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Spending Day $137.24 edit... $854.54!

January 7th, 2009 at 01:41 pm

Went grocery shopping for the week. I also stopped at the dollar store to pick up some calendars. I am going to track my spending this year.


sour cream
3 packages italian sausage turkey links
3 pounds buffalo meat
1 green pepper
1 onion
2 packages sliced mushrooms
fresh parsley
1 2 liter pepsi
2 pounds butter
2 dozen eggs
2 shampoo
2 conditioner
1 pot roast
1 rump roast
2 pounds cheddar cheese
2 pounds mozzarella cheese
5 pounds russet potatoes
1 large container beef bullion cubes
1 large container Italian seasoning
5 quarts of virgin olive oil
1 bottle Marsala wine
4 20 ounce packages ground turkey
2 pounds bananas
2 avocados
15 pounds red apples
1 pound blueberries

2 wall calenders
1 desktop calender
6 pairs girls socks
1 pair girls tights
2009 planner- to record my spending in Smile

TOTAL SPENT: $138.24

Dinner tonight: Hot Italian beef & White Rolls with butter/honey

Had to come back and edit my original total spent for the day. I went ahead and prepaid our CSA share for the summer/fall to save 5%. We will get 26 boxes of food with 15-20 pounds of organic fruits/veggies in them delivered starting in June. So add another $716.30 to my total for the day.

Which brings my total spending for today to $854.54

Yikes! That's a big number Smile

2009 Baby Stepping Goal

December 23rd, 2008 at 03:05 pm

I love this time of year when I can think about our goals for next year and how we can achieve them. I have quite a few large goals for 2009, but in an attempt to not overwhelm myself, I am going to start small.

Our first financial goal is to STICK TO THE WRITTEN budget in January. I want to snowball as much as I can towards our truck payment. Right now the balance is at $2217.38. I hope to have this knocked out by April at the latest.

I know we really have a lot of extra money to throw at our debt if we stick to the budget. We so easily say "Oh we can buy this or that or do this or that now and pay for it next week." No more. 2009 I want to wipe as much debt out as possible.

Just a vent...

December 13th, 2008 at 07:11 am

I remember reading an entry a few weeks ago about frustrations with visiting the "less fortunate" relatives over the holidays and how it made for some uncomfortable moments. I am finding that same situation occurring on a daily basis in my life here and I am frustrated with it. The state that I live in has not had the real estate bubble trouble, we are begging for workers to fill empty job positions, and the local economy seems very sheltered from the nationwide downfall. There have been small bits and pieces of things trickling into our state from "the recession", such as an Office Depot store that was just built and opened in 2007 announcing that they are closing. This type of thing in general seems to be coming from bigger up the chain decisions. I have friends who are out of state who I love dearly, who are hurting because of the economy. I don't want to minimize what they are going through, but I am having a hard time not saying "JUST MOVE!" to some of them. I think when everyone around you in your "circle" is struggling, it is easy to think that the rest of the world is in the same shoes. The media and their constant pounding in our heads about "the recession" adds to this. My bestfriends husband came home with a paycheck for less than $100 this week. That's it! They know there is no work where they are living, and the chances of things picking up anytime soon are very slim. It isn't the "end of the world" everywhere like the media has led us all to believe. So my biggest frustration is why do people allow themselves to just sit and be kicked and kicked and kicked when there are certainly other opportunities out there? I can understand if you have a home you own and can't sell that it can be near impossible to move right now. But I know lots of people who just don't have those strong of roots in a community who seem content to just be "down on their luck" and not do anything to change. If your money isn't enough to pay for bills and necessities- you either have to lower the amount of your bills, or INCREASE INCOME. Seems simple enough to me.

Sigh. Just venting because I can't vent anywhere in real life about this...

No Spend WEEK? My challenge kicks off!

December 8th, 2008 at 07:31 am

Forget about the No Spend Day. I need a No Spend WEEK challenge.

From Monday 12/8 to Monday 12/15 I am resolving to have a no spend week. I am even going to waive grocery shopping day this week in order to make this a TRUE NSW.

We need to be rotating some of the food storage anyway and this challenge will definitely help.

Day One... I'm off!

Friday & sticking to the budget...

December 5th, 2008 at 01:33 pm

We WON in court! Praise God the judge saw the truth. We are still out $600 in lawyer fees, but it was well worth it- as our attorney did a fantastic job defending our case. Having an emergency fund definitely was a good thing to have during this crisis. With it being December, funds are already a bit tight with the holidays- so having a savings to dip into saved us.

The monthly envelopes are filled. Today I did some thrift store shopping. I bought a little tyke riding car, 2 bags of clothing, 2 full abeka curriculum sets, and a few little toys for $20. Yeah! I filled up the truck for $45.00 in gas at $1.36 a gallon and still have money left in that envelope for the rest of the month. I bought a soda out of my blow money. So... So far I am sticking to the budget! Hooooray!

I'm going to try and hold on to my blow money for my upcoming girls weekend surprise trip in January. I don't want to go into debt with that trip at all!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Unexpected Expenses & Update on Us

December 2nd, 2008 at 03:07 pm

We had to hire a lawyer yesterday to the tune of a $600 retainer. Sigh. Court is tomorrow morning and hopefully we walk out of it only owing the lawyer money and not the Plaintiff. Good thing about this: God has been hearing from our family a lot more this week. Trials are never fun, but I do always seem to grow in my faith through them.

Last month we dabbled in the stock market for the first time. Yeah, probably not the best year to try- but it has been fun and a learning tool. We haven't actually lost any money- so that's a plus.

Christmas shopping is pretty much done. I have a few more items to pick up for friends and then I need to take the kids shopping for their "name" that they drew. We cut way back this year- more for simplicity reasons than financial. Each kiddo will receive on big present from mom and dad and then we all drew names for another small gift.

Hubby and I have *I think* decided that our long term goal (5 years? or less) is to have a significant chunk of down payment, if not ALL payment on a piece of land & a new home in another state. We currently have a pretty big amount of equity in this home, so that will help! We do love it here- but we want to be more self reliant- (er. self-sufficient! lol) and the cost of land here probably won't allow us to do so here with our budget. So we are really going to cut back for the next few years and pay off debt faster than ever and get a really good down payment saved up. I am excited about it. I have realtor.com sending me emails when a new property that fits what we are looking for goes on the market. I think getting those updates will definitely keep me motivated. Today at the bank teller window there were cute little stuffed animals that were being sold to benefit a local charity. I had to ask myself "LAND or a Stuffed Animal?" The Land won. Little choices like that will add up big time in the end! Smile

Our December budget is written and the first weeks envelopes are ready to be filled. I hope to do that tonight!

I would like to try and use this blog more for my own accountability as we save towards our new home. I definitely need to pick up the NO SPEND DAYS!

Birthday Pics & A Vacation

November 6th, 2008 at 03:44 pm

I wanted to post some pictures of the stroller that DH made for our youngest daughter for her birthday this week. It came out so nice!

Today I am trying a new butternut squash soup recipe. It smells wonderful and I always feel so much better when I COOK a meal- rather than going out.

Today I also purchased plane tickets for a surprise trip to visit someone close. I hate to put details on here in case she DOES read this. LOL But we did find a good deal on airfare and I am excited about making the trip as cheep as possible without ruining the "fun" factor. It is a splurge that definitely isn't a necessity. It wasn't a step towards paying off debt so that doesn't give me "happy butterflys" but... I am being conscious of how much I will spend and I do think it will be beneficial to me to have some Fun Time. Smile

Grocery Day 11/5/08

November 5th, 2008 at 02:16 pm

I use the envelope system and I usually only carry $125.00 in it when I go for groceries each week. However this week I had some excess left over from our refinancing a few weeks ago (random checks from this and that showing up) so I decided to stockpile just a little more this week.

Here is what I bought for $241.25

2 pounds of cheese
3 pounds of butter
1 gallon skim milk
2 dozen brown eggs
1 ½ gallon egg nog
1 package sliced American cheese
3 containers of Bryers all natural ice creme
69 pounds worth of turkey (4 birds)
8 pounds of bacon
2 large packs of chicken breast
1 pound breakfast sausage
6 whole Tyson chickens
5 pounds snow crab
5 packages of flour tortillas
5 packages of gordita tortillas
1 package english muffins
6 pounds of onions
20 pounds of potatoes
12 pounds assorted kinds of apples
1 large package frozen corn on the cob
3 1/2 pounds jewel yams
1 red pepper
1 garlic
1 pound fresh green beans
2 packages of qtips
5 vitamin waters
1 2 liter Pepsi
1 rainbow cake mix
1 bottle soy sauce
1 jar strawberry jelly
1 bottle stir fry sauce
1 jar blueberry jam
1 jar organic peanut butter
10 cans Dole tidbit pineapple
5 big cans of yams
5 cans of sweet&condensed milk
10 cans of evaporated milk
1 chocolate frosting tub
1 box rice krispee cereal
1 container of allspice
1 container of ground ginger
1 container Bay seasoning

Birthdays are a little different now

November 4th, 2008 at 06:24 am

Roll back 14 years to when my first daughter was the birthday girl and you would see her surrounded by heaping piles of the latest and greatest PLASTIC toys. I was a single mother and I thought that the way to success was to show the world that I could indeed provide for my daughter by giving her quantity. I don't think we still own even a single toy from her childhood. I kick myself thinking "If I had only saved that money, she would have so much more right now."

Tomorrow our youngest daughter will turn 2. Her daddy jumped at the chance when I asked him if he could make her a wooden toy stroller for her birthday. I only asked him this last night on his way home from work. Smile He however went to the lumber yard when he got home and I heard all the power tools working in the shop late into the evening. She will have a single beautiful gift that will last through her childhood and perhaps more siblings.

I am much more wise now when it comes to how our family spends. We seek simplicity and quality. These choices provide much more in the long run than plastic mindless clutter.


October 31st, 2008 at 07:47 am

The bills are paid for this week. Yesterday we had to shuffle a little bit of money from savings into a "fix the toilets" this weekend fund. I totally forgot to include that in our written budget. Ooops. We still were able to throw some extra money towards our Suburban payment thanks to a refunded escrow check that arrived in the mail. The Suburban is our current debt snowball now and it is at $3496.26. We are knocking it out! Smile

Spent on Paper... Before the Check...10/31/08

October 30th, 2008 at 08:14 am

150 6 Month Emergency Fund

61 1000 Baby Emergency Fund

125 Food/Household

50 Slush fund

10 Hubby Food

9 Kids Art Classes

12 Truck payment (current debt snowball)

50 American Express CC

50 Bank of America CC

75 Water

80 Home Phone & Internet

100 Electric

150 Natural Gas

125 Cell

25 Hubby Blow $ for November

25 Wife Blow $ for November

40 Kids Allowance for November

50 Thrift Stores for November

20 Tools Fund

Groceries & Household 10/29/08

October 29th, 2008 at 10:17 am

Our weekly grocery/household items budget is $125.00 This is what we picked up today for this.

4 pounds butternut squash
1 pound tomatoes
bread crumbs
chopped walnuts
ground cloves
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 bottle of bbq sauce
4 cans of large black olives
2 gallons of skim milk
2 large avacados
10 pounds of satsumas
12 rolls of toilet paper
2 pounds shredded cheddar cheese
2 dozen eggs
1 package of chopped dates
1 large package of raisins
2 containers of Dryers ice creme
2 packages of Hormel pepperoni
2 pounds red grapes
3 large packages of chicken breast
2 pounds of shrimp
2 huge racks of spareribs

I have $5.00 and some change left that I will leave in the truck for the week in case we need anything while out driving or a quick treat.

Getting back in the game...again!

October 29th, 2008 at 10:12 am

We fell off the envelope wagon over the last few months. In August we welcomed our 6th child to our family- which meant a lot of precooked meals and processed foods blew the budget. THEN we had to refinance before December 1st to avoid our nice ARM adjusting, so it was massive home renovation time so our appraisal would come back high. Literally all our savings was used up and credit cards were maxed out to acomplish getting all of our jobs done. We went from a 10.25% rate that was adjusting to 10.5% to a 5.87% 30 year fixed which I am very happy about. BUT I'm not too happy about our financial status now- so I am going back on the Dave Ramsey envelope system and am going to aggresively be paying down debt and sticking to our written on paper before the check comes budget. I DO love squeezing the pennies- but I also admit- I did enjoy the little reign of "freedom" we had the last few months too. It's hard to juggle and find the nice median. Having this blog to write in about our success and sometimes not so successfulness is an encouragement for me- so I am back!

Garage Sale Leftovers

July 13th, 2008 at 08:56 am

What is better than finding a great price on an item at a garage sale? Finding it for FREE! After sitting in the sun all day on Saturdays, most people in our city will place a FREE sign in front of all their garage sale leftovers that didn't sell. We have found some really great stuff when digging through the leftovers. A lot of times if you look on your local freecycle or craigslist boards on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, you can find the listings for the FREE leftovers.

7/11/08 Budget/Savings

July 11th, 2008 at 03:27 pm

10% Give
6% Retirement
5% ING 6 Month Emergency Savings
3% Vehicle Savings
3% ING Appliance Savings
3% ING Vacation Savings

1/4 Mortgage Payment Saved for August
50 Put in Slush Fund for non monthly expenses

75 Food/Household
50 Home Improvement
80 Water/Sewer/Garbage
300 2 Plane Tickets
190 Vehicle Insurance (Quarterly)
165 Student Loan
10 DH food money

I haven't always been consistent at funding the slush fund. I know I should be as it sure makes it easier when the annual life insurance policy comes due. I can just write the check and not think twice about how I am needing to come up with that extra money that month. So I tallied up all the nonmonthly expenses we have in one year and divided by 12. I figure if I stash $50 a week into a slush account, we will be set. I just need to actually DO it now! Smile

Borrow, not Buy

July 4th, 2008 at 09:38 am

Once or twice during the summer our older kids enjoy a float trip down the local river. Instead of purchasing expensive life jackets to only be used a few times a year, we use our cities free life jacket rental system. Each of our local fire departments loans out life jackets in all sizes to community members for floating/boating trips. They are easy to pick up and there are drop off boxes all over town for them to dropped off after you finish using them. If there is something you won't use on a regular basis, why not see if you can borrow it from someone, rather than spend money for it and then have to find the space to store it?

Budget & Savings 7/03/08

July 3rd, 2008 at 08:30 am

10% Give

6% Retirement
5% 6 Month Emergency Fund
3% New Vehicle Savings Fund
3% Tool Fund for Hubby
3% Slush Fund (for non monthly expenses)

279 Monthly Medical/Dental Insurance

1/4 Mortgage for August Saved
20 Blow Money for DH
20 Blow Money for Me
20 Kids Allowance
10 Food for DH
85 Electric
80 Home Phone/Internet
25 DD Birthday Gift
865 Home Improvement

Fireworks for Free

July 3rd, 2008 at 08:18 am

Our city has an annual fireworks show. They charge $10.00 per vehicle to park near where they shoot them off. Rather than pay that money AND get stuck in the worst traffic jam our state sees all year, we opt to walk to a hill near our house and watch from there. No, they aren't as BIG and SPECTACULAR as being "right there" but the kids love them just the same and we get home before most people pack up and make it out of the parking lot. Works for us!

Library DVD's

July 2nd, 2008 at 02:14 pm

Each week I put the new release DVD's on hold online at our local library. We usually have a steady stream of DVD's to pick up each week and it costs us nothing.

July 2008 Food/Household

July 2nd, 2008 at 01:22 pm

I am going to keep track of our spending this month on all purchases made in the food category as well as regular household items. My goal is to spend $500 or less for the month of July. This might be a bit of a bigger challenge for me this month, more than most, because we have a daughter with a birthday this month and also a few more things for the new baby to get. Smile

$8.02 Spent at Taco Johns for 2 meals- Yes I could have avoided this Frown

4 pounds shrimp
4 pounds red grapes
2 cantaloupes
40 oz pistachios
15 pounds cheddar cheese
2 seedless watermelons
12.5 pounds ground turkey
5 packages hot dog buns
1 pound peppered beef jerky
2 packages Nathans Hot dogs
2 packages Hebrew Hot dogs

1 bag charcoal
1 bag chips
1 box ziplock bags
3 boxes lasagna noodles
1 package ground buffalo meat
1 package undies for DH
2 packages of diapers
1 small container wipes
1 bottle medicine
1 package cake decorating frosting
1 container frosting
1 container of buttermilk powder
1 bottle dishsoap
1 gallon skim milk
1 dozen organic eggs

$7.25 Fast Food (UGH!)

$12.50 2 bags of clothing, waffle maker from thrift store

Total $214.57

ING SubAccounts

July 1st, 2008 at 07:30 am

Today our family is being frugal by...

Loading up our van and driving to the local lake to cool off. It is $2.00 per car load to spend the entire day there. Over the last few months before summer arrived, I stocked up on 100% juices from Big Lots to fill our cooler with on days like this. No yucky high fructose corn syrup drinks, and no paying full price for drinks today at the grocery store!

Yesterday I figured out how to make sub accounts under our main ING orange savings account. This tickled the nerd in me, because now I can see all of our separate savings categories with the amount of money in each when I log in. Our family has never been savers, so its new to me to watch our balances grow each week. I love it!