Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spending January Week 2

January 8-15 spending

Week 2:
Groceries- $49.22
Gas - $45.55
Misc- $0
Food Out/ Entertainment $0

Which means we only spent $94.77 during the second week of the month and only on the 2 necessary items, food and fuel. Yay!!! And that actually includes 2 grocery store trips, because we normally go on Sunday but since it was a crazy weekend I went on Saturday instead, so there should be $0 in groceries next week. Unless we go to the produce stand to stock up on some things...we'll see. Can you believe that we are in the 3rd week of the year already?

Oh, and I decided to look over our spending last year on mint. Oy vey! I didn't realize how bad it was!!! I'm still going through and cleaning up what I can with it, and some of the numbers are a bit skewed, but it's still eye opening. All the those little things really do add up. Just sayin'

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Goals

I am like crazy late with jumping on this band wagon, but after a lot of thought, I decided that it would be good to have some goals in place to help keep me focused. Maybe I should have thought about them more, but they work for me now, and they give me some guidance, which is what I need.

  1. Track all spending. 'Nuf said. No more sneaky spending.
  2. Replenish savings. I left my job before hubby started his new one. He's a teacher so he gets paid over the summer, so it wasn't a big deal, but there was a gap in his last paycheck at his old job and when he actually started to receive his new one. It happened to be the beginning of a month, so I had to pull mortgage and HOA and a few other big, important bills from our savings. It's been a struggle to find our groove so we may been negligent in adding too it. Maybe even going as far a borrowing from it some more...shhh!
  3. Save for a vacation. Maybe just a small, local beach trip again. Maybe a trip to the mountains with my family. Maybe a trip to Florida to visit some of hubby's family. Not quite sure.

  1. Start running again. Even if it's just a mile or two. It's been 4 years since my injury. A year and a half since I became preggo. I have no excuse not to be running. (Except for right now because it's way to cold out :-) )
  2. Complete the 100 push-up/200 squats/200 sit-ups/50 dips Challenge. I'd love to do all of them, but I think the push-ups are going to be the hardest!
  3. Do 500 miles. Walking or running, that's about 10 miles a week of conscience movement, not counting all the miles I'll put in chasing after an almost toddler!

  1. Have one family night a week. Spending intentional time as a family, even if it's just hanging out in the nursery, playing whatever silly game baby creates.
  2. Establish a family Bible time/prayer time. Once a week is what I'm thinking for now...maybe more later on when the baby can actually understand what's going on.
  3. Day trip some place new. Last year when we thought I'd be working all summer we took a few day trips before I went back, including one to Baltimore Inner harbor. So fun!

Spiritual-  (Why does this one always seem to be my hard one to follow?)
  1.  Stay on track with reading for my studies. I'm in 2 Bibles and I stink at being disciplined enough to complete my readings for the week.
  2. Wake up before baby for quiet time. Lately he's been sleeping all night and waking up around 7ish, so I *should* be able to do this. I am giving myself a free passing during sickness/teething/weird schedule issues because we all know that babies can be unpredictable and if I'm up all night it won't be good for anyone around me to try and get up early :-)
  3. Memorize 20 new verses. Oh man...I'm horrible at being disciplined to memorize! Who wants to hold me accountable??
  1. Read 50 books. That's less than a book a week...maybe to ambitious with the baby?
  2. Attend at least 3 free events with Logan. Since I don't have a car, and don't know when I might have one.
  3. Go to the pool at least 15 times. I was going to say, "actually use the pool!" but that is a bit arbitrary since we technically did use the pool last summer, but only a hand full of times. It's literally in our backyard and it's included in our HOA, so we have no excuse NOT to use it. Unless of course it rains and is cold all summer.
  4. Find a hobby! And do it!!! I like crocheting, I like sewing, but unless it's Christmas or a baby shower I don't do them. I need to find something that I can do all the time.
That's all I got for now...here's to the next 11 1/2 months of getting back on track and having fun doing it!

A Little Fun

A friend just posted this on facebook and I think it's so funny! One year isn't a long time when it comes to investments, but it's interesting...

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago,
you would have $49.00 today!

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you would
have $33.00 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago,

you would have $0.00 today.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all

... the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for the recycling refund,
you would have received $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink
heavily & recycle.

It is called the 401-Keg.

And as a bonus...

A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a
year. Another study found that on average Americans drink 22 gallons of
alcohol a year. That means that the average American gets about 41
miles to the gallon!

So what do you think? I'm not a beer drinker, and I think that walking 900 miles seems a bit low, but hey on the surface it all sounds good! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 1 Spending

Okay, I know I haven't even posted a budget or goals yet, but let's take a look at how our first week in the new year went.

We have decided to make January a "no spend" month. Which for us this time means that we won't have any frivolous spending. No eating out. No coffee. No little shopping trips. Nada.

Groceries - $50.78
Gas - $44.68
Misc - $13.77
Food Out/Entertainment - $15.45

It's sad, because as I'm doing this, it's the first time I'm looking at our Mint.com account. Which means it's the first time seeing my hubby's spending.
Let me just clarify that he's the one who said we needed to get our spending back on track...

I'm looking at Mint and I see a charge for $13.77 at Office Depot. That's odd...he no longer teaches in a classroom, so he doesn't have much of a need to be there. So I ask. And the answer I get "It was for the stuff for the thing for Young Life." If you are completely baffled by what that means, don't worry, you're not the only one. After trying to decipher man talk, I finally figure it out and he says that he will be reimbursed. I'll believe it when I see it. And by that, I mean, see the money go back into our account, not into a pocket or something.

After we get that all straightened out I look at the next item. Panera Bread $15.45. WHHAAATTT!!?!?! First of all, how do you spend $15 at Panera? Second of all, I thought we weren't spending? He had a meeting there, and thought that he had his gift card. He didn't. He also didn't have lunch and was hungry. He bought a soup, sandwich and drink. Not the half and half deal, a full sized soup AND a full sized sandwich. As you will see in our budget, there is no wriggle room right now for spending. So we now need to figure out where that money will be coming from. Time to take away hubby's credit cards... :-)

We forgot to get food for a family party we had this weekend, so our grocery bill is a bit on the high end, but hopefully it will be smaller this week since we still have some dinners leftover to make from last week.

Overall, this month doesn't seem to be off to a super great start, but it's time to crack down and stick through it. Numbers don't really matter until the 31st hits, right?

*Oh, and I got our electric bill which was $190!!! It's a bill, and it won't be paid till the end of the month so it doesn't count as spending, but whoa! Christmas lights maybe? Or heat? Or maybe the TV/computer since I'm home all day...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Life As A One Income Family

Time to dust this ol' blog off and get back on track. Hubby was asking me the other day where my drive and fire went concerning our finances. Once, I stopped the accountablity here, I just fell into a routine and got lazy.

Let's be honest. Living on one income as a family of 3 (actually any sized family) is difficult. It takes more discipline and effort than paying off debt! At least for us.

It's been awhile so let me recap for you.

Just over 2 years ago in December 2009 we made our last payment to AES and became debt free! When we got married in July 2007 combined we had about $40,000 in debt, $5,000 of consumer and the rest in student loans.

The following Spring we set out to buy our first house. It was a very trying process since we live in such a high cost of living area and our price range wasn't very high.

After jumping through a TON of hoops we finally went to settlement and became homeowners (mortgage owners) on July 30, 2010.

We also bought a new (to us) car in August 2010 after hubby's was totaled. That car is now the only car our family has. More to come on that later.

On March 27, 2011 we become parents to the cutest little boy!

On July 15, 2011 I officially became a stay-at-home-mom and we became a one-income family.

Now, almost 6 months on having one income, watching our savings shrink every month, we decided to get re-focused and back on track. I'll be posting our budget and what we are trying to do in a future post. But let's just say that when we first sat down to write it up we came up in the negative. Actually, scratch that, we STILL are in the negative! Yesh! What happened?!?!?!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

9 Month Update?

Hello? {Hello-o??} Echo.

Yes, it's been 9 months! I feel horrible for abandoning this blog, but I decided I'd rather try to keep up with my personal blog than this one. Sorry. :-(

So let's see....

My son was born at the end of March, so he will be 5 months next week! Eekk!!! Where is time going?
We are still completing projects on our house like crazy. Most recently we are almost finished the attic. I'll be doing a post on it soon on my other blog.

Oh, and the biggest news, we are now a one income family. I was able to quit my job to stay home with the baby! What a blessing! All (well, not ALL, God played a huge part) thanks to our finacial awareness, and getting out of debt and purchasing a house well within our means even though on paper we could have afforded more. I am so glad we did have we did. I feel sorry for some of my friends who didn't think ahead and live a lavish lifestyle, but have to leave their baby everyday. I'm not saying that to sound judgmental or anything, some people want the career, but it stinks for those who have a desire to stay home but are unable too.

I did have to go back to work after my leave was up for 4 weeks, but luckily hubby got a new job, so I could leave mine. Let me tell you, those were the longest 4 weeks of my life! Well, the week after baby was due was pretty darn long too! (He was 8 very long days late)

So yeah. Lot's of big changes. I doubt anyone will read this but if you do kudos to you! If you liked you can check out my personal blog, it's more focused on the baby, the house projects and life in general, but I'd love to get back into meal planning and frugal ventures. If you stop by be sure to say hi!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Wow! We have less than 2 months till the end of the year. Already! I don't like how quickly time is moving.

Anyways, hubby and I sat down this past weekend to go over our budget! Yay! Is it dorky that I look forward to a date that consists of talking about a budget? I guess a date is a date, huh? I could tell that it's been way too long since we last did one because we ended up adding 5 or 6 new categories! Not cool because it means less money saved. But I guess it's better to be prepared than to ignore them. I'm sure our HOA would love it if I didn't send them a check each month because, well sorry, it wasn't in the budget. Or the water company. And now that we have the house, we need an expense fund for that. And one for the baby. And one for doctors/medical, because we were both extremely healthy so we never had medical expenses (except my insurance premium, but that's pre-tax). I'm lucky that my health plan covers the majority of my expenses, but I still have my prenatal prescription every month and the occasional ultrasound, and if any problems arise or when the baby comes if they have any extra doctor visits. Is it common on most plan to have "well" checkups covered with no co-pays? With my plan the baby can go to the doctor for all it's normal monthly checkups at no out of pocket cost to me. And an adult can go once a year for an annual checkup with no co-pay. I think it is such an awesome idea! Very preventative. Just wondering if it's an Aetna thing, or if most health care policies offer that.

This month is starting out an expensive one. Maybe it should be under last month, but I'm a bit behind. I had to get my car inspected. I knew of one major issue that needed fix (my shocks/struts), and I knew of a few minor things that they might have issues with (my passenger mirror is broke, my e-brake isn't tight) plus mechanics always find other problems. I had told hubby that I would be surprised if it cost less than $1,000. My car's a '96 and as much life as she has left in her, she still is getting older and needs a bit of work every year. I'm just glad it's not all at once. They did need to replace the shocks and struts like I had thought and they also need to replace the lateral link(?) or something like that. It's some how related. The bill came to $932, so under what I had planned! Yay! But still a nice chuck of change. Boo. They had to order a part, so she had to stay overnight. Which means that we are a one car family. Props to everyone out there who can survive on one car! No one at hubby's work was coming remotely close to our way yesterday, so I had to drive a half hour down to pick him up. Luckily, his partner teacher only lives about 10 minutes from us, so I could get up at the butt crack of dawn (actually, it was way before dawn even thought about getting up) 5:45 to be exact, to drop him off at her house so she could drive him to school. Hopefully my car will be finished so he can drive it home tonight. I got to work 45 minutes earlier than normal, does that mean I can leave 45 minutes early?

I'm just hoping that is our only big expense this month and we can stay on track with our spending and start to replenish our savings.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


As I said in my last post, I'm trying to get back on track. Starting in November I'm going to be diligent in keeping track of our spending and saving. But it's never too early to get back into the groove, right?

So my confession of the day is... I spent $4 on pizza for lunch yesterday. A bunch of people in the office were ordering and I normally have willpower, but blame it on the baby or hungry or whatever, I splurged and went in on it. The really bad thing? I packed my lunch and it was waiting in the fridge for me to eat. Yeah. I know. Not cool.

I realize that it could have been way worse than $4, but it's the lack of self-control. The mindset that "it's ONLY $4".

Not to mention that my waistline no long exist. I went to my 20 week appointment on Monday and according to their records I've gain almost 10 pounds since my first visit! Granted I was below my normal weight at my first appointment due to lack of hunger, but still. I don't care who you are, and if it's consider a 'healthy gain'. Gaining 10 pounds in 10 weeks is hard for any woman to bear. Especially if you're eating pizza and know that it doesn't help.

Oh well. Guess I better get used to it :-)