Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So much going on.....

Sorry I haven't posted since before Thanksgiving! Where has the time gone? I can't believe we are so close to December already! Well, my month of not budgeting has gone fairly well. I only spent $60 on gas and $52 on eating out. Groceries were $124, but that was feeding extra people, my turn to prepare the main dish for tailgating and making food for Thanksgiving dinner, so I am pretty pleased with how this came out.

I have been working WAY too much and therefore have been coming home, eating cereal or soup and calling it a night early, only to get up early the next day and do it all again many times over. This is one of those times I wish I had a job where I was paid hourly instead of salary! I would have earned SO much overtime this month! Oh well! It should all pay off when it rolls around to my review and raise time.

I have had 11 no spend days so far this month which makes me very happy. I'm sure I won't have nearly that many in December what with all the Christmas shopping I will be doing. Speaking of Christmas shopping, I still haven't done much about this. I have my list of what I am going to get everyone, I just can't seem to muster up the energy to get out there and shop. Anyone else having trouble with this too? I was at the mall one Saturday this month and it was so crazy busy in there I vowed that I would only be going out there during the week after work. So far, that plan hasn't worked, but maybe next week! I just need to take my list and go to it.

Over the holiday weekend I did get my tree up and all decorated, it looks great and I love coming home and turning on the Christmas tree lights. ;)

I have to go out shopping still for a baby shower gift for this Saturday, maybe I can knock a few things off my Christmas list while I am at it. Wish me luck!

I hope November was a good month for everyone and that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Gotta run now, I'm at work and must get back to it. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Spending so far this month...

Well, so far this month I am doing pretty well for not keeping a budget per se. I have been tracking but not budgeting. My groceries are at $72.22 and that includes feeding 8 people on Saturday for tailgating. (It was my turn to supply the main dish.) Gas is only at $45.01 and dining out is only at $48.93, half of which was spent yesterday going out with a friend I hadn't seen in almost 2 years!! And I had leftovers from yesterday that I will soon be eating for lunch today. So, not too bad.

I have earned an extra $64.80 this month from surveys, so that will certainly help out with some Christmas shopping. I have not bought one thing yet, but that will all change this afternoon when I am off work and I go to Target to pick up a bathrobe for my niece. I noticed it was in the ad yesterday, so I will go get that today and will have started my shopping. Yeah! Thankfully, I don't have too much to shop for this year, but still, I can't believe I haven't even started! This is so not like me! I'm usually done by now and everything is wrapped and ready to go. I think when I get home tonight I will sit down with my recipes and figure out what I am going to bake this year. That is always fun!

So, for not budgeting this month, I think I am doing fairly well. Oh, and I paid an extra $400 on my mortgage! :)

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble!

Friday, November 9, 2007

NSF checks

I have never written a bad check, but I have seen a lot of them come through at various places I have worked. The worst being one I received earlier this week from a client, this being the 2nd one we received from him, also, this being one replacing the original one. Which, of course the customer assured us was a good check. Ha! So, now we have taken 2 checks that have bounced, both for $7694.09 and my customer can not understand why we feel that we are entitled to come to his office and take back our cabling that we installed. Hmm! This will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The non-budget, budgeting....

So this month I have decided just to track what I spend and see where things fall at the end of the month. I didn't count the first couple of days while I was on vacation, because it is WAY too hard to track, but now that it is a full week into the month, I thought I would report where I am at.

I have spent $6.11 on groceries, and only $20 on gas. I picked up a prescription that will last the month for $5.50 and a few other health items for $5.86. Paid my 2 month electric bill that was $53.91, sent $200 to my money market for emergency savings, and spent $3.81 for photos to be developed from my vacation.

I'm still way overstocked on food and am going to try to plow through some of the food on hand before buying more. I don't have much going on this month that I should be spending money for. Even Thanksgiving will be fairly small, I will probably bake a couple of pies and make the salad. And I'm not one to fight the crowds at those crazy day after Thanksgiving sales, I would rather stay home and enjoy a quiet day getting my home decorated. And starting on my holiday baking.

I will still be keeping track of my spending, but I won't be trying to keep specific categories to a certain magic number. I'll just see how it all falls in to place and hopefully be able to send some more money away to savings before month end. ;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lunches

Today I was sitting down eating my lunch, that I had brought from home because, well, I always bring my lunch from home, and I was watching my coworkers all head out to buy lunch and bringing back all kinds of deep fried, greasy garbage. I was quite pleased with my tuna fish sandwich, carrots and home made cookies. I would be curious as to how much these people spend each day on their lunches and if they really enjoy them. I occasionally use to go out and buy my lunch and I never got much satisfaction out of it. I think I get more satisfaction of looking at my bank balances and the fact that I am still the same size I was in high school even though it is 17 years later. I'm convinced that my home made lunches are healthier and I was able to wear my prom dress to a party this past January, nice for two reasons, I still fit in to the dress, and I didn't have to go out and spend money on a new one. :)

When people ask me how to save money I always tell them the first thing to cut out of the budget is eating out. Then if they start tracking their spending and really look at it, they will see how much eating out gouges the budget. Some will whine that they have to spend money at the grocery store then and the grocery budget goes up. Well, yes it will, but in the long run you should still be saving money overall cooking at home v. eating out. I do occasionally eat out, but I find that I sit and look at the menu and am disgusted at the prices, and usually the food isn't any better than what I can cook at home, and I'm certainly no gourmet cook.

So, do you have any thoughts on eating out v. cooking at home?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Back from vacation...

We had a wonderful time, the weather was great, the kids had fun, and I even came home with more money in my wallet than I thought I would! :) I didn't buy much while we were gone, mainly food, and one photo of the 5 of us on Splash Mountain, there wasn't anything I really wanted to buy. I split the hotel, car rental and gas with my brother and his family, so my portion only came to $350 for the 6 days we were gone, not bad I think. First thing I did when I got back to work yesterday was to log on to the bank and see where my checking account was, then I wrote a check to my money market fund so that I can continue to bring the balance up on my savings.

I have started looking ahead to expenses for the next couple of months and am happy to report that I don't have much that will be needed for Christmas shopping, I have pared down my shopping list considerably this year, so that will mean less stress and less money spent. :) I am looking forward to decorating my new condo this year for the holidays, but even with that, I don't think much money will be spent, I have a lot of decorations and with the condo being on the small side, I think I have plenty of stuff.

So far, November is looking like it will be a good month for me to save more money and get a jump on my Christmas shopping. I am looking forward to the holidays this year and not going overboard with things. Are you ready for the season?