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March! Whole new month to start over…

I swear it’s February’s fault that it’s a short month and things fall to the wayside and monies get all messed up….Seriously I love Carla’s little image on My 1/2 Dozen Daily …it’s quite appropriate.

But March is a new month and I am going to try to stay within a reasonable budget (unfortunately gas/food prices are on the rise again)

Variables

Groceries: $115/week
Gas: $100/week
Entertainment: $35/week
Kids School Lunches: $80 for both (Good for 2 months) — need find time to make the same healthy lunches; unfortunately the thermos doesn’t keep it warm enough.
Kids Book Club: $30/month

Savings

RRSP: $350/month
RESP: $100/month
Gifts: $50/week (for daughter’s April Birthday)
Lacrosse: $195 (Cheque written for February 26)

This is a triple pay period month for us so we have 5 pay cheques between the two of us. So I should have money left over that I can put into savings for April usage.

So for dinner tonight I’m making Sausage Hoagies with Caramelized Onion and Apples.

Recipes found here and here. Both of course slightly modified but I’m using ingredients I already have. The dough is growing and the buns can be made soon.

The way food cost is growing, I am seriously thinking of building a “Good” Vegetable Garden as a few years ago, it was in a bad spot. Now that the kids are older I think it would be a good thing. I’d have to start saving the initial cost of building it and my neighbor has a big one across the street so I think they can help me get started.

I need to get a ledger and remind my husband to keep his receipts. Also need to find a way to earn more money for slow months….any ideas other than a second job? Also need a ledger like the one that Carla purchased.

Have a blessed day!

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Week 1 – Survival, Spending and Moving Into Week 2

So I had to go to my financial advisor today so I when through all my spending to show him how we’ve been doing, considering the ups and downs of the past 2 months.

Here’s a nice breakdown:

January 22-January 31

Overall Spending $504; this included: gas, groceries, dining out, gifts, and that damn MISC category….

February 1-7

Overall Spending $337; does not include dining out or misc and we had to buy a new hockey blade for my husband $75 later…not bad, huh?!

Generally we have about $1000 to use in a month to pay out all our non fixed expenses after bills. Everything that I listed above. A new financial challenge added to the already added in $350 towards retirement will be an extra $100 towards the kids education fund. It’s a bit never racking as it lower the available cash to “live” beyond having our monthly bills paid but if we keep on track with no eating out and no big spending, I’m pretty certain we can do it…plus we can lower the monthly retirement if we need to. Husband sounds a bit unsure when I let him know but I have the big picture written down so I’m sure it will make more sense on paper.

I’d love to make a saving goal outside of this but right now it’s a dream…if I can throw an extra $30 a month to the side toward Christmas savings then that will be my goal beyond our overall Finance goals.

Week 1 went off with a great start! Week 2 also started and finished on Wednesday with the Bathroom and the clean and reorg of the Kitchen….I might have shot high with the main living/dining area but I think once I “move” the “to be sorted” piles it will seem better.

I’m very busy this coming week. I have work all weekend, plus Tuesday and Thursday. I’ve started my meal planning as my grocery shopping will be Saturday on my way home for work. I am trying to buy as little as possible this week.

Meal Plan for Next Week, so far is:

Sunday – Pizza, Wings and Salad (was suppose to have last week and didn’t)

Monday – Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday – Sausages, Rice?! Veg?

Wednesday – Cannelloni, Garlic Rolls, Salad

Thursday, Friday, Saturday – TBA

I’m going to follow Carla’s dough recipe and instead of bread make rolls, I think that should work…Carla?! Cannelloni is definitely NOT homemade, it’s one of those quick and easy, stick it in the oven meals…sometimes we just have to.

I’ve started my shopping list since flyers arrived and see where I go from here.

Have a great one!

Financial Challenges to the Challenge

So when I reminded my husband of the day of the month, you’d think he wouldn’t have remembered…”Oh yeah, I wouldn’t spend money this month…” LOL. That being said I have to say…he’s been very good about this.

Tonight my son is at Cadets and my daughter told me she needed to go to someone’s house for a school thing. Every Wednesday my husband buys crickets for the Gecko. This week he broke a hockey stick so he absolutely needed to buy one (I can’t fault him for that).  Tonight he reminded me about getting crickets and the necessity to buy a new blade since he was able to save a portion of it. We knew it would cost between $45-70. Here’s the weird thing, he phoned me before purchasing it to let me know how much it would cost. Like I said I can’t fault him for it, it’s part of playing hockey. I must scratch my head on the fact he actually phoned me, usually he’d buy what he needs to and be done with it.

Now that I’ve told a peculiarly funny story, back to the topic at hand. Financial Challenges! The thing is you can’t totally avoid spending money (as much as we’d love to). Things happen, life happens…so I’m modifying my Low Spend/No Spend.

Here it goes:

Last week, I asked my husband to commit to Low/No Spend, which he “gracefully did”. After the first day challenges, I realized I need to modify it. I asked him that we try to avoid making big purchases. FYI I never told him that we weren’t trying to “LOW” spend. This way the thinking when making a purchase is do we really need it, but HE still realizes that we can spend it if we NEED to (like the Hockey Stick).

Another example of our savings will be avoiding eating out (we frequently do this on weekends) as much as possible. This weekend we have a hockey tournament Friday, Saturday and possibly Sunday. The plan for the weekend is….eat at home between games (we have a big enough span between Friday’s games and Saturday we have a game at 1:00 pm so I’ll be feeding the kids around 11:00.

Anyhow, I’ll keep sharing and update.

Spendings or Savings?!

I worked all weekend so I wasn’t able to do the Sunday Night Chit-Chat since I wasn’t having a very “LONG” one with son. Nothing I want to rehash but we’ll see how I feeling about it in a couple of days.

On to my other side of life the CHALLENGES as Wednesday is February 1st.

Yesterday on my way home I had to stop for groceries. No CHOICE. It’s a weekly thing that you can’t store longer than that. I went to Freshco since I was tired and wanted to get home. I bought my Fruits and Vegs, School/Lunch odds and ends, then very “FEW” miscellaneous crap. $70 later, I was shocked and I was smart though to try to figure it out yesterday before the February Challenge began.  I separated my stuff on the grocery belt…F/V then School/Lunch and extras at the end. Here’s the approximate breakdown.

Fruits and Veg – $18-20
Weekly –  $21-25
Misc – $20

I bought some things I don’t normally buy because my dietary problems and I did buy 2 things of cheese which I normally wouldn’t. But even still at $70 a week where will be the savings?! It’s not cheap to eat well (hence the F/V value).

This morning I had to get dog food and a couple of things (though I didn’t pay full price)…$42.00 later.

Post soon.

Day One – Day Off, one last HURRAH….

So yesterday I worked all day as you can tell there was no post. I’m quite tired after work when I get home. This morning I was paying my bills and budgeting to figure  out how I can join Carla’s February Challenge. Emailed her my living situation and got some good ideas.

So with the freezers filled, fridge in good shape and the cupboards ok, I hope February to bring less shopping. My son’s birthday is Friday and he wants to go to Montana’s. Eating out cost money, but no problem, we have a $50.00 GC for that chain of restaurants. Cake cost money, but I’m in luck. When I cleaned the kids room, I found a $20 GC for Dairy Queen that we lost 2 Christmas’ ago. Guess he’s getting ice cream cake.

I had to get him his birthday gifts but not too much since he got a laptop for Christmas and it wasn’t cheap (he really needed it to do his school work and transferring work, back and forth). His grandparents are redoing his room since it hasn’t been updated into the teen years, and now my husband painted it (only 1 wall to go). Today was actually easy shopping for him. Big SHOCK.

The basket (WM $8) is for the laundry in his room, since his room is small. The game I got before Christmas since my husband got an email, it was an online sale for $35.00, not bad for a new game. I got the 2 CDS from Costco $20. The movie completes the collection (WM $5), graphic novels at Chapters ($40) and the mini cupcakes I’ll be making for his class Thursday night.

I got a package today and wasn’t sure what it was till I picked it up.


We own a Keurig and before Christmas they had a Freebie for Pumpkin Spice which they confirmed shipment. To only get back to me that they ran out but there was a special deal. Buy one Colombian Excelencia (which we drink often) and get one free but little did I know when I entered my order but I got a box of Decaf Colombian free too. We love our coffee maker and this was a perfect deal.

As to the final shopping HURRAH today. I promised my husband that I would clear out the “plastic shelf” since there’s so many missing pieces, lids would be missed and it was a mess. We were looking for glass but it’s too expensive and could break. So I saw this and didn’t pass.

An 18 piece Rubbermaid, Easy Find Lids for $10.00 plus I bought some extra sizes for about $6.00. For his birthday to come and my daughters in April, I bought the 24 mini cupcake tray $14.00 plus I saw the DVD gift holder for $1.00 (at Christmas I paid $1.75 on sale, but as they get older they get lots of movies and games). My last deal at Walmart was his $5.00 movie plus I grabbed Dirty Dancing (though I was looking for Footloose) and grabbed myself a book I eyed with my Chapters gift card.


Great movie! And at $4.99, why not!

So here’s my last HURRAH for the month and I’ll be posting the challenge tonight that I’ll be joining.