Thursday, January 31, 2013

I did it! $372 for January.

$12 a day!

It feels so great to have actually accomplished a goal. There's $800 in the emergency fund. I lived off of $12 a day in January and February is looking to be a great month! Sweet success, ah.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Totals

January Spending Tally
$372: All spending minus baby necessities and gasoline.
$314.69: Gasoline and an oil change.
$227.79: Food for the baby, some advil, and wipes.

That's almost $30 a day. It's weird thinking about it that way. I work 8 hours a day. Two of those hours are just for the government/ taxes. Here you go government, my first two hours of every work day just for you! Three of the 8 hours pay for the above list; basic necessities really. That leaves about three hours of each work day for bills. I really don't think I like those ratios. hmmm

Average daily spending: $12.12
I've $8.49 left in the cash envelope for tomorrow. I got this!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Debt Quote Tuesday/ Two More Days

Adults devise a plan and follow it. Children do what feels good. Grow up...
-Dave Ramsey
Trying to follow the plan here. Trying, trying, tuh   Rye   ING!

Average daily spending: $12.42
$11.86 left for the next two days and I'll have averaged $12 a day for the entire month of January. SOOOOOO close!

Today's Lovely: Thick dense awesome fog. The entire world was black and grey, transformed into a foreign land. The leafless black tree tops were staggered through layers and layers of clouds resting on the ground. At times I felt like I was venturing through a Louisiana swamp or a painting. I was far from home, from the roads I travel weekly. I love those moments when life carries you off to magical place out of the ordinary and the world seems new.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Monday

One day at a time.
One step closer.

Average daily spending: $12.68
$16.90 left in the cash envelope for the next three days.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Four Days Left

Ready or not here comes February. I pulled off an accidental NO SPEND today. My husband was supposed to bring home milk but he forgot. Our spaghetti dinner was the tastiest I've ever had. It's amazing how incredibly delicious food is when you're accomplishing a much desired task while consuming it.

I've 4 goals for February
1.) Turn my focus towards my other half.
He does not have any interest in the budget but I need to try much, much harder to keep him in the loop. I need to physically write up a weekly budget that I can give him so he at least knows what's coming in, what's going out, what bill is getting paid when. He might not care, but knowing will help him understand where we are at least. I also want to go the extra mile to make him feel special. Griping, whining, pestering... not the greatest tools in strengthening a marriage. I have been frustrated with him for not caring but "you catch more flies with honey."
2.) Stick to $12 a day.
3.) $1000 in the emergency fund. I am SOOOO close. Also, I'm still going to reward myself with Bewley's Irish tea and Ackroyd's Scottish meat pies once I reach this goal.
4.) Snowball, snowflake, snowball the littlest credit card. There's absolutely no good reason for our smallest card to have a balance left on it come March. I want to put every extra penny towards that card in February (after the emergency fund is full).

Average daily spending: $12.82
$25.67 left for the next four days.

Fun, fun, fun!

Me: So you know how I've REALLY been trying to stick to the $12 a day budget?
Hubby: Yeah (said with so much enthusiasm and interest)
Me: Ok, well you know how there's basically no food in the house?
Hubby: Uh, YEAH! There's nothing!
Me: Well I really, really, really want to stick to the budget but we only have $25.67 left for the next five days... can we please, please, please eat really cheap for the next 5 days???
Hubby: Are you serious? Isn't that what we've been doing?
Me: Uh, NO! We haven't even come close to "cheap" eating.
Hubby: <grumble, grumble, losing all interest in this conversation >
Me: Ok, lets just start with tomorrow then. Can we please eat spaghetti tomorrow? Please? We have everything for spaghetti.
Hubby: <grumble, grumble> Okay.

Oh my goodness, my life is SOOOO fascinating!
By the way have I mentioned that I hate money?!?!?

Honestly, for all who've recently asked: no he really is not on bored with the budget. I truly believe he couldn't care less about getting out of debt. I do what I can. I try not to drive him insane. But I'm not going to give up doing what's right just because of his disinterest. He might not care, but I'm not living this way a day longer than I have to. No matter how hard you try you can not make someone want something. I just have to work with him/ work around him/ do what I am able to do and hope for some agreement from the other half.

AND thank-you all for your kind comments yesterday. I am bummed about not meeting the $1000 goal for January but it is just around the corner. I will get there. Thank-you for your support!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Five More Days

Hubby brought home lunch today. I guess that was nice of him but it also blows $12 a day out of the water. $16.08 for lunch. Yikes.

Average daily spending: $13.32

If I want to come in at $12 a day for the month of January I have $25.67 left for the next five days. There is hardly any food in the house, no milk, no eggs, no cheese, no bread, no veggies, no fruit, no meat... we're about out of everything but for some reason I feel like $25.67 for five days is do-able. hmm

Another harsh reality that I'm having a very difficult time coming to terms with: I don't see anyway to get a full $1000 in the emergency fund this month. I was sure I'd make it but one of the family members went considerably over the money I'd budgeted for his spending. After a beer festival, two stops at a gourmet store that he learned of at the beer festival (who can live without chocolate stout), and a punk show, well he broke the bank. I am not complaining about him. He is allowed to spend money. We aren't hurting financially. All the bills have been paid on time. We haven't used overdraft at all. But the $500 I'd slotted for the emergency fund has dwindled down to about $350. Ugh! I'm really, REALLY, really bad at meeting my goals. If I were a runner I think I'd always come in 5th place. I'd get to the finish line and I'd get there pretty fast but I would not win.

Who knows though. I think he worked a tiny bit of overtime and I think my check MIGHT be a bit more than I'd budgeted. Maybe I'll squeak it out... Oh, $1000 emergency fund I want you so badly!!!

Merry Christmas

This Christmas my mother in law wised up and decided not to give me cash. She always gives cash which I love but she figured out that I spend it on bills, or debt, or much needed items. To me this is a great gift but it certainly isn't glamours. So this year I received a coffee maker and a gift card to a craft store.

The gift card just came in handy. Last weekend my son colored a picture for the very first time. The lovely piece of art is now displayed within a frame along with a photo of him coloring it. This is a wonderful keepsake and it only cost me 40 cents. I had to buy the wallet print.

I LOVE IT!!! He only tried to eat two crayons    : )

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekend Homebody

I got all Ice Road Trucker today; drove over three hours in a blizzard, 14 degrees (-10 Celsius) and  slick, slick, icy roads. Fun, fun.

And then I had one of "those" days. Maybe adrenaline causes the need to make purchases? I wanted to buy EVERYTHING! It was weird. I needed new socks, my husband needed new socks, there were some really cute baby shoes, ooh a new bathroom rug, FRESH FLOWERS yeah, this big bin that looked like it'd be fun for Abe to play in, books, toys, car cleaner wipes... I was even tempted by a three pack of toilet bowl cleaner that we don't need right now. I really just wanted to buy, buy, buy. But I didn't. I'm so glad I can say that.

Ah, it's the weekend. This week seemed so long. I think I'll be staying in for awhile. No more driving for me!

Average daily spending: $13.21

Thursday, January 24, 2013


It only took 5 years... wait, nope I think it's been 6 years now but I finally got a little raise. I don't even care how small it is. It's sort of the principle of the thing. Hooray!

I'm pretty sure my little raise will cancel out the tax hike (for our total household income) that went into effect January first. Works for me!

Average daily spending for the year so far: $13.16
Uh, not happy that it's back over 12 again but I am trying.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Average daily spending so far this year: $12.83

not bad.

Today's lovely: Lots and lots and lots and lots and tons of beautiful, dangerous, cold, GORGEOUS snow; blankets, and sheets, and clean fluffy white mountains of snow. I've always been amazed at how such a tiny little flake can so completely transform the world into an entirely new place. Lovely!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January is Almost Over

$1000 Emergency Fund
$1000 Emergency Fund
$1000 Emergency Fund
$1000 Emergency Fund
$1000 Emergency Fund
$1000 Emergency Fund
$1000 Emergency Fund
baby step, baby step, baby step
so, so, so, so, close.

Average daily spending so far this year: $12.87

Nite is in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: variant of night,
and I like it.


Monday, January 21, 2013

OH Happy Monday

Feeling a little deflated.

Husband: We HAVE to go out to eat tonite!!!
Me: Uh, no. You spent way too much on Saturday. Why do we have to go out to eat?
Husband: I can't stand this eating at home thing any longer!
Me: Do you seriously think we're made of money? I do not want to go into overdraft.
Husband: grr

Seriously, I don't enjoy cooking dinner when I get home at 7pm and I'm not trying to torture my husband. I do want him to be happy. I've been trying my hardest to make a wide variety of different meals. Bacon, eggs, and potatoes, ground chicken burgers, turkey bacon and cheese quiche, spaghetti, pot roast, mini meat loaves, grilled cheese and tomato soup, taco salad, homebaked mac 'n' cheese... I've been putting a ton of thought into not making the same cheap dinner every night. I've actually been enjoying all of them. Apparently not eating out at least 3 nights a week is torture though. I just don't feel like I'm strong enough to constantly win this fight. I don't want to always be the bad guy.

BUT, but, but we did not eat out tonite. I didn't buy any food while working. I spent a whole $3.69 today. I've been out of coffee for three days and I'm drinking tea so that I can get back on budget. At least I'm still knocking out the little wins. I don't feel too great right now BUT I'm still baby steppin.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $13.10

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Um, Maybe... well, uhhhh...

Well I called it. He got home from work, said hi to the baby, the doggies and me AND THEN, "let's go to the Mexican restaurant!" I said no. AND THEN, "come on, why not, aren't you hungry?" Ugh, I almost said yes but no, I stuck to my guns.

It wasn't because, "oh, I don't want to spend money." It wasn't because, "ugh, that will put us WAY over the $12 a day... soo not in the budget!" It certainly wasn't because, "Ah I really don't want to eat out. Making dinner and eating at home sounds so much better." NO, no, no it was because of all the support I get from you lovely folks. I thought of my dear friend Ieva who's been trucking along with me on this adventure. I thought of Ireland who said, "I'm definitely trying to follow your example." I thought of Bryallen, Outmywindow, Lena, Jean, Lottebees, Hawaii Planner, Theresa, Jessica, Grace, Slugmama, Jenny, AbsentmindedmotherdebtperceptionMeab-dotdoodlebugmom (there are way too many of you to list but these folks are regular commentors)... in that moment I thought of ALL of you that have been taking your time to listen to me ramble on and on about food and money and I said, "no, I will not go out to eat tonite dog gone it!!!"

I'll tell you what, tonite I was eating my homemade ground turkey low sodium taco salad in a freshly baked flour tortilla bowl and I felt so incredibly accomplished and proud. I realized that no matter how delicious the dinner at the Mexican restaurant would have been I would have eaten it with guilt, knowing that right now we don't have the money for that. Close call! Thank-you guys, thank-you.

NO SPEND #5, check!


I'm shooting for the 5th NO SPEND of the year today. Once again it should be easy. I have no desire to go out and buy anything. It finally looks a bit like winter outside and I'm completely content staying home all day today. The only issue I'd have is if hubby begs for food out tonite. I can see that happening but he also just spent a ton of money on himself yesterday so I think I can easily say "sorry we're eating taco salads at home tonite buddy."

I calculated what it would take for me to be back on track with $12 a day by Thursday, our financial weeks beginning, and it's serious. I only have $4.57 for the next 4 days (we'll call it 3 if I pull off a NO SPEND today). That's harsh. It'd be amazing if I could squeak by on that but realistically doubtful. I'm thinking: do not buy any food at work next week, definitely do not eat out, don't run out of toilet paper, and eat lots of eggs for dinner and we could pull that off. Maybe I should try to be at $12.50 a day by Thursday.

We'll see.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $13.57

I turned comment moderation on. I've been getting a ton of spam. Blogger is really good about weeding it out but some of it has been very dirty and I don't want it to accidentally end up on my blog in case blogger misses it. So, I'm moderating now.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hard Working Pennies

Today was a success! My brain feels a bit let mushy. The dishes have all been washed and NO SPEND number 4 for the year is done.

Last nite I was listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio during my drive home from work. A lady with a household income of over $450,000 a year called in to ask about a good way to pay off her mortgage faster. At one point she tried to justify not having much money left over at the end of the month once all the "necessities" had been taken care of. Dave basically laughed at her and then told her she was spoiled rotten. He said something along the lines of, I don't care what your expenses are you should have A LOT left over on that kind of income. Dave is VERY wealthy so he was not making fun of her for being rich but he was slightly disgusted that she was trying to prioritize obvious wasteful spending over paying off her house... that was her goal after all.

It got me to thinking about frugality. This year I've really been enjoying "trying" to spend as little as possible. During 2010 when I first did my "not buying stuff" exercise I really enjoyed (after the first few months) not acquiring things. Now that I've finally accepted that we really do need an emergency fund, yes it only took three years to come to terms with this, I'm excited about having real money in the bank to pay for visits from Murphy. At this point in the journey I like to think that after the debts are gone, after the house is paid for, after we're living in entirely different circumstances I'll still be smart with money, frugal even.

Our income for 2012 will most likely be under $50,000. It's tax time so the actual numbers for 2012 will be in anytime. But if we didn't have any debt, or a car payment, or the equity line, I'll just consider that a mortgage is normal so I won't rule that out, Oh my goodness we'd be rich. Seriously we'd have more money each month than we'd know what to do with. The thing is that no matter what your circumstances are you get used to a standard of living. That lady on the radio is used to a $450,000 standard of living (probably they spend more than that each year). We're pretty acclimated to about $37,000 a year to live off of (once the debt payments have gone out each month). An extra $13,000 a year to spend however we'd like would be absurd, but that's what we're actually making. That's what we're actually paying to creditors.

More and more I'm falling in love with the idea of frugal living, responsible thought out spending, and making your money matter. The pennies add up. The $2, $5, $13 here and there can take a person from a $37,000 lifestyle to $50,000 in a heart beat. You have to think about where those pennies are going. I'm not poor but I do want to be responsible with my pennies.

That Poor Feeling... Just eat Cookies

I started this Saturday by making sugar cookies. I'm shooting for a NO SPEND today and sugary goodness always gives me a little extra strength. As long as I don't venture out for a frivolous purchase like coffee or a pizza it should be an easy accomplishment. I believe I have enough groceries at home for about 3 days. Maybe Sunday can be a NO SPEND as well. I really enjoy not spending money. It just feels really good to know that I'm one day closer to financial freedom, to the little goals; like this months emergency fund goal. I wish I never had to spend money.

Wednesday I was really struggling with that "poor" feeling. I realized that part of the reason I haven't been struggling quite so much this year with wanting, needing, having to acquire, is because I haven't been feeling poor. I think in the past a lot of my drive to not spend was due to knowing we just don't have the finances. That really creates this feeling of void. And I think it strengthens the urges to "have" whether it be food or new clothes, you just don't want to feel poor. You want to feel full. This year I've been refraining from spending so much because I don't want to spend, not because I'm not allowed to. This makes a big difference mentally.

Maybe I shouldn't ask as often, "do I need it... can I live without it?" but rather, "do I REALLY want it?" It's not really all about depriving myself for the bigger picture but making wise decisions for the bigger picture. There is a difference.

Average daily spending this year: $14.29
That dog food is still socking it to me. I'll bounce back.

Still on track for $1000 in the emergency fund by January 31st! woohoo

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Wonderful Adventure of Life

Is it really the weekend?

I honestly am incapable of working a 40 hour week and maintaining sanity (and you do NOT want to see the dirty dishes all over the kitchen). My hours at work have been slower for several months. The past two weeks are the first I've worked 40 hours in a long time and while I'm excited to get a normal paycheck I feel like my brain has exploded within my head. I want to go over yesterday and today's spending, which isn't great but I don't think I can even add right now.

Well, it IS the weekend. My brain will now have a few days to try and piece itself back together. The sunset this evening (which I was able to enjoy from within my FREEZING cold vehicle (why was I certain that freezing had 2 Z's?) on my last break) was fabulous! Even though my husband was freaking out when I got home because apparently my son hadn't had a nap for over seven hours and he too was freaking out it was really nice to hold my boy, calm him down, and rock him to sleep while singing twinkle twinkle pretty much the minute I walked in the front door. The groceries that I purchased (also while taking my last break... ok it was my only break today) had to wait by the front door until little man was fast asleep. Of course Bozzy dog thought he should snack on the bag of frozen peas. But with a brain of mush Bozzy trying to eat frozen peas... I should rephrase that: he has no front teeth because of his gum disease, but this impairment makes opening plastic bags of frozen peas quite difficult. So with a brain of mush watching Bozzy trying to open a bag of frozen peas was really just humorous; icing to a long, long week.

It's only 7:30PM but I should wish you all a good-nite! Or maybe I should wash some dishes?

Average daily spending so far this year: ????
I really have no clue : (

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This cold is really kicking my butt. I'm too exhausted to think but I'm starting to feel better, tomorrow is Friday, and the weekend is SO close!

On another note we paid the mortgage on time, made it to payday, and did not go into overdraft. Close call. Now $300 is on its way back into the emergency fund.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Debt Quote Tuesday

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
-Henry David Thoreau
I love Thoreau. Simplify, simplify! Good advice.

I finally bought the dog food so my average spending is up a bit but I didn't buy the rug I had placed in my cart and started to walk to check out with.

Today I threw away our old rug at the entry way. I really liked it. We'd had it for a long time but the backing on it was falling apart (just shredded really) and baby Abe had gotten one piece of it in his mouth the other day. I knew it was time to wish it farewell. But I really want a rug at the entry way to keep some dirt and water from getting tracked in and also to cover the cord my husband has running around the living room for the surround sound. I saw one at the store that I decided I needed. I placed it in the cart and was totally intent on going over budget to get that rug. As I carted it around I realized that this one purchase might put us into overdraft (it would have). I transferred money from savings to cover the Mortgage but I didn't give us a cushion. I only transferred what was needed. That rug was not "needed."

I do intend to replace the entryway rug, eventually. But today I'm happy that patience won out over impulse. I imagine we can live without that rug until we can afford another one. Little steps. Little victories. This year is going well!

Average daily spending so far: $13.35

Off to make dinner; Spaghetti. I can't ruin that one.

Cashin It

My $12 a day Cash "Envelope"
I think I'm actually starting to like using cash. So far this year we've done really well with the cash envelope system. Except I'm not using an envelope. I'm using an empty toffee container. It just makes me happy.

It's really nice checking the bank account and having no activity. It's REALLY nice. Remember when you'd go to check the account while hoping, hoping, hoping that there was still some money in there, or that overdraft hadn't kicked in because you (or your spouse) had spent too much? I remember!

Wishing all a very lovely Tuesday!

Monday, January 14, 2013

3 out of 100


Can you tell I'm excited? I resisted purchasing several things today. I am not feeling well at all (stupid dumb cold caught me) and I had a big reset at work. I kept wanting to buy little things while I was working but I survived, much to my surprise. Yay!

Average daily spending so far: $12.04

Today's Lovely: This guy right here

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thank-you Compassionate Conscientious Coupon Costumer

I just got back from the grocery store. I had to buy formula which I hate buying in the first place AND it's crazy expensive.* I got to the check out and whoa was the store busy. There were 15 items in my cart and granted I'm really REALLY fast at self check out. I do it everyday and I feel like a pro at it. I'm like lightening. Even so I hate it when people go thru the express lanes with more than 12 items (because most people move like turtles when they're checking out). I got into one of the LONG regular lanes. But I caved. I quickly back tracked and hopped into the self check out express lane. There were actually 4 of them open even though the regular lanes were swamped. Well to my surprise and sheer delight there was a $5 off formula coupon sitting on top of the lane. It was for the same formula I was buying. A box for $34.99 that's been lasting us about a week when someone doesn't decide to feed my child 20 bottles in 4 hours was now only $29.99. Oh, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you whoever you are!!! $5 just sitting there seems like a prize. $5 is soooo much money to me. Super Yay!

I've been noticing it alot lately. People actually leave coupons all over the store for stuff they aren't buying but have coupons for. It's really neat. It seems fairly new (or maybe I'm just noticing now). Normally I'd throw random pieces of paper away, I mean straightening up the store and making the stock look good is the main part of my job but nope, I never throw the randomly placed coupons away. Those babies are money. $5 cash (that I didn't have to take out of my spending envelope) in my case!

Average daily spending for the year so far: $12.96

My average spending is a bit up but I'm planning two NO SPENDs in a row and I did just get some dumb stock up items; toothpaste, toilet paper, ice cream bars : )
Here's hoping for 2 NO SPENDs!

*I know, who in the world buys formula when you're trying to stick to such a tight budget and pay off debts. Well it's a touchy subject for me and I must comment. I did nurse for 8 months. I wanted with all my heart to make it a year. I never made alot of milk. Like I was never sore like everyone says they get. I had to feed my little guy ALL THE TIME for the first few months and he was still really fussy, which a lot of people were suggesting was because he wasn't getting enough food. Once I returned to work I still nursed and pumped all the time. I didn't have one single real break for 5 months and I got really good at pumping while I drove. Yeah, probably not safe but it is what it is. Slowly the milk just came in less and less and less no matter what I did. By the 8th month there wasn't hardly any no matter what I did. It was heart breaking. I always knew I'd nurse my baby. I never ever thought there'd be a problem. But he completely weaned himself by 8 months old. He just wasn't getting anything. It kind of makes me mad. It totally makes me sad but I just have to tell myself, "I have a very healthy, happy baby boy, and I tried my hardest." Now I'm buying formula for $34.99 a box every week. Yipee.

Sunday Ramble

This past week at work after having a week off was exhausting. It's really difficult juggling all the balls; cleaning, shopping, cooking, budgeting and bill paying, baby watching, sleeping, and being gone for work almost 50 hours a week. I am not superwoman. Cooking when I get home from work is the last thing I want to do. Preparing a lunch to bring with each morning is not on the top of my priorities list. On the weekends I really just want to rest and spend time with baby BUT if I plan a little each weekend the week will be much more successful.

I'm going to do another cupboard check today, list what food we have, and come up with meals for this week. That worked really well last week. Planning takes a little extra effort but it's so helpful. I hate planning. I love procrastinating. 

My short term goal is to cut 8 hours out of my work schedule. At present my husband doesn't think it's a good idea but I'm believing that VERY soon I'll be home with my boy a little bit more each week (and at work a little bit less).

Oh, I asked for a raise again. They took the raise "freeze" off apparently. We'll see how it goes this time. The only thing that's worrying me is that currently I do not have a cell phone. We used to use a small handheld computer to report our work throughout the day. Now we use a smart phone (just for the computer aspect, there's no cell service on it). Well apparently every rep but me has their own. I use the companies phone. They really want me to get a phone of my own but they can't really make me get my own personal phone for work purposes. I'm pretty sure they're going to agree to a raise only if I get my own phone. I'm not happy about that but again, we'll see.

Sunday Plan to Make the Week go Smoother
Buy the dog food, baby food, and formula for the week.
Vacuum, which makes life feel cleaner, simpler, and happy.
Return the deposit bottles (or I'll think about it every day until I do).
Put together a list of possible meals for the week and stock up for at least 3 of them.
Drop off the purge items at Goodwill.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pot Roast is not my Friend

I tried again today, not that I've been horribly unsuccessful with crock pot roast before. But that last one that we couldn't eat was so tender and juicy and the one I made today was like leather. I don't think I should cook, ever. Of course my husband didn't even eat any. He picked up tacos about three hours before the roast was done. Now he's lying on the living room floor sound asleep. Super dry pot roast is not on his agenda. Now I've got a ton of leftovers to eat all on my own.

Needless to say, it's going to be a long time before I make pot roast again.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $11.78

Today's lovely: 55 degree day in January... WHAT!?!?! My boy and I went for a little walk. It was SOOOOO wonderful just being outdoors.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Haven't bought the dog food yet but so far so good. 

Average daily spending for the year so far: $11.07

Today's lovely: I love my husband.

Emergency Fund

This is a little funny story.

Our mortgage is due on Wednesday next week but we get paid on Thursday. If I pay the mortgage on Thursday there will be a late fee. In order to pay on Wednesday I'd have to use the overdraft and pay an overdraft fee. I figured it out and the overdraft fee would be less than the late mortgage payment fee and I guess it's better not to pay the mortgage late.

Ok, so I've been working out the best scenario for this situation in my mind for at least a week until today when it dawned on me that I have $460 in the emergency fund. I guess that paying the mortgage on time isn't quite an emergency but really I'm laughing at myself for not having thought of it earlier: Use $300 from our emergency fund to pay the mortgage on time and the very next day put the $300 right back into the emergency fund. No fees. Mortgage gets paid on time. And even though I'll be using our emergency fund it will only be for one day. We've lived paycheck to paycheck for so long that using money from savings for this little dilemma didn't even cross my mind.

I guess having an emergency fund isn't such a bad thing after all   : )

Thursday, January 10, 2013

coffee coffee coffee

Today was a bit rougher. Two days a week I leave for work and my husband is home with the baby. I don't mind leaving for work at all when my son is with his daddy. In fact I like them spending time together without me. The other three days my mother in law comes over and watches baby Abe. I'm SOOOO glad he's not in day care and that he gets to spend three days with his Grandma but it's difficult leaving his with anyone other than his daddy.

I was feeling emotional at work all day, a bit depressed, and it was a late day (didn't get home until 7:30PM) which always drags on sooo much. I wanted to buy everything, and eat, and eat, and eat. I'd pretty much decided that I would purchase the dreaded money eater "Starbucks mocha" on my first break until I came up with a little compromise. I did buy a coffee (the first one I've purchased this year) but a plain black $1.75 cup of coffee and a chocolate bar to accompany it. My little indulgence costs about half of what the mocha would have and quite frankly was just as enjoyable if not more... Oh my gosh I just realized I had a Starbucks gift card in my wallet all day. grrr

All in all I experienced a long, dragging, draining day... but it's Thursday and the weekend is just a day away; two whole days with my boy. I cooked dinner at home, AGAIN. I'm quite proud of myself for this regular accomplishment thus far this year. And I spent very little, again. I took this week's spending cash out of the bank and my cash envelope is ready to go. I know that VERY soon I'll be purchasing two bags of dog food and I want to be able to stay within $12 a day despite the upcoming expense. In 2010 whenever I was doing well the darn dog food would always creep up and ruin it for me. I'm planning a bit better this year I think.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $10.42

Off to bed!

Today's lovely: Quite late dinner of home baked Mac'n'cheese (my Grandma's recipe).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

This Week

Tomorrow is the start of a new financial week for us. I thought today I'd do a weekly update.

This week I:
accomplished two no spend days
successfully stuck to budget and used cash for purchases
used up food we had that was close to expiring
brought lunches to work and didn't purchase any coffee
got rid of one un-used item a day from our home
am on track to get $1000 in the emergency fund before February

I've also been having a much easier go at sticking to the budget and spending wisely than I've had in a LONG time. Granted it's a new year and I've got a little extra umph pushing me along, but I feel like having one really attainable goal, "$1000 in the bank" sitting right out in front of me is helping so much. Hopefully if I'm able to continue setting encouraging attainable monthly goals like that then I'll be able to keep really chugging along this year. We shall see.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $10.67

Today's lovely: Do you ever find yourself happening upon an aroma that instantly (if just for a brief moment) transports you to a place, a time, a memory that makes your heart sing? This morning for only a second or two I traveled a dusty winding road in the hills of Guatemala, smelling ash from the little fires burning in tiny rickety homes spotting the gorgeous mountains.
Standing on a Guatemalan Mountaintop

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Debt Quote Tuesday Shopping Adventure

I almost forgot it was Tuesday.
Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose - not the one you began with perhaps, but one you'll be glad to remember.
-Ben Stein
Before leaving the store today/ work I made up a grocery list of  stuff we would need over the next few days. I had $12.35 to spend today in order to stick to my $12 a day budget. I picked up a few things and realized I was a bit over $12.35. I changed out the cheese in my cart for a cheaper bag. Then I put a different thing back. Then I chose another one. I walked back and forth through the store several different times trying to get what I could, enough at least for food tonite and food tomorrow. It was challenging but exhilarating too. I felt so accomplished checking out with my handful of items. I was victorious. The other shoppers around me had no way of knowing that I was a conqueror reveling in my plunder but I knew it and it was GREAT!

I'm going to shoot for a NO SPEND tomorrow. I think we have enough food to squeak out two mores days but I'll at least try and accomplish one NO SPEND... baby steps.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $12 a day

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lovely Monday

Ah, Monday morning (succeeding a VERY wakeful night with a fussy babe). The first day back to work after 9 days off. Yep... It only took about 7 attempts to leave the house this morning before I really departed. I packed a lunch, made sure to drink ALOT of coffee and brought a water bottle with me. Today progressed surprisingly well. And the only purchase was some frozen yogurt for myself and the hubby.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $11.95

                                                          Week one of 2013: CHECK

Today's Lovelies:
*Filling the tank before gas jumped 32 cents a gallon.
*Brilliant sunshine smiling upon the cold dreary wintry world.
*A proud solitary tree that stood alone in a spacious field. I love those trees.
*A silly short old man with a bushy grey beard hoping to "help" me with my job by offering antics. Then exchanging fun stories about his niece and my little boy. Strangers spreading joy... lovely!

*Best of all, tickling my son and watching him giggle when I arrived home from work.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Almost One Week Down

NO SPEND number one under the belt!
shooting for 100

I have never had such tasty quiche in all my life but I honestly think it's because I'm so proud of myself for cooking at home all this week, for sticking to the budget, for blogging everyday again, and for devising a plan and thus far following along with it. 

As for that little roma (a few of you left thoughtful comments about it). I'm going to make ground chicken hamburgers in a day or two so that those 4 hamburger buns don't get thrown out. I'll chop up the tomato to top off the burgers.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $12.69

Cupboard Check

Well that was surprisingly delightful. We have a lot of food in the house that I was completely unaware of. Like macaroni and spaghetti noodles, taco seasoning, hamburger buns, tuna fish, and some Spanish rice. I think I can quite easily pull off a NO SPEND today and tomorrow. Plus I now have several meals in mind that I just need to pick up one or two things for to get us through this week.

I don't know if it's going to be possible to come anywhere near $12 a day this year. Purchasing things like Dog food, Cat food, toiletries, and gifts for people is really going to push the envelope. We will be under the $12 a day budget for this first week. I'm so happy about that. It's just such a wonderful way to start the year. I'm currently looking forward to the challenge, feeling good about these first 6 days, and trying to psych myself up for a difficult but potentially very rewarding road ahead.

My goal is to come as close as I can to $12 a day average and as close as I can to $15000 in credit card debt by the end of 2013. $1000 emergency fund in January... I hope so. Get that debt snowball rolling again... yes please! Enjoying family, lovelies, and victories... sounds good. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing where this year takes us.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Junk... Food

Yesterday I took out the spending cash from the ATM. Today I purchased a few groceries. I'm planning a NO SPEND for tomorrow so I'm going to count today's spending as two days for my daily average. If I'm super diligent I might be able to pull off a NO SPEND on Monday too.

Despite the small amount of food I keep in the house I really need to pay attention to what we have and use what we have. A little extra effort in this area will save ALOT of money and prevent so much waste. I throw away so much food because I forget about it and it goes bad. Like right now we have one Roma in the fridge. If I don't plan something for that little guy I know I'll be throwing it away shortly. This year I really really really don't want to throw away food. I wish there were a way to track how much food I've thrown away over the years and how much money it all amounted to. There's no way of knowing but I'm serious about this. NO MORE FOOD IN THE TRASH! That goes for leftovers too.

Tomorrow I will clean the fridge out and the cupboard and make a list of everything in the house and then give each item a purpose. On the menu for tomorrow: turkey bacon quiche and pineapple upside down cake. Is it horrible that I sometimes look forward to a day depending solely on what food will be in it? I do.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $12.69

New Year Challenges

I've yet to post a New Years Resolutions list. I like such lists but they're also very overwhelming. And sometimes I feel like my lists set me up to fail. I have been thinking though about a few different things that I'd really like to accomplish this year.

I LOVE writing Thanksgiving thank-you notes. It's one of my favorite things of the year. I also love sending out Christmas cards but these two time consuming favorites happen very close together. This year I'm challenging myself to write and address one thanksgiving thank-you every week until November. I won't seal or stamp the envelopes until Thanksgiving (that way I can read through them each if I'd like to come Thanksgiving). Then I can hand them or mail them all out when the time comes. As for my Christmas cards. I'd like to purchase about 60 stamps before December so I don't have to deal with that expense during the most expensive month of the year.

On that note Birthday cards and mail are just great. I want to mail one Birthday card a month this year. But it has to be homemade. I guess I really want to shine a little extra light into lives of people I care about this year.

Also, I love my 45 daily goals. I want to work on making habit out of my 45 daily goals.

I'd LOVE to get the Credit Card debt under $15500 and I'd like to shoot for 100 no spend days this year.

So basically my New Years resolution is to stick to a $12 a day budget and buy alot of stamps : )

Friday, January 4, 2013


My husband and I went to see The Hobbit today. It's the fourth time we've been out together, just the two of us since the babe came home (10 months ago). We picked up a pizza afterwards and still I'm under my $12 a day budget. So far so good! Yay

Average daily spending for the year so far: $11.68

Today's lovely: Singing and drumming/ pounding on a box with baby Abe. He loves to sing!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


According to the budget I've drawn up for this month I should have $1000 in the emergency fund by the end of January. It seems too good to be true and as usual I've drawn up a very tight budget.
It'll be a challenge but we can feasibly accomplish baby step one, $1000 in the bank this month.
That'd be so incredible! What a way to start the year.

Little things to help me stay on track:
Take this week's spending allowance out of the bank.
Only spend cash.
Stick to the budget and try to get hubby to as well.

Average daily spending for the year so far: $8.57

Today's lovely: Watching my son eat cheerios for the first time. He's such a big boy. I cannot believe how fast he's growing up.

Bottles of Water

Our financial week begins today.
I've decided I'm going to present the question each week to myself and my husband, "what one thing will you do to save money this week?"

She poses a very interesting question about banning small bottles of water. I stopped buying bottles of water a few years ago but I have been purchasing gallons of water (very cheap) here and there over the past year or so. This week (and from here on... with tiny exceptions like if I'm visiting Guatemala) in order to save money I will not purchase water for myself. I have nothing against tap water. It's pure laziness when I buy water. I just need to make sure to bring water to work with me. At most I think I spend $2.64 on gallons of water each week. BUT that's $137 a year. Uh, I think I can drink from the tap from now on.

What one thing can you do to save money this week?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Such a Spectacular Day... then Suddenly

I woke up nice and early, in a good mood. I have the week off of work and I'm pretending that I'm a stay at home mom this week. I put the pot roast and veggies in the crock pot first thing. I spent some quality time reading books to and laughing with my boy. I deep cleaned the bathroom. I haven't done that since before the baby came home, I know gross. Something about getting the toilet fixed yesterday inspired me to spruce the place up. And I'm a stay at home mom this week. Cleaning the bathroom just seemed practical. I even used an old toothbrush and steel wool to get the grime and hard to reach places. I've never done that before. It was rather invigorating.

Hubby had the day off too so it was nice being together AND getting along. We even utilized a gift certificate and had lunch in a nice little diner. It was pretty neat too since we were the only three in the quaint little restaurant. We learned that baby Abe like pickles. So fun. The only little dip that morning was when my  husband attempted to be nice and took us through the Starbucks drive through. I was planning a no spend day and I thought for a bit that I'd just put that Starbucks trip into his spending column for the week but I'm going to do the responsible thing and take it out of the $12 a day. It was for the both of us and he didn't know he was ruining a no spend. Putting that aside the house smelled so amazing when we got home. The pot roast aroma made me feel really good about myself.

When dinner time came around I scooped out the really tender awesome looking meat only to find that dang plastic thing they put under the meat in the container sitting in the crock pot. It cooked right in between the meat and veggies for over 8 hours. Needless to say my spectacular day turned to tears and a bit of a break down. My husband laughed at me while I stood at the back door holding a box of treats, trying to get the dog to come inside, while bawling about the ruined/ potentially poisoned pot roast. He say's "honey, do you  need me to get the dog? The neighbors are going to think you're crazy." My thought process went a little something like this: "almost $15 of food ruined, wasted, DESTROYED!... we have no dinner now... I'm a horrible stay at home mom... we have to spend money now... there's no way I'm cooking something after this ordeal... I'm a failure"

Hubby picked up the phone and tried to order out. The place didn't answer their phone (they've a bad habit of doing that). I sucked it up and made eggs and bacon. I actually cooked. We didn't spend money. The pot roast was ruined but now that we've food in our stomachs the evening wasn't really ruined after all. Ah, what a spectacular day <with tiny hints of sarcasm>.

Average daily spending for the year: $8.08

Two questions for the week
Do I need it?
Can I live without it?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Here we go!

January 1st 2013
We had to fix the toilet. Both of the bolts that secure it to the floor broke.
Ah, but my husband's Aunt and Uncle took us out for a very nice dinner.
I LOVE free dinner!

Average daily spending for the year: $9.03

Ok, so it's only been one day but it feels so good to be under $12 average daily spending.

: )

AND here we go!

Two questions for the week
Do I need it?
Can I live without it?

Debt Quote Tuesday Rice and Beans

"beans and rice. rice and beans."
-Dave Ramsey
Translated: live within your means, under your means infact. Get out of debt.

There STILL isn't $1000 in our emergency fund. That is the first step. Step number one in the Dave Ramsey plan and I have not accomplished it yet. (Granted I didn't attempt to for a long time)

GOAL: $1000 in the EF before the end of January
REWARD: Scottish Meat Pies from Ackroyds and Bewley's Irish breakfast tea.

I like rewards. Rewards might work for me.

Two questions for the week
Do I need it?
Can I live without it?

Today's lovely: waking up before the baby and drinking some coffee while reading a book.

Happy 2013!