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Home > Archive: October, 2007

Archive for October, 2007

Our 1 year budget anniversary

October 24th, 2007 at 03:23 pm

Well, a new fiscal month is beginning here. Time to assess our spending for the previous and set goals for the upcoming.

We were over in the following categories:
DH personal budget = $100 but spent 132.04
Household = $175 but spent 299.18
Medical = $50 but spent 56.07
Grocery = $300 but spent 407.10

I am usually under in the grocery budget, but I bought a lot on sale this month.

I did meet many of my goals this month, like creating separate savings accounts for Christmas, my son's prepaid college tuition (due yearly), and life insurance (also due yearly). I got curtains hung up in one room (hopefully to save money on energy), and have saved over $80 by using coupons.

In November, I'm going to temporarily lay off using the coupons to get deals as I've got a huge stockpile of stuff and it's contributing to me overspending in the household budget category. I'm still saving for our energy efficient freezer and plan to hang up curtains in my other son's room. I've also signed up for my first sewing class so hopefully I'll eventually be able to make my own curtains, pillows, and Halloween costumes. We will also begin tackling a new project: a compost bin. I've recently begun keeping track of how many loads of laundry I dry outside; I know it's significant b/c our electric bill is down $30.

November also marks an important occasion in our family. It was one year ago this month, that my husband and I decided to put ourselves on a real budget. We started by using Mvelopes, but progressed to our much more primitive way of doing things...handrecording. It works so much better! I'm looking at last January's budget right now, when we first began handrecording, and we spent $600.48 on groceries, $303.04 on eating out, $394.20 on household items! We have come such a long way! Yes, there are times when we overspend, but the important part is now we are aware of what we are doing and see how it truly affects our money. Nothing is random any longer! We don't have much of a savings anymore since we bought our house in July, but our overall debt is down thousands!

The good, the bad, and the very ugly

October 21st, 2007 at 08:50 pm

The Good:

1. I hung out 4 loads of laundry this weekend.
2. I am taking my first sewing class this week.
3. DH and I are considering tackling a new project...a compost bin. I'm going to the library tomorrow for more research. Can I even start that in October?
4. I updated our debt and noticed it's gone down about $4,000 from sometime (I didn't write the date) I think it might have been August, but that seems like an awful lot of money for just a few months.
5. Got a free single jogger stroller from Freecycle.

The Bad:
1. Ate at McD's Sat night
2. We've gone over budget in many areas this month. Those categories include: DH personal budget, groceries, and household. The household budget is always the first thing to go; I should reconsider that amount.

The Ugly:
1. Medical technicians are coming to take blood and urine samples tomorrow because we bought a life insurance policy.
2. We have to pay our annual premimum for life insurance probably this week. I'll know to set aside money for this in the future.

You know, I feel pretty bad considering I have a lot more good stuff then bad stuff to report. I'm not sure what's wrong with me.

Goals, Goals, Goals...They're Everywhere!

October 15th, 2007 at 01:43 pm

Before I get to our goals...I've tallied up this month's coupons savings. So far (drum roll please) we've saved $78.17! I had no idea I was doing this well!

In other good news, the electric bill was down $30 as a result, I believe, of me using the clothesline instead of the dryer.

Here are some new/revised goals for our family to consider...

1 - Begin the $20 challenge. Use money saved from coupons, $2 per load of laundry air dried, and $2 per lunch eaten at home. Use $20 challenge money for ???.

2- Create a designated Christmas account. We have 2 places in which we save for this expensive holiday and I'd like to see it more efficiently done.

3 - Use Wal-mart giftcards to purchse gasoline for the month rather than use cash. Saves 3 cents per gallon.

4 - Finally put up the curtains, check the water heater temperature, and BUY A NEW FREEZER!

5 - Consider a family vacation to New York in a few years and the best way to save for that.

Santas coming to town...

October 1st, 2007 at 02:01 pm

Christmas is coming and I'm already being asked from various family members what they should get for our kids (DS1 is 4 and DS2 will be 3 soon). This normally wouldn't be that big a deal, but just this past weekend DH and I spent a lot of time culling the mountains of toys and attempting a reorganization. I'm convinced these things multiply secretly at night. Fortunately, most to all these toys were free.

I'm also worried about finding that line between allowing my kids to have toys and spoiling them. What I would really like is for relatives to buy savings bonds, but I'm not sure that will happen. I've suggested books, but other than that I can't think of much.

DH and I don't buy much for Christmas or birthdays because we know they get so much from relatives.

Any ideas for indoor clothes drying? I've read about indoor retractable clothelines, but how could that possibly accomodate an entire load of laundry??