On Wednesday, I spent $100 on my monthly gas card. I think that will see me through the whole month for gas for the Bug. I mostly just drive back and forth to work, about 14 miles one way.
Boyfriend and I had planned to run after work on Wednesday, but couldn't find a track to run on. One was locked up; one was in use; one was under construction. I went ahead and ran on the sidewalks, but boyfriend decided to go home and run on the treadmill. Sidewalks are harder than roadways or trails and he feels the pain more with sidewalks. On my way home, I stopped at the grocery store and bought only those things that were on my list. I spent $23.
Thursday we bowled after work. Spent $10. Boyfriend bought our Subway dinner, so bowling was all I spent that day. I had two good games and two "eh" games. We were playing the "ghost team" of our league, so we were done quickly. We didn't stop at the gas station for drinks on our way home. Also, I packed waters and chips to go with our Subway, so we didn't have to buy anything but our subs. Also, on the way to bowling, I used a "free trail size lotion" coupon at the Bath and Body Works. I need to check my stash, but I might be close to having enough lotions to be able to put them in Christmas bags for my co-workers.
Today was a No Spend Day. Work, spin class at lunch, deposit ex's check at the bank, go home. I'll put the whole amount of the check towards the Visa bill. It's going down! I hope to have it paid off in two months.
Not sure what is going to happen this weekend. I think we're set on groceries, so no spending until Monday. I get paid, so I have already started a list of food we'll need. Mostly, things for lunches. It sounds like we're going to the mountain bike trail in the morning, but no other plans this weekend that I know about. That's fine with me. I want to create a list of things I want to get done around the house. Kinda silly stuff like doing a good scrubbing of the box fans and maybe even washing windows!!
Have a great weekend!!
Viewing the 'Saving Money' Category
On Wednesday, I spent $100 on my monthly gas card. I think that will see me through the whole month for gas for the Bug. I mostly just drive back and forth to work, about 14 miles one way.
I have not spent money since last Thursday. I might, just might, be able to go until this Thursday before I have to spend money. I would be spending money on Thursday anyway because of bowling, so I can just roll it into the groceries n stuff I have to buy.
We had an unexpectedly relaxing weekend. Boyfriend was all ready to go mountain biking in the morning and boating in the afternoon every day of the weekend. We did go mountain biking on Friday and he ran with me on Sat and Sun mornings, but the boating thing didn't work out. Friday he was too tired and I'm not sure what happened on Saturday. I don't really like to go out on the boat, so I'm not complaining. I got stuff done around the house, which makes me very happy.
Went back to work yesterday and it has been non stop craziness since. For the first time in a long time, I'm behind. We had a big project--top priority!!--hit our desks and all other work has been pushed aside. I normally am able to get my inbox pretty clean before I leave--not the last two days.
With that said, break is done and back to work I go!
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.
So I was complaining in my last entry that saving $300/month seemed easier before. Then it hit me this morning: I now pay the full amount towards the student loan and the ex sends me his portion with a check. I don't dare count on this happening (although it has happened for about six months now), so I essentially have an extra $240 coming out of my budget every month on paper. When I get his check, it all will go into savings. But, again, I don't count on it the way I count on my paycheck.
Oh yeah. That. So now I'll jiggle with the numbers again, taking that into account. Maybe the budget won't seem quite so tight then.
Also, Petunia100 had a great idea of rolling over whatever I don't spend in a category into the next month's budget. I'm showing how much of a long time lurker I am--there used to be someone on here years ago who was trying to do a budget based on minimum wage and in her spreadsheets, she would roll over her amounts to the next month. I was always inspired by her posts because she seemed to take such pleasure in simple things like drinking hot tea and footie PJs.
Yesterday I took myself out to Subway for dinner between work and class. $8. Wow. That was even with a leftover gift card that I've been meaning to use up for months now. Subway has gotten expensive. Then after class, I ran to WalMart and spent $18 on top of the $25 gift card I had. I got most everything on my list and used about $3.25 in coupons.
What did I buy? (kinda boring, I know)
2 - Weight Watchers Ice cream (coupon)
3 - gallons of water (track, truck, home water)
1/2 gallon of milk
bag of yellow popcorn
fun size hershey's bars (pack of 10 for lunches)
homemade mac & cheese meal
2 boxes granola bars (track food) (coupon)
3 boxes of lean cuisine egg rolls (work lunches on class days) (coupon)
pound of butter
2 jars spaghetti sauce (coupon)
jar of strawberry jam
loaf of bread
So now I hope to not spend anything for the next two days. There are slim pickin's for fruit/veggies for lunch, but I'll survive. I have a list already started for Saturday shopping. Since I have a hair appointment that day, I'm going to be out and about anyway.
It was my birthday yesterday, so I took Monday off of work. I rather like how a birthday turns into a birthweekend!!
I managed to have NSDs for the last few days of February, but on March 1st, it was time to go to the grocery store! I spent $47 on groceries, $6 on kitty litter, $5 on flowers (it WAS my birthday, after all), and $5 on playing stick and puck.
Yesterday, I gave myself permission to go a little crazy if I wanted---and I had a No Spend Day! How did that happen?!? I rode my bike on the trainer in the morning, boyfriend went to play stick and puck with his friends for about an hour while I stayed home and did a bit of cleaning. When he came back, we went to get our skates sharpened and for dinner with Dad. After dinner, we were so tired that we just came home! I was thinking we were going to go to the mall afterwards (the restaurant is right across the street), but all of us were so tired that we just left. I'm getting OLD!
I've decided on a complicated formula for my extra money I bring in for the month. My ultimate problem is that I don't really have a pressing goal right now. So I have no big incentive to save any extra money that I get. My only debt is the one I have with the ex that I can't pay off early. My car is paid for and is running strong (knock wood). I'm not saving for a house because I live with my boyfriend, who owns the house. No plans for a big vacation. No big expenditures planned for the future.
I save 15% of my gross into a 401k, my work contributes 8% (whether I contribute or not). My goal is to save $5500/year into an emergency fund/car replacement fund/slush fund.
Boyfriend and I have an agreement that I pay him a set amount to him for "rent" and then I buy groceries. He pays the house bills and buys the Sams club stuff (unless it is obviously something only I will use, like girl products). It works for us.
All this to say that when I get extra money, depending on what it is, I will allocate it accordingly. Can deposits will go into the grocery budget. When (if) the ex pays his amount of the loan to me, that amount goes into savings. Amazon gift cards will either go into gifts or grocery, depending on how they are spent. "Fun" gift cards (Bath and Body Works, Victoria Secret) will go into the gifts category (might be a gift for myself!!). Straight up extra money (survey money) will go into savings. Restaurant gift cards will go into Entertainment. Found money (usually change) goes into the change jar to get turned in twice a year and put into savings.
Very complicated, I know. I tend to think of the extra money as "gift" money, so I wanted to make sure to have some fun with it and since I'm on track with most of my savings and I don't have a big incentive to save for something right now--I'll do it this way. Now, if there was a plan for Hawaii in my future, I will definitely re-think my plan!!!!
According to a paramedic friend of mine, I definitely had the flu, not a cold. Two days of high temperature, body aches, headache, sudden harsh cough makes it a flu, not a cold. I'm on the mend, but not 100% yet.
It definitely helped the finances to be sick, but it isn't helping the workout schedule! I racked up NSDs like crazy because I didn't have it in me to leave the house or even to shop online. The menu schedule also went out the window because I didn't feel like eating anything. Luckily we had a supply of easy to make food, so no one starved.
I spent some $$ today because I finally made it to the store for bread, milk, and some granola bars. I also had to restock the cough drops and Nyquil. I think I spent about $25 all told. I went slightly over on my grocery budget, but I'm OK with that. I'll post numbers in a few days at the end of the month.
Tonight we're going to enjoy our free papa johns pizza from the superbowl coin toss. I need to do a couple of errands on the way home (library, tractor supply) and then I'm in for the night. No spin class for me for a few days.
It's easy to have NSDs when you're sick. I have a cold with a fever and have been out of commission since yesterday morning. Major headache, coughing, blah. The only thing I've wanted to do was to lay in bed and try to sleep. This is the first time in two days that I haven't had a headache that made me wish for unconsciousness.
I left work early yesterday and called in today. I am very thankful at times like these for a workplace that gives us sick days. I called in and went right back to bed. I'm up for a little while, but I'm sure I will be back in bed before too long. I'm cold!! I'm wearing thermal underwear and fuzzy jammies and I'm still freezing. I'm thinking a long bath and back to bed for me.
I haven't spent anything since Monday and I'm pretty sure today will be a NSD too.
Didn't spend anything yesterday. We went to the boat show, but there was absolutely nothing that tempted me to spend my money. Well, maybe that really cool wooden kayak, but that definitely isn't an impulse purchase.
I rolled up change last night while watching TV and I have $153.50 to deposit. I save my change in a change jar and turn it in twice a year. Usually end of August/beginning of September and end of February/beginning of March. I might try to squeak out $5 in dimes (I'm so close!) before I actually deposit it. When I do turn it in, I'll put it towards savings.
Today I've already spent $34 of my amazon gift cards towards my birthday present for myself. The smitten kitchen cookbook and a 1/2 sheet pan. Our pans are rusty and icky, so I'm buying this to replace that. The smitten kitchen cookbook is a complete non-essential item, but I've checked it out of the library twice and still want to own it. My birthday isn't until the beginning of March, but I want to make sure I have my stuff by my birthday. Happy early birthday to me!
It wasn't going to be a NSD today anyway because I think we're going to stick and puck, which will cost me $5 to do.
I need to go work out and I just don't want to. I have my clothes next to me on the couch and I'm on the computer instead. My next step will be to get dressed, then it will be to go downstairs and get on the treadmill. I will probably tell myself that I will work out for 10 minutes. If I want to stop after 10, I can. Usually I will finish the work out. Sometimes I don't. We'll see what today is.
Yesterday was a NSD and I'm hoping for one today too. Weekends are easy to be NSD because I prefer to stay home and as long as I don't get tempted to spend some $$$ online, I'm good.
Today's plans don't involve going anywhere either, so maybe a 2nd NSD is in the cards. I'm going to hopefully clean the house while my boyfriend goes to play hockey tonight. Other than that, I don't have any specific plans.
I am lucky enough to work for a university. While I do like what I do, it is the extras that make me feel lucky to work there. I'm going to list the best three here. First of all, I get to use the gym for free. I also pay $40 per semester to attend various exercise classes. I'm sure it would be much more if I had to go to one of the gyms in the area.
Second, I get to take classes for free. I have to pay for books or any extras (green fees if you take the golf class, for example), but the classes themselves are free. I'm slowly working towards my 2nd Bachelor's degree in Accounting. There is no real pressure because I don't get a raise and my job isn't dependent upon me getting that degree, but I like having a goal. Although, I would not be too disappointed to just take interesting classes for free (History of Manhood class, anyone?).
Third, there are so many interesting programs, lectures, art openings, concerts, etc for FREE. There is more to do on any given night than I could ever actually do. I will never lack for opportunities to do something to expand my mind.
I am hoping for a NSD today. My goal is to have 12 such days every month. It shouldn't be too hard. I am at work for a few more hours then I hope to go the gym and work out. I won't be too tempted to go to the store to spend money when I'm sweaty! Plus, it is snowing so I just want to get home safe as soon as possible!
Once I'm home, I just need to stay off the computer and I should be golden for another NSD. I'm actually hoping to have another one tomorrow, but Thursday I plan on doing the weekly (and monthly) big shopping, so the money will be flying out then!
Yesterday I did a small bit of grocery shopping, just enough to get us through to Thursday. Mostly I needed some kind of crunchie-munchies for lunch. After all, in the midst of carrots and yogurt, you should have something yummy to look forward to!
My teeny tiny frugal thing done for Wednesday was to flip my shampoo bottle over so that I can get the very last bit out of it! It's such a habit, I never even thought about putting it on here--but it is something frugal!
Looking forward to a quiet night tonight. Bf is out of town, so it's going to be a night of curling up on the couch with the cats! I have some shows on the DVR and a good book to read, so I'm not worried about being bored. I love nights like tonight!
What frugal things have I done?
Sunday: spent NO money. Stayed home, cleaned the house, didn't surf shopping sites. Very frugal.
Monday: darned a black sock where I wore a hole in the toe. It's not perfect, but my toe doesn't poke through!
Tuesday: going to a work picnic for the free dinner food!
For the first time in a long time, I'm excited about something. One of my aunts posted a picture on facebook of her in full backpacking gear. I commented on it and we've started a discussion about maybe going for an out-and-back hike with gear on our backs. I'm geeked about this! I've read so much about people who hike and I've always wanted to do it. But the cost outlay for all the gear is scarily expensive and I didn't want to take the plunge without trying it out first. She has offered to go on a weekend trip with me. YIPPEE!!!!
I've done day hikes, but nothing that involved a full pack. I'm thrilled that I might be doing that sometime in September.
I need incentive to write in here. I need a new schtick. When I was doing the low spend month, I did really well at writing. Now that I don't have something to really update, I don't write.
So I thought of a new schtick. For the next 30 days (August 16 - September 15), I'm going to see if I can pinpoint something frugal I did that day. I don't know if I have 30 days worth, but I'm going to try.
August 16: I cut open my toothpaste tube to get one more use out of the toothpaste before tossing it.
Update on my monthly goals:
Track all WW: Not even close. I obviously have a problem with doing this.
10 NSDs: I have 9 so far
Save $320: I'm at $370! I didn't even realize that!
Work out 20x: I'm at 10
I did it! I only spent $300 for all the non-bills for the month! Yippee! Next time, I'm going to do this in February.
Here is the breakdown:
Out to eat: $36 (McDs, Panera, a couple of drinks while on the road, lunch with bestie)
Cats: $1 (kitty litter, bought with Sams club gift card)
Goodwill: $1 (soap dispenser for the squirty top to fix the doughboy by the sink)
I hope to do a longer post about what I learned from doing this. It definitely was a learning experience! I normally would have spent at least $480 for this same kind of stuff, so I did save some money. As a reward, I'm going to go shopping for some new workout socks. Cuz I'm a little weird like that.
Goals for August:
Track all my food in weight watchers
Work out at least 20 times for at least 20 minutes
Day 31 Numbers:
In: Found a grimy dime, a nickel, and two pennies