Monday, June 27, 2011

Get Out of Jail Free

I played a get out of jail free card awhile back. I ended up taking it back and what ever excessive spending I had done at that time I added to the overage. I'm going to pull that card back out again and play it for this past week. Wow, what a week! (Yeah, I know there's no such thing as a get out of jail free card in real life but this is my life and I make the rules so I'm going to use one) We spent way too much and I'm pretty sure I'd drive myself absolutely insane trying to catch back up for last week. Instead of driving myself crazy I've decided to drive myself back on track, keep up the good work, and forget about last week. This means I will have a bit less to put towards the credit cards but again, life happens.

Thanks to all you stupendous folks I "should" be getting an ad sense check at the end of the month for over $100. Every penny of it will be going towards the citibank card. I'm seriously SOOO excited about that snowball!!! Hooray!!! THANK-YOU, thank-you, THANK-YOU!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Life Happens... and sometimes it stops

My husband's grandma passed away on Wednesday evening. She was very old and it was somewhat expected but death is never easy for anyone. It's been an emotional few days with late nights, tons of family time, really weird work schedules, and oddly a lot of spending. (a crazy amount of drama, tears, and yelling thrown in there just for the fun of it too... grrr)

I haven't been on the computer much. I miss blogging (and reading your blogs) and honestly I really miss keeping close track of my money and staying on budget. I haven't been paying attention to anything at all these past few days. I'm not going to beat myself up about it though. A very wonderful woman with a huge smile and an even bigger heart will be dearly missed and honestly not much else matters. I'm actually contemplating scratching this entire financial week off and acting like it never happened. (contemplating)

Today's that second birthday party with my niece that I had mentioned. I scrounged up a gift for the princess just like I'd done for the party last weekend so not a penny spent on that one. Actually I'd sort of forgot (until just this moment) that it's also my dad's birthday TODAY. Oops, maybe a third or fourth year in a row that I neglect that one? I don't know. sigh. (our phone is broken) I may stop by the graduation open house directly after the b-day party but I'm not bringing a gift to that. Sorry graduate. You know it's weird but I still don't feel quite old enough to be buying graduation gifts. I'm not making that up either.

AND the funeral is tonite. I'm working on getting my mother in laws baby book transfered over to a new scrap book (in between all the parties and driving and craziness of today). She really wants to have it set out at the funeral for people to look through but it's lost all of it's adhesive so the pictures are in no way attached (and she HATES the actual book itself). That one right there has been the BIG budget buster. But it's very important to her and seeing how she just lost her mother/ her best friend, AND has been fighting hard core awful with her sister for the past week it's really the least I can do.

Well, thanks for taking the time. I appreciate you all : )

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Cherries Were a Bad Idea

But they were SOO delicious! I think they might be my new Cadbury Eggs. (going to be very hard to resist while they're in season)

It's pretty difficult to eat super cheap and healthily. Lately I've been noticing a little extra cushion around the middle and I'm not happy about it. Of course I wanted the 99 cent cheesy beefy melt burrito from taco bell for lunch today. I love the idea of only spending one dollar on lunch BUT there's got to be a thousand calories in one of those little buggars.

I decided for my tubby tummies sake I'd be strong and resist the beefy cheesy temptation. I have not been eating enough fruit lately so instead of the burrito I grabbed a banana and a handful of cherries from the produce department. I was quite proud of myself until I rang up the cherries... $2!!! I should have told the cashier that I didn't want them but I was so looking forward to them and I did technically sneak them out of the huge bag they were originally in so that I could purchase a small amount (they're priced per pound but they're pre-sorted into about 3 and 4 pound bags... shoot one of those would have cost $20).

Hopefully lesson learned; no more cherries for me. But oh my goodness were they delicious (and packed full of antioxidants). I spent $10.23 today ($2 on cherries). I managed to stay under $12 but it's still not quite good enough.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Debt Quote Tuesday

Day 172 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2217.16 of credit card debt this year.
Never spend your money before you have earned it.
-Thomas Jefferson
This sounds so incredibly logical. Actually I read it and thought to myself, "yeah. obviously!!!" But as a culture if we're good at nothing else, we're most certainly good at spending money we don't have. When did we start thinking we were bigger than fact, truth, and reality?

These past two day's I spent $24.60 (I didn't blog yesterday). I'm actually not doing that badly this week. I haven't had any big spend days BUT I'm also trying to keep my total at $73.14 in order to get the month back on budget. This means I need to spend a bit less than $12 a day but I've actually been spending a bit more. I've got three days to catch back up but I'm certainly not feeling any big rush of will power.

I'm going to make this a super early evening and go to bed right now. Maybe a little extra sleep will give me a little extra boost tomorrow???

good nite.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Double Wammy Weekend

Day 170 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2217.16 of credit card debt this year.

I Spent $15.22 today (Sunday). A bit ahead but still not horrible.

I survived the first weekend of events. Father's day went over well (and SUPER cheap). My niece and nephews birthday party was awkward but good. I had received some nice kids water bottles for free from work about a week or two ago. I'd planned to give them to my nieces and nephews so they worked out well as birthday gifts. (sort of, awkward part: they already had the EXACT SAME two water bottles I gave them). I've always believed that my husband and I will have children someday. I've a pretty good size children's book collection, almost all of the books are brand new. I don't love giving them away but at the same time they're just sitting up stairs not being read. I gave my niece one of the books with her water bottle. We had a cars movie toy as well that we'd gotten awhile back and never given to anyone so I gave that to my nephew with his water bottle.

Second awkward part: I felt really weird going to the party and giving them gifts that I didn't go out and purchase for them. They seemed to love them as they were opened and oohed and ahhed at. But I think it always feels weird to be cheap. Total spent on Father's day and two birthday's: 14 cents!

AND I got rid of 4 things that had just been sitting around the house. Double Wammy!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

I haven't seen my dad tons in the 31 years I've been alive. When he was at home he wasn't home much. My parents divorced when I was 10 and there wasn't a set visitation schedule so we really didn't see him that often. When we did visit he was always pretty drunk. It sucked. Now that I'm older my dad has a new family. It's really strange because his 5 year old daughter is the same exact age as my oldest niece. We see him just about as much as we used to when we were kids (a few times a year) but it's a bit stranger now because of the new family. Needless to say I don't have much of a relationship with my father.

Father's day has always been very difficult for me. I hate picking out a card because NONE of them are applicable. He's impossible to buy for because he doesn't really do anything but work. The past two years at least I haven't even acknowledged Father's day or his birthday. There's always some sort of "Father's Day" sermon at church and I always cry my eyes out for the whole thing. There is seriously such a void in my life.

Here's the thing though, my dad is my dad. Despite his faults and inadequacies I know that he loves me (in his own way) and I love him. I remember when my parents got divorced (he devastated my mom... If I were her I'd probably have shot him in the head) my mom told me that she would always love my dad but that she just didn't like him anymore. I was slightly confused by that and said something like, "well, clearly dad doesn't love you." She responded that she knew my dad loved her. He had always loved her with everything that he was capable only he didn't really know how to love. That might sound crazy to some but I completely understand what she meant and I feel somewhat the same about his relationship towards me. I think he loves me the best he knows how and I really don't hold anything against him. He's my dad.

All that being said my neglecting Father's Day and my Dad's birthday is uncalled for. I do know better. I'm not getting him a gift for Father's Day because he doesn't need anything and I wouldn't even know if he wants something (and obviously I haven't much in the budget for it). I did decide to make him a card though. I think I've written almost everyone in my life (even some relative strangers) a super sappy letter or card at some point in time. It's kind of my thing. In fact I'm pretty good at making people teary but I've NEVER written my dad a nice card or letter. It's not really weird since we don't really have a relationship but I've decided that this Father's Day I'm going to give it a go.
Homemade Father's Day card cost 14 cents.

Today's spending totals $16.15. That's not great but it's better than many many week beginnings prior. Hope everyone's enjoying the weekend!!! 

Week 24 Wrap Up and the First STUFF Purge

Day 169 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2217.16 of credit card debt this year.

Yesterday ends week 24 of this fun spending/ saving/ paying off debt adventure. The total spending for week 24 came to $78.95 ($11.28 a day). I'm totally thrilled to have come in under $84 for two weeks in a row but I would love to have met the $68.09 mark. If I spend $10.86 under budget this week then I will have caught this month back up. So, that's the new goal.

I got rid of the 14 items (15 actually) that I had hoped to purge this week.  I found 15 magazines that we don't need and I gave them to my husband's step day who LOVES to read. Mission accomplished. I glanced over my goals for this month and I'm in sorry shape. I have not been working out, I have not started planning the yard sale, I have not made anything, I haven't read anything, and no one's invited me to a bon-fire yet : (  I did clean the house and paint the foundation on the house. I should probably have listed those with the goals just so I'd have something to check off.

I love the before and after on this one... we probably should have painted a LONG time ago

In addition, I really need to get my rear in gear and start crafting/ thinking/ making some stuff for the many upcoming events. Father's day is this weekend (oh my goodness it's tomorrow) as well as my niece and nephews combined b-day party. Next weekend I'm taking my niece to a princess party (I know I'm going to have to supply the birthday gift on that one) and it's my dad's b-day next weekend as well... oh and I've an open house to go to. Wowwy.

I'm exhausted now just thinking about it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Crazy Friday

I haven't the time or the energy to look at the numbers and add up the spending. We just spent 5 hours with my husband's grandma. First at the home where she was in a tremendous amount of pain and then in the emergency room where they were basically torturing her. Life is so precious.

I definitely went over the $68.09 mark (I think that's what it was). I'm pretty sure I stayed under $84 ($12 a day). I'm really happy to have my husband back (from the music festival in TN) but oh my is he back! I'm kind of scared actually to look at the totals for today and yesterday's spending (and I already wrote the blog about our $20 Wednesday spending spree). Oh, I've been out of coffee grounds for a bit now but instead of buying more today I bought a box of tea (WAY SUPER cheaper). I guess that's my little victory for the day.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Day 166 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2170 of credit card debt this year.

We spent way too much yesterday. It was just the few extras. My husband decided on steak for dinner. We practically NEVER eat steak (actually we don't even eat beef). When we do we always get if from the little local meat shop down the road instead of getting it from the grocery store. So it's just plain expensive. The problem with yesterdays spend though was the little extras. For lunch I stopped at McD's for an iced mocha (which cost considerably more than I was expecting and I still got it anyway). Probably shouldn't do that again. When my husband picked up the meat he spent a few dollars on turkey jerky as well. Seriously the little extras slam us every time.

Spending tally: with only $25.81 left for the week in order to meet my $68.09 goal we spent $20.20 in ONE day. I've $5.61 left in the budget for the next two days and there's not any food in the house. I think we'll be eating eggs for dinner tonite but I don't think I'm quite going to make the $68.09 budget goal. Pretty safe to say I'll still be way under the $12 a day average for this week though. I'm happy with that.

Wishing everyone a splendid Thursday!!! I like Thursdays. They're so close to Fridays which are pretty great because they precede Saturdays  : )  Yep

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Little Dave on Debt Quote Tuesday

Day 165 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2170 of credit card debt this year.
Act your wage!
-Dave Ramsey
I love this one. When I was a kid I remember seeing someone with a crazy nice car. I exclaimed to my mother, "WOW, he must be really rich!!!" Her response has stuck with me all my life. My mom replied, "he's probably quite poor." For a moment I figured she was confused. Then I was confused. Of course I corrected her foolishness. "Mom, that's such a nice car... that guy's got to be rich." I imagine I was 5 or 6. (I grew up with a next door neighbor named Rich. I was certain that since people called him "Rich" then he must have been loaded. My brothers and I always tried to discover his hidden treasures. I was always sort of fascinated by riches when I was a kid.) My mother explained to me that most people with really nice cars and really nice houses don't actually own them; they didn't actually pay for them but in fact they owe a bunch of money they don't have; they're in debt and most likely all of their paychecks go to that car (or house). I never knew such a thing was possible before this conversation. I was amazed at her profound insight and the fact that my mom could see through that guy and his nice car. It was awesome that he wasn't fooling her (like he'd fooled me.) She knew that he was actually poor. Way to go mom!

Funny how this childhood revelation eluded me as I grew up (and walk the talk certainly didn't happen for my mom either.) We're quite good at driving the nice car we don't actually own though aren't we? I really like Dave Ramsey's "Act your wage." Such simple wisdom. Such relevant advice. Spend what you make.

I spent $10.71 today ($2.80 was from a video we rented last night... what a waste of money. Actually the movie was quite good though). I've $25.81 left for the next three days in order to meet my $68.09 goal for the week. So far so good.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Conquering STUFF

Day 164 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2170 of credit card debt this year.

It's the third day in a row that I've spent less than $12. Today's groceries and toilet paper purchase total $8.92. I've $36.40 left for the next 4 days if I want to meet my $68.09 spending challenge for the week. I think I've got this!

I believe that a big part of responsible spending involves taking responsibly for the stuff that one has already acquired. You're less likely to "need" a random item if you're totally conscious of the time, money, space, and energy that the new item will absorb. Last year I bought 57 things* and I attempted to get rid of 365 things that were just taking us space in my life. So far this year I've bought 22 things but I sort of abandoned the idea of being totally conscious of what surrounds me, what the purpose is of the stuff, and do I need it in my life. I think I'm ready to start taking control of my home again. I'm going to get rid of 14 things this week that have no purpose in my life, things that are just taking up space and collecting dust. I grew up with a semi hoarder and this is important to me. My husband and I have been married for only 8 years and our house is already pretty much full (not in a creepy piled up messy sort of way... but we've WAY too much stuff for two people).

I wrote several blogs about this endevour last year. Here's one I rather like (possibly just because I enjoy the title). 

*My classification of a "thing" is any non-food item apart from cleaning supplies and toiletry items. I do include gifts for other people in this "thing" category.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Day 163 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2115 of credit card debt this year.

I spent $11.55 today. Second day of the week, second day in a row that I've spent under $12. Considering that I've been regularly spending over half my budget in the first two days of the week I'm pretty happy with how this week's going. I'm also feeling pretty ambitious. Last week I ended a tiny bit under budget. The week prior to last I ended quite a bit over. I'd really like to catch the month back up. If I can spend $68.09 instead of the regular $84 this week then I'll be back in balance. Pretty regularly when I state that I'm planning on meeting a certain goal I don't meet it. But I can try. I can hope. I'm pretty sure I can do it.

I ALMOST got a starbucks coffee today. My sister and I were walking to get ice cream. I realized that starbucks was right next door to the ice cream place and I decided that I'd rather have coffee (oddly enough it's pretty chilly outside today). My sister was treating so I wasn't technically spending my money but shortly after the coffee craving I remembered that I'd JUST given up starbucks. oops. I thought about it for a minute and then I decided that breaking my new goal only a day or two after I'd put it in place wouldn't be a good way to start out so I went for the ice cream as originally planned. Close call and I have to say I'm rather proud of myself for sticking to it. Chalk one up for the little angel me on the right shoulder!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This one turned out to be a tangent about hair?

Day 162 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2115 of credit card debt this year.

I spent $11.22 today.  I believe this is the first time since I started the $12 a day budget (January) that I've actually spent less than $12 on the first day of the week (I start my week on Saturday). I think I can pretty safely attribute this one to my husband being away BUT hooray for sticking to budget from the get go this week!!!

$2.73 of today's spending was at the post office... blah. I had to send out our locks of love hair (actually we sent it to Pantene beautiful links because we've heard that Locks of Love throws out ALOT of the hair they get and Pantene doesn't) Really quick bunny trail: My husband's dad passed away from Leukemia a few years back. It was awful. Since then my husband has grown his hair out, chopped it all off, and donated it twice (he has beautiful hair). This last time he donated 14 inches and I donated with him 12 inches. Actually it was the first time I'd EVER gotten my hair cut in a salon. Crazy huh, I've always just cut my hair myself. 

Back to my initial line of thought. There're many things in life that I really cannot stand spending money on. Postage, toilet paper, yard waste bags, garbage bags, and swiffers (I do love swiffers though) are at the very top of the hatred list. It irks me beyond belief to have to buy things you just toss. TP tops that list by the way. As much as I do love toilet paper buying it is one of my biggest pet peeves. Yep, now you know. 

What an odd post.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Coffee Woes

Day 161 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2115 of credit card debt this year.

Well I came in a tad under budget for the week but I also spent my last few dollars on Starbucks. I've totaled this week at $82.72 / $11.81 a day. SOOO happy to finally have come in under budget again and even though I haven't bought anything from Starbucks in quite awhile I'd really like that to be one establishment that I work out of my life completely (except when on vacation in a big city like Chicago or Seattle or NYC... that would be my exception). I haven't anything against Starbucks. I vastly enjoy their beverages. They're marketing geniuses. Their mugs are pretty snazzy (being a coffee connoisseur I'm a pretty big fan of mugs too). But the business itself is too readily accessible. It caters to coffee AND spending addiction. I genuinely believe that supporting smaller cafes is a much better way to blow $4. So I really would like to cut that business out of my life.

Thank-you for taking a moment to read, once again, my coffee woes  : )

You know what, I'm adding this one to my goals side bar... done!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

First Day of Vacation

Day 160 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2115 of credit card debt this year.

I accomplished a lot of cleaning today and I didn't spend any money. That leaves $4.94 for tomorrow in order to balance this weeks budget. Hooray for baking soda.

I hope to paint the foundation of the house tomorrow as it is looking dreadful. The chipping, sanding, washing, plus fresh coat of paint would be a nice surprise for the hubby once he arrives home. I opened a new checking account today with ulterior motives. It was one of those "we'll give you $100 if you open an account" deals. I just couldn't resist. I feel a little scammy about it... I'm not going to keep the account but if they're going to give me $100 just for opening it I'm not going to pass that up.

I "should" put it towards the Citibank card but it's getting really hot outside and the dog's hair is just getting longer and longer. We've miniature schnauzers, they don't shed, and they've been panting ALOT lately. Getting them groomed is far from cheap but we've tried cutting their hair ourselves and failed miserably. I'm most likely going to use much of the newly acquired $100 for the doggies and I think the rest might just pay for tomorrows paint. But I don't have to take the $100 out of the budget so that's a plus.

Hey, MANY of you have been leaving SUPER nice, encouraging, and thoughtful comments lately. I'm truly blown away by the blogging community and all of you who've been taking the time to stop by. Many, many, many thanks to you beautiful people and I'm truly enjoying reading through your posts as well. I quite officially like blogging WAY more than facebook. Ok, I feel a little ashamed for having admitted to that one. Yes I'm a facebook addict. I scroll through the feed several times a day to keep up on the many many posts. Blogging is WAY way WAY better!

Alternative Magic Eraser

My husband made it to Bonnoroo after 13 hours and driving straight through the night. Now him and buddies are waiting in a tremendously long line just to get into the fest. I'm instead listening to music at home and attempting to clean up some around here.

I found one generic magic eraser in the cupboard this morning and decided to tackle the walls. Haha... it only lasted for one small wall. I love Mr. Clean. He's awesome and his magic erasers are amazing. After quickly using the generic one I'd found stashed away I was seriously considering running to the store to buy more. Of course this genius move would blow my budget and I've always hated buying one use cleaning items. I tried the multi purpose cleaner but there's just something about wall smudges... they're so stubborn and magic erasers are the only thing I've ever been able to get all the gunk off with. Ok, our walls haven't been painted in a long time. The paint on them is flat (which collects smudges like a magnet). I don't even really understand where all the marks come from but they sure do accumulate.

So I'm contemplating spending a load on magic erasers and then it dawns on me: baking soda. "I betcha backing soda will work." I am by no means a cleaning expert. I was raised by a single mom who NEVER cleaned, let alone did she pass down her cleaning skills to her daughters (maybe she passed down her lack of cleaning skills to us). Actually I grew up in a house that looked alot like those homes on that show hoarders. I actually can't watch that show cause I get flash backs and it makes me sick to my stomach. I've never tried baking soda on my walls before but let me tell you it works, like magic! All I did was wet a cloth, sprinkle on some baking soda, rub it in, wring, and wipe down the walls. Love the quick elbow grease free results and just thought I'd share. Also, really glad I didn't run out and pick up more magic erasers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vacation Begins Today!

Day 159 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2115 of credit card debt this year.

My husband is going to Bonnoroo (huge music festival) for almost a week. I took the rest of the week off of work so that I could chill at home with the doggies and revamp the house. I'm excited about the time off and about how much I might possibly get accomplished around here. I'm thinking of taking before and after photos just for the fun of it.

Of course we "had to" go out to eat last night since it'd be our last dinner together for awhile. Stupid, stupid, stupid... With last night's dinner and today's spending I'm at a total of $18.05 spent today. There's $4.94 left in the budget for the next two days (I end my week on Friday). Honestly though I'm positive that I'll meet this weeks budget because I'll be stuck at home away from the grocery store and when I'm alone I can eat REALLY SUPER CRAZY CHEAP. Actually I'm pretty excited about next week's budget too. Hopefully I'll be able to tackle some of the overage because the first 3 days of the week my husband will be gone. I won't really need to spend money on anything and I should be able to catch back up a bit.

I'm going to miss the man and he is spending A TON of money on Bonnaroo (I'm justifying it because he's not spending anything above the overtime he worked the past two weeks) but I'm also a little excited about the $12 a day potential bounce back and my time off.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Debt Quote Tuesday and Two Old Guys

Day 158 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2115 of credit card debt this year.
Youth is in danger until it learns to look upon debts as furies.
-Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

The only question I have is why'd it take me so long to escape the foolishness of youth? Debt is a horrible fury!

Today I spent $11.97. It was REALLY hot, humid, sticky, and I couldn't stop thinking about frozen coffees and ice cream ALL day. Oh, and I wanted a milk shake from McDonald's, and a frozen hot chocolate from Bigby's. I struggled ALOT today BUT I didn't cave. I only spent $2.58 on food at work during all of the 10 hours I was gone. So I'm pretty happy with today's spending turn out.

I feel I must elaborate a bit on today's lovely moment. As I was leaving work today there were these two old guys sitting on a bench at the front of the store across from the check out lanes. I love the way the elderly wear life on their faces. Old people who've (as most would profess) lost the beauty of youth possess an amazing beauty that no youngin could ever acquire. My grandmother was radiant, graceful, and wise. My grandfather was superiorly handsome as an old man. My grandpa has a look that subtly declares "life is priceless, and wonderful." My husband's grandma has a constant ever present smile that covers her being and makes her one of thee most beautiful creatures on the planet. Old people are great. I often times smile when a really gentle joyful looking elderly woman passes me by.

Back to the moment, it was ever so brief, the store was a bustle with activity; rushed people scurrying, grouchy, racing through life trying to make it to the next moment, yelling at their children, snarling at the cashiers. I myself was speed walking to my car with my arms full of today's groceries, dreading the wall of heat I was sure to encounter as I left the store, and thinking about money (big surprise). And there sat these two older men quite peacefully amidst the chaos as if they were on holiday in a beautiful park somewhere. They sat casually commenting to each other about this or that. The bench and it's immediate surroundings were enveloped in a peacefulness that was no where else to be seen in the entire supermarket. While passing them by I was hit by a wave of appreciation and respect for the two old men. I've no idea of their stories. I'm totally uncertain as to what brought them to the store today. But I'm thankful they sat there on that bench just being who they are. It blessed me.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Day 157 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2075 of credit card debt this year.

I spent $12.63 today. I should have put something back. 63 cents over is not awful but I told myself that I would only spend $5.35 today in order to start catching back up. oops. I did resist the frappuccino that I was pretty determined to down this morning and I'm proud of myself for that one.

One step at a time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

El Burrito

Day 156 of $12 a day. We've paid off $2075 of credit card debt this year.

Slightly amusing story: Last evening before we ate dinner we ran out to pick up dog food. That was super stupid because both of us hadn't eaten for HOURS. So, we get the dog food and as we're driving away my husband mumbles, "I'm SOOO hungry." I mumble back, "me too." We were right by our favorite restaurant. I blew last weeks budget and I've started out this week rather poorly but we were both thinking it, "mmm, El Burrito!" Neither of us said anything though we just subtly implied to each other that we wanted to go there.

Our Boy... and first dog
We headed home but my husband started down the path towards the restaurant. That's not the way home. I'm not going to lie, I was super excited that he decided to go there. I was bubbling up with joy thinking about the tortilla chips (we do not eat chips at home), the fresh home made salsa, and the amazing taco salad that I would most likely be eating for dinner. I almost said it. I almost said, "honey lets just go to El Burrito for dinner." I stopped myself though. I was SURE he was going there and I was going to just let this budget buster be on him. I would be the bigger one in this deal. We approached the restaurant, the car slowed a bit, I was so looking forward to dinner, and we just drove on by.

I was so relieved and let down at the same time. I'm thinking, "what a little bugger to drive me past that delicious food and not even go there," and "oh YES we just saved ourselves $23!!!" When we got home I had to mention it. I'm all, "honey what was with that El Burrito stunt?" He said, "I was sure you'd say we should go there if I drove that way. But you didn't say anything." Then I'm like, "You were driving there, I was sure we were going there. I didn't need to say anything!" We had a little bicker and a little laugh about it. All in all we saved $23 and did the right thing. Man oh man we are dorks!

The run down: I spent $9.48 today. I'm $12.41 over the $12 a day average thus far and I'm still hoping to make up some of the overage this week. I should be eating super light when my husband leaves for Bonnoro on Wednesday so I should be able to meet the budget, maybe come in a little under easy this week. MAYBE...

: )

I Guess I Kinda Like a Good Fight

Found a new blog this week. She seems really determined and I'm looking forward to keeping up on her journey.

This comment is from my fellow blogger:
I'm wondering if maybe $12 is TOO strict? I mean, if you're going over because of unnecessary purchases, that's one thing. But if you're going over just to meet every day needs, maybe you should consider upping it to $15 a day, which would still only be $105 per week (if it is in your budget, of course). It seems as though your $12 per day (and I apologize, because I've just started reading) covers groceries, as well? Have you considered making a separate grocery budget and leaving yourself the $10-$12 per day as an allowance?
I'm going over to meet everyday purchases because of "only $3" here and only "$1 there" unnecessary purchases. If that makes any sense.

We don't have a huge income. It's not awful but in terms of debt to income ratio, or even just money coming in as opposed to money that must go out (housing, electric, gasoline, minimum CC payments, insurance, oh how the list goes on) we are pretty tight. $12 a day is what we can afford and still make some sort of a dent in the CCs. I could up it to $15. We've finally dug far enough out of the hole so that I could set aside some spending money for little luxuries. But I don't want to. We need to get out of debt. I'm not doing an excellent job but I am enjoying the challenge.

This line from your blog (22 months) I love!!!
Do I deserve a cup of Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee on my way to work every morning? Of course I do! But, I also deserve that house I'd love to own when I'm 30. And when I look at those two things side-by-side... no number of Iced Coffees (even Dunkin Donuts!) could bring me as much happiness as owning a home will.
I'm trying to live within my means and honestly as long as we have debt we can't afford anything. Every penny I spend is a penny that is technically owed to a creditor. I just don't want to spend their pennies any more. I want to get out of this hole and stand on my own two feet on solid ground and if that means denying myself (or at least learning how to deny myself) all the littly itty bitty extras, well that's what I'm going to do. Yeah, the $12 a day covers basically EVERYTHING but the way I look at it, I'm allowing myself $12 a day to spend on whatever I want (ideally stuff we need) and there are billions of people who've nothing, no money, maybe $12 a month. I can handle this challenge : )  I guess I kinda like a good fight.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can...   

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why $12 a Day

Thanks again to ALL who comment (and read this blog). It's super encouraging!!! Muchas Gracias : )

This ones from Andy:
I'm delurking to tell you not to give up! You're bound to turn things around. We all go through some low moments, but they won't last forever. You'll get back on track before you know it!
P.S. I've read almost all your posts and your honesty has been really inspiring to me. I'm also trying to get out of debt. My journey is just beginning and I'm really happy to have found your blog. One more thing - could you explain why you choose to spend $12 a day? Why not set a weekly amount?
The $12 a day is strictly a mental thing for me. I'd say it's a lot like baby steps. If I can try and take it one day at a time then for me it's easier then looking at the bigger picture (even if that picture is just for one week). It really is just the way I think. If I were to be a bit more broad and say, "I've got $84 to spend this week," I guarantee I'd spend $84 in the first day or two but then I'd run into little things I want or need all through out the week and I'd go WAY over my budget.

I spent all of last year kicking the shopping habit that's almost inherent in today's culture. It took me at least 6 months to really learn the difference between need and want when it comes to stuff. Ok, I've been to a pretty impoverished country and I knew that I didn't really "need" anything but something inside of me said, "oooh, you sooo need that!" anytime there'd be a really great clearance deal or what have you. Like when your shoes get a little worn and you see a really nice new pair and all of the sudden you "need" new shoes. Yeah, no you don't. So that was last year's battle.

This year I was determined to kick the wasteful spending on food. I went into the new year thinking, "you know, I bet I could spend $10 a day on food pretty easily." It was a very intriguing thought and I started to run with it. Then I realized I'd need toilet paper, soaps, cleaning junk, obviously some new clothing (generally for work), ect; so I said I'll make it $12 a day. $10 for food, $2 for just about everything else.

So far it's been a rough road. I'd really like to have made it to a MUCH much MUCH more disciplined mark by now BUT I'm not going to complain too much. I know that I've saved a tremendous amount of money by embarking upon this challenge. I've paid way more credit card debt this year then in any year prior. I am learning and growing and I know that I will get this thing down as long as I stick to it and keep on trucking.

$12 a day is purely mental for me because I'm horribly undisciplined and unorganized (as much as I like to think I'm awesome with organization) and the little devil me perched upon my left shoulder shouts WAY louder than the little angel me standing on my right.

I Believe Today Starts Week 23

Day 155 of $12 a day. We've paid off $1992 of credit card debt this year.

Apparently I overpaid on the Chase card that I recently paid off. We just received the statement in the mail and there's a negative $90 balance on the card now. This just goes to show that when people fall in love the last thing that they're thinking about is which one of them is more financially responsible. In Dave Ramsey terms who's the nerd of this relationship. It's totally me and yet I'm awful at this entire ordeal. On the plus side I've $90 to throw at that Citibank card; we're $90 less in credit card debt than what I'd thought. Woohoo!!!

Back to spending: I paid $26.93 for groceries today. "Poverty Mentality" That's over two days worth of my budget. Granted I bought dog treats and face wash (not cheap) but my plan was to NOT blow my budget during the first few days of the week. Seriously this is really difficult.

Friday, June 3, 2011

June Begins

Day 154 of $12 a day. We've paid off $1902 of Credit card debt so far this year.

I TOTALLY blew it this week. I am $17.19 over budget. Way to start the month of June, eh. I've got some work cut out for me. I NEED to make up this week's, last week's, and some of the carry over overage THIS MONTH. The total overage for these 154 days is $224.91. Ideally I'd like to get that number under $200 by July. So far this year I've spent an average of $13.46 a day on food, stuff, gifts, you name it. I'm $1.46 a day over my budget : (

Additionally this month I've 3 birthdays that I need to make gifts for. I'd like to attend a bon-fire at least once (I know kinda strange goal but it's on my list). Next week my husband is going to Bonnaroo and I'm taking 2 days vacation plus the weekend to overhaul this house. I'm REALLY looking forward to next week!!! (despite the fact that I'll be missing the man for 4 days) Oooh, I'd like to attempt my very first ever yard sale this month. I had grand plans to do it next week while the husband was gone but he's informed me that it's not okay to have a yard sale while he's gone. I keep thinking to myself that I need to make more stuff for my Etsy account. I'd really like to put that plan into action as well this month. 1 more June goal: I'd really like to read this month. I'm shooting for 2 books.

Blogger Ad's update: I'm half way to getting a pay check for the ads on my page!!! Seriously it's so cool that people click on them and I make money. Thank YOU for helping me out! I can't wait to get those dollars in my bank account so that I can send them STRAIGHT away to Citibank!!!

Once again, thank-you all for reading my endless rambling  : )

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Debt quote Tuesday (Wednesday...oops, or maybe Thursday)

Debt is the worst poverty. -Thomas Fuller

I sort of forgot about debt quote Tuesday this week. I'm really liking this one though. As a general observation it seems to me that as long as people (countries, companies) are able to obtain credit they're able to maintain a superiority or at least a feeling of worth. While borrowing and spending and digging oneself into debt (at least in my experience) there's a feeling of euphoria. A "I've made it, I'm successful, I have stuff and money and freedom" aura and mentality is attached to borrowing (blindly). It is exhilarating swiping that plastic for a really huge purchase. It's like getting free stuff. You don't really have to pay for the item (at least not then and there) but you're instantly increased. You're a little bit richer, a little wealthier, a little more superior... but at what cost? The strings attached to that false sense of worth are horribly binding.

Debt is the worst poverty because it robs you blind (even though you must be a willing contributor). It makes you believe that you're something/ someone you're not. It encourages you to play the game and deceives you all the while. It allows for foolishness upon foolishness upon foolishness until the fool is utterly enslaved. Debt is a poverty that exists not only in the here and now but it's grasp has power way into your future.  

But I'll tell you what, I'm fighting back!

It's June. I spent $2 today (June 1). I'm $5.96 over budget for the week with 2 days to go.