Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

February is almost over. Well it is in fact over... today is like an entire extra day. A free day. At least that's how I'm looking at it. The babe has yet to arrive. I figured he'd be here THREE weeks ago! He should have been here almost 2 weeks ago. We've an induction scheduled for Friday if he's still being stubborn by then. I can't believe how long I've been waiting for this little man. At least now that I know we'll be meeting him for sure by Friday there's this huge cloud lifted from me. I'm SOOOOOO ready! (yeah, I was ready 3 weeks ago)

At the close of February this year's spending tally comes to $14.15 a day. Again, we're only two months in. I think I can catch back up to the $12 a day budget and beat last years $13.70 a day spending. So far so good. I'm still sort of bumming about not being able to go full speed ahead with the credit card debt payoff but I'm REALLY thankful that we're able to pull off 3 months of unpaid maternity leave without going into debt and so on and so forth. Pretty much at no other time in our marriage would we have been able to make this work. Last year really changed things for us. AND as much as I'm not looking forward to going back to work (and trying my hardest to not think about it) the debt payoff will jump back up a bit once I do return.

This year it's ALL about the little boy. We're trying to stay on budget, attempting to spend responsibly, and putting all our thought into the little guy. There's really no wiggle room/ extra for debt payoff. BUT the debt's going down (as I keep telling myself) and we're doing alright!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Week 7 Budget Wrap Up

Wow, I made 13 purchases last week. That seems CRAZY! Only 13 things. BUT I'm ashamed to have you look over them. I wasted money like a blind fool. Last weeks total spending came to $78.22, $5.78 under budget. Hooray! That's two weeks in a row now that I've managed to squeak by a bit under budget.

I have to attribute some of my success to a kind lady from hubby's work who brought us dinner the other night. She said she knows how awful these last few weeks can be and she just wanted to lessen a bit of the headache. Also my cousin sent a gift card to Starbucks which was used for a lovely breakfast one morning, shakes for dinner one evening, and a few coffees : )   

We've spent and average of $14.46 a day this year. Seeing that it's only February I think I can get that number down a bit. 

Week 7's 13 purchases and TWO no spend days!
13. 2 Subway subs $10.60
Feb. 21 NO SPEND
Feb. 20 NO SPEND
12. Lunch with sister $7.31
11. Sandwich $4.75
10. Coffee $1.06
9. Cheesecake with hubby $9
8. Fajitas for lunch with hubby $22.32
7. English muffins $3.99
6. Toilet paper $6.99
5. Cranberry Juice $8.49
4. Ice cream $5.48
3. Latte $4.61
2. Shamrock shakes $5.28
1. Diaper detergent $8.92

HEY, thank-you to whoever clicked on one of these "interesting" ads yesterday... I have seen a few good ones pop up.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Checkin in

I'm still in existence... in case anyone was wondering.

Generally when I'm absent from blogging I'm also spending horribly. These past few weeks have been an exception. I haven't been spending wisely but I haven't been spending in excess either.

I'm in this Bill Murray's "Groundhog Day" slump waiting for the baby boy to pick a birthday. I wake up, wait for baby, and then go to sleep rather disappointed that alas today was not the day. Actually there's several little boughts of sleeping thrown into that routine. And repeat. At this point everything kind of hurts (not in a horribly unbearable way but just in an "I'm uncomfortable and don't really want to move for any reason" way). I'm depressed for having been off work for so long now and yet I don't even have the little one here with me (outside of tummy that is). I'm not beating myself up too badly for being off work because I could not physically work any longer BUT it's really difficult just waiting. As every day passes by that's one more day of maternity leave gone and one less day I get to spend with the new little man. It's REALLY difficult. In fact I've yet to face anything in life that's been as difficult as these past two (almost three) weeks. It's crazy that something which will result in one of thee absolute best aspects of my life would be so very awful and draining. (on second thought that's how most grand things in life come about I guess). I feel as though I'm broken, shut down, not really entirely existing. Everyday is the same now. Everyday could be the day he arrives. Everyday I have less than ZERO motivation to do anything but hope and wait. I haven't been blogging because I've just been waiting (rather impatiently and grouchily). No one wants to hear a pregnant women whine everyday about the same exact thing and so I've refrained. This blog is bad enough as it is.

Recap: no baby yet. I've been doing ok with the budget these past few weeks (although spending it on nonsense). I CANNOT wait to make the announcement to all you lovely folks that he's finally arrived... still, waiting none the less.

I think maybe he wants to be a leap day baby? OH, I hope he doesn't wait that long!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Last Weeks Wrap Up

As I'd expected it's much easier to not spend money when I'm not in the supermarket for 8 hours a day. This past week I only made 27 purchases and 2 of those were for a birthday. The budget for week 6 of 2012 came in a few cents under $12 a day at $83.54. Yay! Back on track (sort of).

Still no baby here. He's taking his dear sweet time, getting bigger and bigger everyday and mildly driving me insane but I'm doing much better now that I'm done working (just don't have any patience left).

The budget without any income from me for the next three months is still looking ok. The husband is trying to spend less... he is really trying. We've still had some stupid extra expenses popping up. I paid a $117 dentist bill last week. Life is SOOOO not cheap.

Week 6's 27 purchases and FIVE no spend days!
Feb. 15 NO SPEND
Feb. 14 NO SPEND
Feb. 13 NO SPEND
Feb. 12 NO SPEND
27. Milk $5
26. Cheese $5
25. Cranberry Juice $8.49
24. Peanut Butter $3.19
23. Apple Juice $1.97
22. Celery $1.69
21. MnM's (not for me) $1.25
20. Cadbury eggs $2.37
19. Birthday Legos $8.99
Feb. 10 NO SPEND
18. Blueberry syrup $1.39
17. Cherrios $2.99
16. Turkey $8.99
15. Milk $5
14. String chesse $3
13. Milk bones $4.99
12. Chocolate chips $4.59
11. Strawberries $2
10. Bagels $1.50
9. Cream cheese $1.50
8. Life cereal $3.34
7. Turkey bacon $2.59
6. Asparagus $1.04
5. Muffin mix 49 cents
4. Pancake mix $2.12
3. Cadbury eggs $2.37
2. Bananas $1.22
1. Light bulbs $1.58

Monday, February 13, 2012

44 Items of Clutter

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
-Henry David Thoreau
Only two posts back this was my debt quote Tuesday quote. I keep seeing it when I update/ open the blog. I really love this quote. Time is SOOOO valuable and our lives are so very full of things we need to maintain. Think of cleaning your home: If you husband is anything like mine then you spend a considerable amount of time each day just placing things where they belong. IF none of those things were present that time would be spent elsewhere. I love the idea of a simplistic minimalist lifestyle because it frees up so much time to embrace life, to be outdoors, to notice all the little things that make life splendid, to be with loved ones (free of clutter). I just keep reading the above quote and it just keeps stirring something in me.

Goal number two of the 45 is to get rid of something useless everyday. So far this year I've been rather preoccupied and haven't paid any attention to this goal. Today Thoreau inspires me to clean a little clutter out of life. I'm going to attempt to get rid of 44 things today; one item for each day of the year thus far. This is a VERY difficult task for me. Even though I love the idea of simple living, even though I hardly ever acquire anything new I have a terrible time throwing anything that could have any sort of use out. And when it comes to taking something to the thrift shop I have to wonder 5 billion times if I might in the future need said item. I'm rather ridiculous about not wasting anything ever. The other day at the mall some I was with grabbed two handfuls of ketchup and mustard packets for her pretzel, used half of them, and then threw the rest in the trash. This little act of waste is STILL driving me crazy. Why would anyone think it's ok to throw out a handful of unopened unused perfectly good sauces??? 

So, 44 things of wasted space and unwanted residence in my house HERE I COME! (hopefully)

*so far the $12 a day budget for this week is going well  : )

Friday, February 10, 2012

Past Few Weeks

I've been a bit lazy with the blogging, with the budgeting (sticking to budget), and with the 45 daily goals. To be honest I'm up half the night, asleep half the day, and CONSTANTLY thinking about meeting the little fellow that I've been waiting for most of my life. This end part is atrocious.

Last week I went $39.06 over budget. The week before that I went $48.23 over budget. Both of those are pretty horrible outcomes. I'm not going to excuse either of them. In fact I'm planning on cutting $10 out of the budget each week for the next month in an attempt to make up some of that reckless spending. This week's going pretty well though. So far this year I've spent an average of $14.67 a day.

We'll see how it goes once the little guy arrives. I can't even begin to imagine what we're going to need or how our spending habits are going to evolve. I like to think the husband will be leaving the house a bit less so that'll save some money (fingers crossed). We shouldn't have any formula costs if everything goes according to plan and I am cloth diapering (no diapering costs... after I finish acquiring all the BumGenius we need). We can do this. Yes we can.

A quick update on the hooded towel conundrum: We returned several of the extra hooded towels along with some duplicate items and a few things we in no way shape or form needed which we'd received at the baby showers and we were able to purchase a nice swing for our little guy without spending a penny. It's assembled, sitting in the living room, and waiting patiently for baby (unlike mommy who's lost all patience at this point).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Debt Quote Tuesday/ I met a little Thoreau

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
-Henry David Thoreau

I'm fascinated by almost every word in Walden. As many times as I've read it I've yet to actually read through it. There's so much to think upon. Thoreau was such an interesting man with such an interesting mind. He lived quite an elaborate experiment. He's now respected by so many but in honesty what would you think of someone you know if they told you they were going to move into the woods with virtually nothing and build a tiny home, grow some beans, read books, and think in their down time? 

If you're a minimalist like me you're thinking, "YEAH, more power to you. Way to go!!! It's a lifestyle I kind of dream of. I sort of envy you. You rock!" But would you REALLY think that? If a real person, someone you actually know, a person in your life at the moment told you they were going to "live off the land" starting from the ground up like Thoreau did what would you really think?

I conversed for a bit with a little Thoreau at a pub that my husband was performing at the other night. This individual has always been the town eccentric. He doesn't drive but has pretty much always rode a bike instead (for those of you over seas, in the US (at least outside of big cities) EVERYONE drives). He looks a bit like a pirate, like a Johnny Dep Pirates of the Caribbean pirate. He's a little guy with ALOT to say and he's friendlier with more energy than most people you'll ever meet. He moved away/ across country for several years. He's back now because his parents sold him several acres of land for $1. He was ecstatic about his new land. He said he planned to build a small home from the trees on the property. He was going to plant some crops and sell his goods at farmers markets or wherever. The entire time I conversed with this fellow I admired his passion and vision and I couldn't help thinking that I was talking with a modern day Thoreau. But he seemed like a crazy man. Our lives are SOOOOO involved with stuff and modern day conveniences for anyone to talk about living off the land and truly simplistic living it just seems too far fetched to be real.  

The whole experience has enlightened me a bit. I admire Thoreau so much but I'm now thinking that if I'd had met him when he was alive, lived when he lived, witnessed his experiment first hand I imagine I'd have been just like everyone else really. I'd have thought he was a crazy man. 

Life is about constant change and growth. If you're not changing, if you're not growing then in fact you're not really living. I'm not proud of this new revelation (about Thoreau and that in reality I think he's a crazy man) BUT I'm excited about the doors it opens. I've such a long way to go on this journey called life. There are so many passions within that don't line up with the steps I take. It's exciting really to think about taking new steps, steps that will bring me closer to the life I love, to the passions that are flaming within my chest. I'm excited about the idea of growing into the me I really want to be (even though I fully realize it shall take me a lifetime).

It took only a simple conversation with an eccentric pirate like person to help me better see. May your eyes always be open and ready to see something grand, something new in your little world!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Quick update: no baby yet. I'm feeling much better now that I'm done working but my days have consisted mostly of me resting. I'm not sleeping well (as is to be expected) so I'm napping a lot. The doctor says that the little chunker is probably over 8 pounds already so we'll see how long before he's ready to see the world. Hopefully soon!

After several days of totally neglecting the finances I went over the budget and the bank account this morning. Nothing too horrible but, again this is looking to be a rough year. I'm really happy we're in the place financially that we are. In other words that I've learned how to spend less, live on a budget, and stop throwing money to the wind. I don't see the debt drastically going down this year but at the same time it shouldn't go up either(it should keep going down some).

I can't imagine if we were still in the place financially that we were in a year or two ago and we tried to pull off bringing a little one into our family. We'd be charging EVERYTHING right now. Charge the dinner. Charge the gas. Charge the bills (it still weirds me out that you can even do that... put your electric payment for example on a charge card). It was always the easy way out before. If we ever wanted or needed anything we'd just charge it. I'm so thankful that that's changed. Life on a budget isn't exactly easy but it feels so much better than it did when we were in that deep dark hole of debt that appeared to have no opening up top.

I'm happy and ready to meet our son.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Gourmet Scented Pencils

Have you ever noticed all the nonsense for sale? I genuinely think that our entire culture may be insane. There are these societies of people all over this planet who live their lives with strictly the bare minimum. They have just enough food. They have clothing adequate enough to cover their nakedness. They have rickety shelters to house them. There may possibly be somewhere in existence one ratty old toy to entertain the children of the household. The divide between the cultures is intense. And I'm not going to even say "woe is them... poor, poor people... how very sad." I've seen some very happy unaware "poor" people. I wouldn't try and convince them for one second that they need more toys for their children or higher quality clothing. I haven't any right to judge the cultural divide. I believe everyone SHOULD have adequate food, and shelter, and clothing, access to medical care and education. The fact of the matter is there is plenty to go around so these things shouldn't be begrudged anyone. It just doesn't make common sense when they are. BUT that leads me away from my point.

I noticed a pack of Gourmet scented pencils at the store the other day. The THINGS we've come up with!!! Really, really, gourmet pencils!?!? There are moments in the day when my eyes open and I notice all the trinkets, all the toys in the toy department of the store, all the gadgets in housewares, all the accessories for our vehicles and I wonder what we're all thinking. Have we actually gotten to the point where we're just trying to find stuff to spend money on? I certainly know that the house I'm living in contains oodles of nonsense items. WHY?

Why does anyone need to take money they've earned, money they've spent time laboring for from their wallet (or for that matter money they don't even possess yet because they're using a charge card and borrowing the bills from a credit card company) so they might own gourmet scented pencils? I think we've come too far. I really think we may have lost it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm Home

I'm officially on maternity leave. Actually I JUST got home from work and I'm freaking out a bit. I feel HORRIBLY guilty for taking off of work before our little guy is actually here. There are two weeks until the due date but I could not work any longer. I'm on my feet all day. I do a lot of lifting and crouching and kneeling and walking and it was getting down right unbearable. I have hardly been sleeping and everything hurts. My feet look horrendous and feel just as bad. BUT I am feeling awful for being home now without the baby.

There's SOOOO much on my mind as you might imagine. This last month of pregnancy has been quite a struggle and now I'm feeling SUPER guilty about being done with work too (for the next three months)!

Just letting off steam, had to put it out there because it's heavy on my mind.

Money: You suck! Can't I just have a little peace in life please!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Oh goodness it's February.

That last week in January totally got away from me.

I'm almost finished doing the taxes. Baby will be here soon. I'm done with work (for three months) after Friday. It's getting very difficult to walk (feet started swelling about two weeks ago... ouchy). House kind of looks like something exploded in here. Someone brought us a homemade meal last night. How awesome is that! We don't even have a baby yet.

Happy Thursday all!