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Archive for November, 2014

Getting back on track with food budget

November 19th, 2014 at 03:11 pm

Yesterday my partner and I independently came to the conclusion that we need to stop eating out so much. We both looked at what we've spent our money on in the past 30 days and both of us have spent an entire paycheck on food and drink (including groceries). That is absurd. To be fair, we went out of town one weekend and had guests for two weekends and that just is not normal for us. I am glad we are both on the same page now-it is hard to hold to your guns when the other is encouraging you to do something you'd like to do anyway.

I stopped at the grocery store for a quick top up trip. I am going to have to start planning better because I feel like I am always at Kroger. Today I bought olive oil, but when it rang up it was $2 more. Last time I was at Kroger my oranges rang up wrong but I didn't think it was worth the effort for 42 cents. Two dollars is apparently the magic number for me. They checked the price and since it was labeled wrong (or didn't ring up correctly?) I got the bottle for free. That felt pretty good.

Now we have a fridge literally full of leftovers plus all the fruit and milk and coffee we consume daily and I don't see the need to go out to eat for some time or to grocery shop until the weekend.

Spendy weekend

November 17th, 2014 at 06:29 pm

I had a very spendy weekend. I spent more yesterday alone than I did all of the previous week.

Winter is here and I am not a winter girl. I have decided to take a new approach this year and just embrace the cold. I am starting to upgrade my winter clothes so I won't be so miserable. I started with a jacket yesterday. I bought a Northface one for $160-more than I have ever spend on a single article of clothing in my life. However, it is keeping me toasty and will last for years to come so I see it as a good investment.

I think we may finally start cracking down on how many times a week we eat out. I think 1-2 is perfectly reasonable given our income and lifestyle. We eat out WAY more than that. But I think my partner and I are on the same page now and are working together better to plan meals. Well..prepping meals. We plan them but then when we get home from work we're both exhausted and it's just easier to go out for dinner.

Post loans

November 14th, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Paying off my debt early was such a relief but it was so unexpected that I hadn't had time to really think about what I wanted to do with my money. Before all my spare money went towards my student loans. All of the money I had coming in during the month had a job and it was easier to stay away from expensive temptations when thinking about how much money in interest I was paying each month.

My debt was student loans for a graduate degree ($22,000 before any interest) and $7600 for a used car. I was paying $140 for my car each month and $1000-$1200 for the student loans. They never had a chance to come out of deferment, so there was no regular payment.

I am hoping that my savings goal will help with assigning a job for all my dollars.

I am not doing as great at not spending as I think I should be, but I haven't gone overboard yet. My best friend and her SO came to visit last weekend and I haven't seen them in 1.5 years. We ate out at every meal, bought several packs of beers to drink at home, and went to almost all the good bars in town (have to save something for the next visit!) It felt good not to have to worry about whether I had to money for such splurges and to just enjoy our time.

Today is payday and I have transferred another $100 to my savings account. I'm going to try to do that every payday in addition to my regular beginning of the month transfer. It will probably go towards paying for braces, but we're also looking at buying a house soon so it won't hurt to have extra for a down payment/closing costs.

I love the first of the month

November 1st, 2014 at 06:45 pm

Somehow I managed to increase my net worth by $6,366.78. Well above my goal of $5,856.

Here's how it breaks down:

House: +$4,395
Beneficiary accounts: +1143.62
IRA: +516.21 ($458 monthly contribution + $58.28 in market appreciation)
Work Retirement: $66.15
Short term savings: $5.81
Long Term savings: $1197.45 ($1000 monthly contribution + $197.45 market appreciation)

However, even though my assets increased, my "debt" also increased too. I don't carry balances on my credit cards (ever) but I did have a spendy month. We went to an out of state wedding and we also have a terrible weakness for eating out. I also paid my property taxes in their enirety this month when I usually pay them in 2 installments. I had the money so I felt it was the right decision. So my checking account had about $1000 less in it than this time last month.

Credit cards +389.25

I definitely can't count on the house to make these type of gains every month but it was great this time! My goal for November is now $5,850.98.

We don't have any plans to go out of town in November so the credit cards should see significantly less use. In October we went out of town 2 weekends. We're also going to try to not only start eating at home more often, but to start freezing left overs for easy lunches. I don't often eat out at lunch but I feel bad every time I do.