Saturday, June 27, 2015

4th of July Plans - Meal Planning

We will be having family in town for the 4th of July. Four adults and four kids. Friday will also be a day off for me and my husband, along with a 4th of July parade. My son will be in the parade and I'm sure my sister and her family will be here too.

Thursday
snack- veggie pizza
Friday
breakfast - crockpot breakfast casserole
lunch - Sloppy Joes from Pioneer Women, deviled eggs,
dinner - watermelon, chips and dip, potato salad, bacon, pineapple, chicken kabobs
Saturday
breakfast - super cinnamin rolls
lunch - brats, hotdogs, and hamburgers,
dinner - carnita tacos, with avocado, salsa

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April '15 Unexpected Expenses

April has been a long month. This has been the first official month for a long time that my husband and I have shared one account. This is the first time that we have shared an account and have actually tried to budget. I say try because both of us are a combination of spender and saver. We know we should save, and we save a little, but we also like to have things and go out to eat.

We increased the amount of gas we have been using. I still haven't figured out why he spends so much more in gas, but I guess day to day driving farther and picking up our son from daycare adds up in miles and gas. So from the start of the month gas increased around $30.

We paid $22.86 more on our car debt.

For giving, we made a donation for a friend for her on going battle with cancer, and I also donated $1 for Habitat for Humanity at the gas station.

$44.38 over budget in household, this was budget low. I bought stamps, needed a new key since daughter lost hers, weed killer, cleaning wipes, and laundry detergent.

We had to redo our taxes to the tune of $50 since my husband's past employer sent us a notice at the end of March they made a mistake. They also refuse to pay for it.

We got my husband a glove, $37.09 to play catch with my son.

$15 for a shirt for my daughter for her orchestra tour of the schools.

15.70 I spent money to make PVC pipe rocket launchers, bird suet, suet holder, and a bird house to make for cub scouts.

For Easter I took my niece shopping for an Easter outfit, $36.58.

$45 for fast food and $9.47 for convenience food, some of this money was moved from our Mad money for tracking purpose.

$9.00 for Easter chocolate, $46.21 for school snacks for my son's class.

Some of this is actually stuff I could have waited till May to spend the money and budget it in but I am working a lot of both jobs and I need to get things done when I can.

The good news is that we will have an increase in income soon.

Next month we have to pay for a violin rental, graduation, and I have gotten my medical bill from my heart ultrasound.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Weekend Menu Plan

We will have family for the Easter weekend, so I thought I should device a plan. They will be here Friday night through Sunday afternoon.

Friday
Saturday
Sunday
  • Breakfast - eggs, bacon, and toast
  • Lunch - leftovers

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March '15 UnExpected Expenses

So March has been a busy month year after year for us. It is my son's and nephew's birthday early in month, which is always the same weekend as the school carnival. Plus now with cub scouts we also have the Pinewood Derby, Blue and Gold Banquet and two den meetings. Spring Break happens in there and we volunteer to help with making packs of food for those who cannot afford food.

Here is where we over spent this month:
Groceries - $164.04
Clothing - $9.03
Electricity - $68.12

Auto Insurance $.25
Medicine - $64.90
Pets - $6.36
Household - $60.19
Kids activity -$149
Gifts - $41.57
Fast Food - $114.79
Convenience Food - $9.47
Entertainment - $21.59
Birthday Party - $148.54
Tax Payment - $89

So the overage in groceries was due to shopping too much at Costco and supplying the birthday part and weekend with food. Clothing was over due to buying items for the baseball season. Electricity was up this month because they balanced out the Budget Billing. This will be down a lot more next month. Auto Insurance has gone up due to no reason. For medicine my husband's insurance has changed and he has to pay a deductible before they will pay anything. With the two guinea pigs eating, well like pigs, our pet budget needs to be increased. Household was over since I bought some supplies at Costco to stock up, salt for the water softener, and I had to fix a hole in the boot of the washer. Gift was over due to a co-worker leaving and my son's birthday. I never budget in fast food or convenience food. I would really like this to be zero or we would take away grocery money to cover these extra expenses. We ate out one night due to back to back conferences. I didn't think we would have time but in reality we would have time to go home for mac and cheese. I also bought pizza for my son's birthday. We also ate McDonald's during spring break. Convenience food is down a lot from other months, and I hope to keep this up. For entertainment we went out for drinks due to my co-worker leaving and had one Red Box rental. We did have to pay into some taxes but received a decent refund considering I didn't clam zero on my second job (lesson learned to claim one or zero if you have a second job). I also paid $149 for my daughter, which she wanted to go to this camp for a week for her birthday.

The wins this month were that for the second month water bill was low, my husband got a raise, and we have a tax refund. We also paid off the credit card which was a balance transfer from the house siding, and paid a good portion of the car loans. The bad part was, it was paid off due to my husband taking money out of his retirement account. It wasn't something that I agreed with and it is a fail/easy out on our Dave Ramsey debt free journey. I'm not going to dwell on it. I'm just going to move forward and believe that we can save, save, save to get this all back in time. Looking at quitting my second job makes me nervous. We won't have a lot of extra after paying 15% toward retirement, but I know we need to kick it into high gear. My husband will get more raises this year and hopefully next year I will get a significant raise/promotion. All in due time.

If we stay on track we should be debt free except the house in 3-4 months.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Circus Is Dying


Friday we attended the Shrine Circus with the family. It wasnt what I remembered. The last time we went was when I was pregnant with my son to the Ringling Bros Circus. That is a much more expensive show. It was a lot of fun and we bought a snowcone with a keepsake cup. This time I wanted to go because my son has never been and my daughter is getting older (we have gone to circus type shows at a fair with him previously, but that was it). As we walked in there was a gated section of protestor shouting things at us. Definite mood killer. We go inside, getting there early to get good seats. They had animal rides and entertainment. Everything was $10. I wanted to stick to a budget so I only brought $15 cash. I jokingly told my kids only 1 1/2 can ride the elephant. So we sat down and watched everyone else spend money. During the show they kept advertising their items for sale. This was a good opportunity to teach my son not to fall for all the hype that people try to trick you with. I have nothing against them raising money for charity, it just wasnt in my budget to do. My daughter knew the items were over priced, but she wanted a $5 snowcone. This did not come with a cup. I just compromised and said after we can go for ice cream to the Dairy Queen ($12 for four small items). The other disappointing part of the show was the lack of audience enthusiasm. The most excited they got was when they threw out free t-shirts. I know the show wasnt all that great and you can see more exciting videos on the internet, but come on people! You pay all this money for a show and you need to get into it!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Feb '15 Non-Budgeted Expenses

Things not budget for before February:
-$20 more cough medicine
-$15 for orchestra fundraiser to buy a cup
-$36 for daughter to attend baby sitting class
-$1.06 dry erase markers to use for my Den meetings (Dollar Tree ones, don't even work!)
-$3.18 in gifts, my son was invited to a friends party
-$79.26 in fast food
-$3.71 entertainment (Red Box 2 rentals with coupon, 1 without)
-$5 cover charge when went out with friends
-$130.05 for part for washer (replaced again!)
-$9.00 valentines for kids
-$42.00 circus
-$110 Costco membership
-$68.20 extra in clothing, Easter/church clothes mostly, found some clearance items
-$5 extra to church
-over $3.62 in personal category (bought a $40 weight set to increase what I lift)
-$.40 extra to pay off my son's school lunch account
-$7.95 in snow blower parts to keep the wheels on and the washers didn't even fit.
- $58 on a will kit from US Legal forms, still need to print and get started.
-$349.64 for the two days in 2014 where our kids didn't have insurance (don't get me started)
-$25.28 gift for my son's birthday in March

Things we did budget in:
$115 in baseball for son
$11.50 eyebrow wax for myself (long overdue, saved half price with first visit)
$100 more for food
$161.50 for cub scout camp
$20 in convenience food
$11.13 eyebrow wax
$27 for kids yearbooks
$178.30 for car tags ($99.20 less than last year)

Everything was paid for in cash, except for the Costco membership. I still have not canceled my American Express credit card. Half of me wants to and half of me can't seem to let it go. It auto renews my membership each year which I hate. I have talked with my mom about cancelling the membership that we share but nothing has happened yet. I do have the money to pay it off, and will do so. I plan on paying for the whole thing as part of her mother's day gift since she is so hard to buy for or she gives ideas after the fact. The biggest disappointments were the washer seal going out again and the medicare bill I had to pay. I really want to just throw the dang thing out! Twice in 5 years we have replaced this part. Next time I will not buy a Whirlpool and I'm thinking of getting a top loader. The wins of the month is we are funding Christmas and able to pay $2005.00 off in debt this month.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Jan '15 Non-Budget Expenses

          I have such mixed feelings about 2015. I am 90% positive we won't pay off everything except the mortgage by the end of this year. We would have been fine but my husband is now making about half of what he was making. He is only 2 months into his job and has already gotten a raise. I hope to get a raise at both my jobs this year, one in Feb and the other is usual some time in the summer. In January I did get a nice bonus, plus my husband can get overtime at his job.

For January here is what was not part of our budget:

-went over a nickel in the pet category buying hay for the guinea pigs
- $4.77 in water softener which I didn't budget for so I need to add this in
-$13.00 I bought a white cross for our lawn to display during lent
-$36.65 for light bulbs and fuses for my Jetta, then $80 for the mechanic to fix the headlines which turned out to be a fuse which burned out the bulb (but my husband's job gave a discount)
-$100 or more on eating out/vending foods (we spend some cash which I didn't track carefully)
-$40 in gifts for my niece B-day BIL 40th B-day
-$75 in gas for travel to see family

Update:
-$43.18 for a race (I did only one race in 2014 and this will might my only one in 2015)
- $10 in medicine for cough and rash creme
-$50 in daycare registration

          We did get money for Christmas so that helped plus my husband has gotten some gift cards at work. Currently we have $35700 in debt for our siding and two cars. To pay off by Dec we need to pay off almost $3000/month, which also is the amount of monthly expenses. I definitely will have the siding paid off by Sept before the zero % interest expires. With an approximate yearly after tax and benefits income of $48,000, $3,000 in debt payments is not happening right now. I would really like to pay at least $2,000/month (minimum of $1500). The minimum payments are $603 for January, so that would be $1397 extra. We could be really close to paying off our debt this year but it has been really hard to stay focused and not want to relax after all we have been through. I hope tax season is not a big disappointment.

Also see 2014 unexpected expenses: Expect the Unexpected