me. Afterwards, I'm thinking I'm going to wash my car--maybe even vacuum it! I want to get ready for the Fall when it gets too cold to wash the car in the driveway.

Sunday I'm thinking boyfriend will want to go out on the boat. It is supposed to be warm and sunny and it is his favorite thing to do. I'll pack lunches and bring a book to read.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday

August 7th, 2014 at 04:09 pm

Yay! I finally was able to go to the Farmers Market yesterday! I was working on No Spend Days on Wednesdays and wouldn't even go over because it would just be too tempting. Finally I was able to go (with a list, of course). I bought tomatoes and flowers. I'm happiest about the flowers because they are something that make me feel like my budget isn't going to strangle me if I can buy $5 of flowers.

I also bought gas for the car yesterday and refilled my gas card. I stopped at the store on the way home for bread, water, and taco shells. I looked at the bacon, but didn't have enough cash, so left it on the store shelf. I'll survive without bacon. Wait, did I just admit that?!?

Today for lunch I have leftover mac & cheese from Tuesday night. Tonight for dinner I'll be eating tacos with the very last bit of lettuce. I have a meal plan for the weekend, which includes Chinese from my very favorite Chinese place. I haven't eaten there in over a month, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Still thinking about my retirement, but it looks like I'm going to leave everything as is. Since it is pre-tax, I would probably only be bringing home an extra $50ish per paycheck, which doesn't seem to be a make or break amount for me right now. Just need to buckle down and be happy where I'm at!

Interesting

August 6th, 2014 at 03:30 pm

One of my facebook friends is working through a book called "Wild Money" by Luna Jaffee. I'm interested enough to want to take a look through it, but none of the libraries in my area currently carry it. She does have a website and will send you a sample chapter, so I did that.

I just love personal finance books. I somehow think they are going to have the secret that's going to magically make everything perfect. Ha!

She has 8 steps to building and growing your nest egg. They are similar to Dave Ramsey's steps with one big difference. She has a specific amount to have in savings, then steps 4-6 are all about different retirement funds. Then she talks about just investing for the future (non retirement funds) and then college savings. There isn't anything about paying off the home early and giving money away. Of course, this is only about building a nest egg, not about a whole life plan.

I like that she actually breaks down the retirement part. She talks about getting the employer match, then going to a Roth, then back to the 401k to a 10% level.

I admit, I've been doing this a bit backwards. I paid off my debt, then started saving in my 401k and saving for emergency fund at the same time. A big ole' $7000 emergency happened and wiped out my savings. Then I fixed my car and the camper and went back into debt. Boo hoo, boo hoo.

During all that I kept putting in 15% of my gross into my 401k. Great! But Luna made a point that smacked me right in between the eyes. If you save up all your money in your 401k, then it is hard to get to when you have an emergency. DUH! According to her, I'm back at step 2, paying off the car & camper fix it debt. But I'm still saving 15% into my retirement. My company puts 8% of my gross into my retirement. Yay! I'm definitely catching up from not saving much before age 36. I look at it like I have 23% of my gross income going into 401k, which is awesome.

So, can I drop it down a bit? Decisions. Do I drop down my retirement by 5%, pay off my debt and save up the $5000, then push it back up to 15%? Leave it at 15% and just do my best by being frugal to save up the emergency fund? I'm torn. I currently take home about $2080 a month, with $1033 in scheduled bills that won't go away(rent, student loan, cell phone). The student loan is 1/3 mine, 2/3 ex husbands and he sends me a check for his portion, but I don't dare count on that money like I do my paycheck.

So why doesn't it seem like that is enough money? Wait, is there ever enough money? ;-) I can survive on where I'm at. I was even doing well at saving some money before the car/camper happened. So maybe I just need to be patient and not mess with my retirement. Slow and steady, slow and steady.

Tracking

August 5th, 2014 at 02:44 pm

This month I did not create a budget. But I still tracked my spending from the 1st and I'm going to track it, just not budget out for it. I don't know if I've tracked my spending without having a plan before.

I expect August to be somewhat of a spendy month because of the beginning of school. I've already rented my textbook for my management class and signed up for the exercise classes that are held at the university. Since it will be the start of the semester, I should get a lot of free food and I'm looking forward to that.

I splurged on some new bicycle shirts for myself. I no longer need any running clothes, but my bicycle gear is leftover from when I weighed 40+ pounds more and is just hanging off of me. This hasn't been a problem until boyfriend started wanting to work out, including going for bike rides. I bought two, spending less than one would normally cost and am pleased.

Some bad news here. My great grandma died on Sunday morning. She was 95 and totally with it until the end. Her funeral will be in Florida next Wednesday. I will not be able to make it. I'm sad, but plane tickets are $500+ and only some of my family is going to be able to make it. I hate to miss it, but it is also limited vacation because of the start of the school year. I'm glad my Mom understands.

No Spend July numbers

August 1st, 2014 at 02:02 pm

Boyfriend paid for dinner since I drove to bowling, so I didn't spend any money last night!

Here are the final numbers from my No Spend July.

Fixed (mostly) planned, spent, left
Savings/Debt $400, $400, $0
Rent: $600, $600, $0
Cell Phone: $67, $67, $0
Donation: $25, $25, $0
Student Loan: $366.04, $366.04, $0

Variable:
Gas (car): $100, $100, $0
Household: $5, $36, -$31 (dishwasher gasket)
Grocery: $320, $314, $6
Entertainment/Restaurant: $130, $130, $0
Car Maintenance: $0, $0, $0
Clothes: $5, $2, $3
Personal Care: $20, $23, -$3
Gifts/Donation: $45, $45, $0

Extra Income: $340.56 (most of this is ex-husband's check for his share of the student loan).