Saturday, April 20, 2013

$11 a day

I wrote a long insightful post yesterday and then my one year old son deleted it.
WHY does that happen!?!?!?

In other news my average daily spending for April is: $11.02


Oh, I've been so down and out about income, money, financial FUN lately that I haven't even been able to bring myself to blog about it. I just don't want to "whoa is me" post after post. BUT it's April 20, ten days to go and I'm at my goal of $11 a day for the month. That's a little something for me to smile about  : )

The Lovely: Last night my husband and I got away from the norm, total date night, and saw the Proclaimers. The show was so SO so GREAT!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Halfway Through April

Woah, it's been almost a week since my last post. Hope life has been treating you all well. I've just been normal working mommy busy.

I'm giggling a bit because my daily average for April is NOT $11 a day (my goal this month) but it is really close to my overall goal of $12 a day. I think I just need to way undershoot what ever I'm trying to actually accomplish and then maybe I can hit my mark.

Average daily spending for April: $12.66

Today's lovely: Three birds bathing in a sidewalk puddle. I don't know why seeing birds washing themselves in puddles is so fascinating to me. But each time I happen upon the sight I can't help but glow a little bit on the inside. I love it. I love watching them shake their little wings in the water and ruffle the wet feathers on their heads. To me a bathing bird always looks as if it's playing a game of sorts. Lovely!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Debt Quote Tuesday

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.
Romans 13:8 NIV
Getting out of debt is really really important to me. I lament having gone into it but there's no rewinding time. Now I must do what needs to be done in order to clean up my messes. All the while I must remind myself that life is for living. We can love each other, enjoy each other, and embrace the beauty of every single day without spending a penny or owing one cent more. That is encouraging to me.

Finding balance in virtually any area of life is probably impossible, at least I am unable to believe that it can be found, but working at balance constantly is dire. Love, live, be responsible, work hard, enjoy, shine, do right, do good; I guess life is for multi-taskers. I'm working at it.

Average daily spending for April: $11.47
Yep, I'm almost back to my April goal: $11 a day.

Today's lovely: Tickle time with my son. I LOVE his giggles!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday, Mostly Made It

I picked up a few essentials and ONLY essentials at the grocery store.
I made dinner at home.
I went a little over my goal of being at $12.75 a day spending for April so far.
I'm ready for a NO SPEND day tomorrow, #20 for the year.

THEN after dinner I needed ice cream. It's a little early in the year to be needing ice cream. Usually just before summer hits some freakish part of me turns on the ice cream switch and daily for a solid three months I feel as though I will perish unless I consume a little ice cream. Well tonite that old familiar feeling returned. I came so close to running out and purchasing ice cream. And I don't think it would have been a $2 or $4 gallon from the grocery store. No I would have gone for Cold Stone or TCBY. BUT, and I say this with tons of self satisfaction (and also fear that I may be facing this monster for the next four months) I did not buy, waste money on, overly exceed my budget because of, or eat any ice cream this evening.

And Monday is done! Wishing a fabulously Happy Birthday to my little Sister!!!

Average daily spending for April: $12.90
My goal is $11 a day for April
If I pull of a NO SPEND day tomorrow I'll be at $11.47

Today's lovelies: Spring rain... pretty happy it's not snow. Remembering when I was just 8 years old and I brought my brand new baby sister (the one I'd be hoping for for YEARS) to show and tell at school. And watching my little munchkin run around our home and babble away.

Let Week Two Begin

My blogs are getting silly, "today I only want to spend $3... NO SPEND, NO SPEND, blah, blah, blah."

Alas, I continue the mumbo jumbo. I have enough food in the house for two meals which gets me feeling all excited that I can pull of a NO SPEND today BUT I need some baby items. Today's goal is to buy as little as humanly possible in order to get through a NO SPEND tomorrow. (Yesterday was a NO SPEND day) I am still trying to accomplish an every other day goal this month.

Just because I'm spending money today does not mean I can be purchasing chocolate. It doesn't give me permission to buy snacks or soda. I am not allowed to pick up a few odds and ends. Bare minimum that is my goal.

This is one of those morning pep talk blogs. I feel like if I just put it out there then I'll stay the course. Hoping to have my daily average for April down to $12.75 by this evening! That give me $6.57 for today.

Here goes!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Discouraged? Nope.

My average daily spending is MUCH higher than I'd like it to be. I've bought I think six "things" in about a week. That's a ton! I haven't been knocking out as many NO SPEND days as I'd like. I can't believe how tight things are financially speaking at present. I've stolen most of the money from the emergency fund to keep the checking account in the black... it's not stealing per-se. Oh, and my house is a piggysty.

I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. I went that route the first year of this blog. That type of "motivation" does not work for me. I learned that when I focus on my failures I feel like a failure and I crumble. This leaves me feeling a bit torn right now. I want to recognize that I'm not doing great with my financial plan but I also want to recognize what I am doing well. Positive reinforcement seems to be what motivates me.

On the down side my average daily spending for 2013 is: $14.79

On the up side:
I have not been purchasing coffee shop coffee. I think I've finally broke this horrible habit/ addiction.
Outside of the $12 a day budget expenses for my son are going down; he's no longer drinking formula.
I'm learning to shop less with the NO SPEND challenge and it's helping me to spend less too.
I've been bringing food to work with me pretty regularly.
We've been eating out MUCH much less.
Although my husband hasn't changed his spending habits much he does seem to be more understanding of my frugal decisions. This is a HUGE step in the right direction.
I'm up to 19 NO SPEND days this year.
I'm growing, moving forward, baby stepping my way up; I am winning!
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Wrapping up week one of April

Yowzers and oops.

Okay so I don't think it's horrific but my $9 a day in April just went to about $13. And my "things" purchases jumped from 10 this year to 13.

I bought some socks for my kiddo. I got a birthday present for my sister. I purchased a fan for my son's room; hoping it will help him sleep better. He's been having a TERRIBLE time sleeping since he got sick (it's been over two weeks now). He's mostly better, it seems, but still not sleeping well. I took advantage of the clearance Easter candy. I bought enough food to last thru Monday. And wala, $9 goes to $13.

I've been bombing on the NO SPEND days too but there is a silver lining to that rain cloud. At least when I plan a NO SPEND day I do not buy any food at work. I don't buy any groceries. I don't buy any little unnecessary luxuries, like chocolate. My no spend bombs have so far always been something that's not even apart of my $12 a day budget; like goats milk for my son (because the store I was at had run out and I ended up having to pick some up the next day), or gasoline for the car because there wasn't enough money in the bank on Wednesday when I bought groceries and then on my planned Thursday NO SPEND when we got paid I had to buy gas. And one of my NO SPEND bombs was because my husband brought home some food item... that does come out of the $12 a day though.

Different bloggers have different criteria for a NO SPEND. Just to clarify any spending, anything I buy, purchase, have to pay for disqualifies a NO SPEND. I do set automatic payments online for all of our bills each month. I do not pay super close attention to what days those payments come out of the account because it's already factored into my monthly budget SO if I do not buy anything on a Monday and my mortgage payment goes through on said Monday that is still a NO SPEND day. I did not "buy" anything. In other words bills do not count. Everything else does. I cannot think of one single exception. I guess none of that really needed to be clarified but I have been talking about NO SPEND days ALOT lately... they've really been helping me keep my spending down; giving me a bit more of a feasible goal to shoot for on a regular basis and so that is that.

Average daily spending for April: $13.63

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Few Good Days

Average daily spending for April: $9.34

AND I'm planning a NO SPEND day for tomorrow!

Yeah, yeah we're only three days in but SO FAR SO GOOD.
I am planning a $20 purchase (on top of groceries) on Friday and hoping this great start will help cover some of that.

Woohoo  : )

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Debt Quote Tuesday/ $11 a Day

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

My average daily spending for the year is up to $14.65. That's $212 over budget for the year. One might say "Ah, $212 that's not so bad." But I'd have to cut almost $1 a day out of my budget for the rest of the year in order to catch that back up. A dollar a day, I'm learning is actually quite a lot of money.

Today I will take advice from Emerson and start a new. Today is a new day! I'm going to attempt $11 a day spending for the month of April. I may be up to a $14.65 average but that is in the past, now begins the future. Onward and upwards we go.

Thanks so much everyone for all the comments on the Easter basket post. You guys are awesome!

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 1, 2013


I love the fresh start that comes with the beginning of each month. At least I pretend it's a fresh start.
At present I'm feeling compelled to make a long list of everything I'd like to accomplish this month BUT I'm going to start out slow.

As I mentioned before, money is abnormally tight around here. The main thing I need to do is keep track of the pennies. I don't want to go into overdraft a billion times this month. I don't want to get to that point, a point I'm used to arriving at, where all of the sudden we're $300 over budget for the month and I have to pull money from each credit card payment. I'm paying the minimums this month and it still doesn't look like we have enough SO going $300 over budget is NOT an option.

So, for April my main objective is to be a grown up, a responsible grown up.
Along with that I need to work with my husband; keep him on track and informed monetarily speaking. Going way over the household monthly budget is not usually my doing.
I'm also going to attempt to not buy food at work.
I really enjoyed the every other day NO SPEND challenge these past two weeks so I will try to keep that up for all of this month too. 32 NO SPEND days by the end of April would be pretty cool. Gee, 30 would be great.
And I want to get my average daily spending down a bit this month. That means spending less than $12 a day. I've done it before. A little determination and planning will get me through.

Average daily spending: $14.83
I'm pretty happy that it's back under $15 a day. That was a bit scary. I do not want to go there again.
Oh, and I shopped today so tomorrow "should" be a NO SPEND. Nice!

So What if I am Cheap

I was contemplating whether to blog about it but it's been on my mind... this saving money, financial responsibility, and also spending wisely route is an odd one. Controversial even.

Yesterday was Easter. I spent all of March looking at Easter baskets and little trinkets at the store. I almost bought a basket. Then it dawned on me that there was defiantly an old one upstairs. I have mine from when I was a kid (my mom always used the same baskets for us kids each year). Next came the fillings. I kept looking at little toys, picking things in my mind that would be perfect, and then deciding that he just didn't need any of them.

I ended up buying two greeting cards and getting a stuffed bunny for free (a birthday card for my hubby and a wedding card for a friend). It's the cutest bunny and my boy LOVES stuffies. Then I decided to get him that water bottle. He really likes mine and I thought he'd enjoy having his own little kid one. When I went upstairs to get the basket I found a few little hand-me-down books that a friend had given us. I forgot about them so they were new, sort of. They were quite perfect being very springy. There's a bunny, a bee, and a duck one. I also put a few empty plastic eggs in his basket.

I thought I'd done a very good job. I only spent $13 for the entire basket (on the water bottle) and he was really excited about his basket. He loves the bunny, the bottle, the books, and he's been playing with the empty eggs constantly. For a one year old anything new is so exciting.

WELL, we went to my sister in laws house for Easter dinner. She has a little boy who's 2 months younger than my son. He was playing with all these new toys, and they kept saying, "he got that in his Easter basket." Honestly, I think they spent $60 on his Easter basket (maybe not that much). At one point after all the, "he got that in his..." My husband says, "Abner just got a water bottle and some old books." I felt so very insulted. I had put TONS of thought into that "cheap" basket. And my son has really been enjoying everything in it.

Okay, my husband has since apologized for seemingly insulting me. Believe it or not he is starting to get it. He said he didn't mean to hurt my feelings and that I did a very good job with our boy's first basket. But to a normal person I'm a freak. I bought ONE thing for my son's first Easter basket. That could be bad parenting in some circles. (I know some people don't do baskets (that's NOT what it's about) but my mom always made Easter really neat for us and I want to pass down the tradition) I'm pretty secure now in my frugal decisions. My kid doesn't need a bunch of new expensive things. He's a VERY happy little boy. I don't need reassurance that I'm making the right decisions; trying to get out of debt instead of spending money on fancy things. But I sure do seem like a freak to "normal" folks and I certainly felt like one last night.