Friday, September 30, 2011

Budget Balanced!!!

The week is over and I did it. I stayed on budget... $12 a day (plus $3 a day for the peanut). It feels so good. All the hard work and self discipline are so worth it. I love the accomplishment!

Now that my husband is being regularly informed (whether he likes it or not) I'm feeling REALLY compelled to hold up to my end of the bargin/ stick to the $12 a day budget for my spending and all the groceries/ household supplies.

I left next weeks budget summary on the counter in the kitchen for him yesterday. There's no cushion this week. The ending balance before payday is 16 cents. When I got home from work I asked if he'd looked at it. I received a simple "Yes." So far he's not complained about anything budget related for the upcoming week.

Despite the grumbling he actually did a pretty good job only spending his "spending" cash this week. There were a few random debits... a video game rental and a food purchase at work when he ran out of money. (ok, after his intial revolt/ CD purchase) But otherwise props to him for spending considerably less than normal and really attempting to comply with the dreaded budget.

Goal number 3 is officially under way and I am SOOO back in the game!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Good Thing

Bad thing: Angry unreasonable husband (not making life fun at the moment).
Good thing: I'm totally sticking to the budget this week (if not only to show him that I'm serious about this whole ordeal)

My recent fury and frustration due to the husband's unreasonable stubbornness towards financial responsibility (or irresponsibility) has sparked a new fire in me to stick to the budget. This week I've done really well. I'm cutting it pretty close but it looks like this is the week I'm finally back on board. I've only one day left. I've more money left than many other weeks that I managed to stick to it... I CAN DO THIS!!!

Horray! Yipee! If nothing else the confrontation has got me back in the game  : )

Something interesting that I've noticed: Even though I don't enjoy penny pinching and denying myself little delights like sugary coffees and peanut butter m&m's I'm a tad bit happier when I'm sticking to my budget. I've even got a little extra spring in my step. It's hard work but when I'm not living a financially responsible lifestyle a little dark cloud hovers overhead. Life is much brighter when the ugly little cloud isn't there.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hehe, I'm so Smart

Yeah, NOPE... it back fired.

He's been bringing up budget issues EVERYDAY. He needs his guitars (I don't know what you call it) adjusted. $50 each, 3 guitars. Because I complain about him spending at least $20 once a week to go to lunch and a movie with his friends apparently I'm "against him having friends." I've told him numerous times that he can hang out with his friends every day of the week for all I care he just needs to stop spending so much money on his outings. I asked him what the $16 Amazon charge was (over and above the cash I gave him... encroaching upon the $30 cushion) and apparently I'm supposed to have ESP because I just should have known that it was a CD he needed. Oh, my oh my the ranting and raving just goes on. He's really REALLY angry at me for suggesting that he cut back his spending a bit and stick to a budget.

Ok, he's got issues but I love him and he's not as evil as this blog is making him out to sound. He's just REALLY... not wanting to take responsibility for anything.

I'm sorry to be venting about this all on here. I've tried very hard to be respectful to my husband and not include him too much in this blog. Unfortunately that's left me ignoring Goal number 3. I take one week and try and make one little baby step towards goal number 3 and now I have a furious husband who thinks I am trying to ruin his life. Ok, here's what I don't understand: I hand him a written budget for the week showing clear as day the starting account balance, the paycheck deposit, gasoline, spending, cable bill, electric bill, equity line payment, and ending account balance. How am I responsible for there not being enough money for him to buy every little thing his heart desires?

I'm REALLY frustrated right now AND I am currently writing up his budget summary for next week. His week long temper tantrum is NOT getting him off the hook. From here on out he will see every penny that comes in and goes out. I don't spend anything EVER and yet I'm the bad guy. Oh no, it does not work that way!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Goal Number 3 Here I Come

I handed him the cash and the very basic very self explanatory budget and said, "I intend to give you one of these each week." He noticed instantly what it was and scowled a bit. He REALLY really HATES anything having to do with the finances (except spending them). Surprisingly he read through it, only let off a little grr (I think it's when he got to the part where I wrote down that he'd already spent $33 in the past two days. He never believes me when I tell him how much he's wasted), and that was that.

I started off his little budget summary with how much was in the checking account before the paycheck was deposited. Then I added and subtracted this weeks income and this weeks bills/ expenses. There are only 6 items on the list and when all is said and done the bottom of the paper shows $30 left in the bank account before the next payday. It's all right there in blue and white for him to plainly see and without me harping on him in anyway he now knows that if he spends more than his cash (and more than the $30 pocket) we will go into overdraft. The ball is in his court now. I'm not the one responsible for slicing down payments on things to cover his extra spending now. I'm not the one having watch like a hawk for overdraft now. He's fully aware and he's no excuse.

I sort of feel like I tricked him in a way. He refuses to talk about the budget. Dave Ramsey says that the budget is something that both people need to be in agreement on. Both people NEED to have a say and take part in it. But half of my people don't want to hear about it, don't want to talk about it, don't want to think about it, and tend to throw a little tantrum when it's brought up. When I handed him the VERY basic budget and the cash he willingly perused it and that was that. No discussion needed, no argument, nothing. BUT later that day he says to me, "you know I'm going to need an oil change next week, and there are several (PS3) games coming up that I'm planning on getting." I said something to the effect of, "that's fine, the oil change is officially in next weeks budget and if you write down when and how much those games are going to be I'll put them in the budget too. But I need you to let me know about them. You can't just spring it on me." He agreed and whalah, we had a little budget meeting (without him even knowing it) hehehe : )

Tiny little victory here at the $12 a day household!!! This debt will be gone. Maternity leave savings... oh yeah. A happy financially free family is in the works.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


This week was awful. I worked 51.5 hours, with commute that 57 hours in 5 days. I'm quite officially tired, sore, and grouchy. In fact I'm over budget this week but I'm surprised that I'm not $100 over budget. I've noticed that when I am forced to work an obscene amount (which includes lots of crouching, kneeling, climbing, lifting, walking... it's like getting paid to work out) I tend to feel the need to buy food to ease the discomfort. I ate two bags of peanut butter m&ms on Thursday. Let me tell you they really helped get me through that 12 plus hour day.

This week's budget came in $14.24 over. It's STILL over. I didn't balance the budget AGAIN but it's so close. I'm happy with it. It's the closest I've come in awhile. I feel like I'm getting back on track. Yay me.

In other news I failed in my attempt to rein in the husbands spending. I really didn't attempt it at all. I didn't attempt anything these past two psychotic weeks while working my butt off. BUT he spent $38 less this past week then he did the week before. $38 is ALOT of money (considering that his spending is basically all nonsense, nonessential, blah... and a little food while he's at work). This morning's agenda: post this blog, go to the ATM, withdraw cash for him (for this week), write down the weeks budget on paper clear as day, and hand him the cash and the budget when he gets home from work. The idea is that if he knows what we have, where it's going and how much he can spend then maybe he'll be a little more considerate about the seemingly endless supply of money he throws out the window as he drives through town. He just gets so crazy when I talk about money or try and get him to think about the budget. I think this is a simple plan: Hand him the budget and spending money. He can do whatever from there.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cash, not my friend

I hate the cash envelope system. If I have a pile of cash I feel like I can spend it. But it makes so much sense and it's SOOOO easy to over spend with the debit card. Grrr.

I REALLY want to try and come as close to being on budget as possible this week. I've been progressively getting closer each week but ever since my June/ July downfall I've been struggling to get back in the game. I've only two days left in the budget this week and it looks like I might actually make it. I withdrew the remainder of the budgeted spending today and the plan is to cash envelope the next two days.

Yay, cash envelope... here goes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Debt Quote Tuesday and a little Optimism

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.
-Henry Ford
It's been slow going around here but I'm trying. I'm thinking about spending constantly. I'm slow stepping forward and not back.

It's funny to me that even though I'm NOWHERE near the debt payoff I dreamed of when I began $12 a day I'm still very happy with the payoff we've accomplished thus far. No matter how many times I screw up the budget; no matter how many times I fall short of my goals; no matter how many times I must return to blogger to complain to you all about how I messed up AGAIN the debt is going down, and it's going down considerably faster than it ever has before.

I guess what I'm getting at (and this certainly isn't a go get em, win big speech) is that "nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs." Just keep baby stepping. Just keep moving (forward ideally). Just keep going and EVENTUALLY you'll get there. Despite all of my... um, shortcomings the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter and brighter and much much more lovely as each day goes by.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
-Lao Tzu

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Apparently my work is trying to make up for the past month of slow going (I've been short at least an hour every week in the past month) all in one week. Oh... my... goodness am I wore out. BUT I did a pretty good job with spending today. I came in under budget. I also recorded all the spending thus far for the week and balanced the checkbook (I don't write checks but I'm not sure how else to explain it... balanced the bank account). AGAIN I've spent more in the first 3 days of the week than I had thought. I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to, if nothing else, pay attention!

I've spent $28.02 over the $12 a day budget so far this week. All I can say is that I intend to try my hardest (which hasn't been too great lately). I'd like to see that number not go up. In fact I'm not going to aspire to balance the budget for this week because I think I'll get too frustrated and overwhelmed. BUT I am going to try and get that $28.02 under $20 by Friday. Ok, goal.

Today's Lovely: There was a giant magenta sun creeping over the horizon as I drove to work. The sky was gorgeous. This crazy day began ever so beautifully and peacefully.

A Little Morning Pep Talk

The week is just about half over (I start our budget on Saturday) and... not great. Today is a good day to stick to the budget! Today is a good day to record all those transactions and get caught up on the week. Today is ALSO a good day to read and enjoy ALL of the little things. Ok, lets get going on today.

Today might be a good day to show up to work on time as well. Scurrying...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Let's Get This Show on the Road

New week starts yesterday. Last week I went $33.75 over budget. Considering that I didn't start buckling down and sticking to the new budget until half way through last week I think I didn't do so terribly awful.

This week I'm focused. I really need to start paying attention again to the little things. When I pick up groceries the budget busters tend to be the few extra things that cost a few extra dollars which didn't need to be spent. I also need to jot down my spending and balance the checkbook everyday. This one simple act is really what keeps me in balance with this whole financial game. It's rough getting back into it but the hiatus was long enough!

If I can end this week with a balanced budget (which hasn't happened in a very long time) I will be a VERY happy camper. (I love how many expressions I throw in while blogging. I wonder if I use just as many in speech.)

Goal number three: Get husband on board budget, has been just sitting there on the right side bar list of goals untouched since the very beginning. This week I'm going to put a little extra effort into goal number three. I'm not going to hound him. I'm not going to pester him but I'm going to gently guide him to spend a bit less money then he's been spending. I need to put more effort into making sure he knows what our budget is. He doesn't want to know but I can at least do the work and get it on paper in front of him for him to peruse at his discretion. I need to get him spending cash so he doesn't free for all it with the bank card. I need to check up on him and make sure the cash isn't being spent all in one day. I tend to steer away from giving him cash because that's what he tends to do. We all know it (as much as I'm in denial about it) if I can't get him to spend a bit less then I'm not going to reach my savings goal for the maternity leave.

I've got some work cut out for me this week but I'm ready.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stop keeping up with the Joneses. They're broke. -Dave Ramsey

We've spent the last three weeks watching the new neighbors move in. For at least two weeks before they actually occupied the place they were there every day painting and doing who knows what else inside, tearing out bushes everywhere in the yard (the forsythia bush is gone now), putting in new landscaping and slowly moving all their stuff over. I must say that I was envious of all the painting at first. My husband and I have lived in our place for 6 or 7 years now and the only thing we've ever painted was our tiny pea soup green bathroom. I couldn't stand it so it became robins egg blue pretty much first thing. People always say paint is cheap but in my opinion the primer and extra cans you hadn't anticipated buying, the brushes and rollers, trays, drop clothes, prep cleaning supplies... well it adds up fast. It's never been cheap when I've done it. So, we haven't painted. (I really don't count the base paint I put on the foundation of the house a bit back... that was really just maintenance)

It's been weird watching them come and go like worker ants for at least two weeks. We saw the kayak and the canoe arrive. The play houses and outdoor toys. The pop up camper, the weird maybe hunting tent thingy that's laying in the back yard now. Their yard is full of stuff.  My husband's been wanting a Kayak all year. He's pretty jealous of that one. The house has got to be bursting at the seams. It's really quite small. Ok, so the story goes they bought the house on a land contract because they couldn't get a mortgage. Their last house was foreclosed on and it looks like they've been living with relatives until now. We're over here drooling over all the money they're putting into the new place and all the stuff that's showing up on the scene and wondering how you can have SOOO much and spend so much and have lost a home. I guess I really don't need to wonder. Hard times come. My mom was foreclosed on twice. Another close family member lost a home in foreclosure.

I write all of this rather intrusive, judgmental observation to say that even though I want to paint a few things around here I know I don't need to. I need to pay off the debt. Even though I'd love to plant a few new bushes and do a bit of landscaping I know I don't need to. I need to pay off the debt. Even though my husband would love a kayak. We don't need one (he can use his parents) and we need to pay off the debt. It's sooooo easy to look at the world around you, the lives around you, and feel less than adequate. Every time we go to Chicago I feel like a bum in sack clothing. Over 90 percent of the people you pass by are wearing hundreds, HUNDREDS, like 3 and 4 and 5 hundreds of dollars of apparel and accessories. Just seeing them can make one feel defective.

BUT I don't need new things!!! I have the stars, the sunrises and sunsets. Everyday the clouds are new and spectacular. The fields and rolling hills are filled with trees and wildflowers reflecting life and beauty one could NEVER own. My life is full of loved ones, each more of a blessing than I'll ever deserve. When you look at the stuff and my oh my there's SOOOO much of it and think of all the "things" you don't have life can seem so lacking. But the truth reins supreme and declares "you've more already then you'll ever realize, utilize, or fully grasp." I'd like to believe that everything else no matter how glamorous or seemingly necessary is really just clutter. 

My life is already full and new each morning. I DO NOT need to keep up with the Joneses and I really don't want to.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Feel Like I Missed About a Hundred Debt Quote Tuesdays

‎The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan.  -Dave Ramsey
The checkbook is caught back up. I've been paying close attention to spending the past few days. I'm proud to say that today I stuck to the budget perfectly.

It's been quite difficult getting back into the swing of things but I think I'm ready to do this. I have a plan laid out. I will have that little Discover card paid off before the end of the year. I will have enough money saved up to take 8 weeks maternity leave by the time the little one comes. I think I'm back.

As much as I'd love to do a major beat down on myself for stepping away from the game for two plus months I'm just going to put it all behind me, focus, and try and do what needs to be done. Into the future I go, living right here and right now I shall, the past is done and gone.

Today's Lovely - The dogs had a confrontation with the new neighbor dog early this morning. (it wasn't really a confrontation because there is a fence between our two yards). None the less there was lots of barking and growling and scratching at the fence. It's always embarrassing to have your little ones misbehaving so, especially in front of the new neighbors at 5 in the am. I had to run out there and grab our littlest one. She's in lala land whenever there's another creature anywhere to be seen. I picked her up barking and scratching and trying with all her might to escape. I then headed to the house, turned around and called for our older dog (the one in the t-shirt photo) to come inside with us. He took one look back at the new neighbor dog and without hesitation he trotted happily along side me and crazy Maggie back indoors. My lovely moment today is honestly how happy I was and how proud I was that our little Bozzy behaved so well, listened so well, and really practically made my morning. Sidenote: the morning sickness, having to walk about 30 minutes to my husbands work to get the keys for my car because my set was left in the car last night, and the simple fact of having new neighbors did NOT make my morning.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Little Update

This is going to be a bit more positive blog. I've been in a slump and my blogs as of late have been horribly negative.

After this month I will have paid almost $3500 in credit card debt this year. Last year was our biggest credit card payoff year to date. We paid $2836 off during all of last year. I'm going to be really half glass full and say if nothing else at least we've exceeded last years pay off. That is progress and as always every penny paid off is a spectacular thing. I'm pretty sure that by the end of this year the Credit card debt will be under $20,000. Yes, that's still REALLY high but I've been waiting for this milestone FOREVER. I'm pretty excited.

One last note of positive: Our total debt payoff this year is already over $7000. Hey, I might make it to a total debt payoff of $10,000 this year even if less than half of that is from the dreaded credit cards. It is what it is. I'm certainly not going to complain.