I just finished doing my weekly finance chores and it looks like the month of May was pretty flat for me. The stock market pretty much wiped out my earnings for the month. I'll see the total picture at the end of the month but it doesn't seem as bad as I was thinking it was.
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Well ,feeling sorry for myself, I went shopping. I didn't need anything but bought away. I lost a good chunk in my 401K and other investment accounts this past week. My savings, coin jar for the moment seemed useless, dust in the wind. So I bought so I could feel something for my money. I will use what I had gotten..but.....restrant on my part maybe would have been better. My dear little budget reminders I have on in my budget program are screaming at me. There is nothing like having your computer say to you what you are already telling yourself.
I have only spent 5.37 this week so far and that will be refunded to me. I have found no new money and have lost much in my 401K. I was really looking forward to retire early too! Alas I must work a few more years to make up for the loss in the market this week. A good thing I didn't run out and spend feverishly last weekend with the big market gain. Other than my 401, I've stayed on track, saving as much as I can, spending as little. Thank heaven for a well rounded portfolio. (I think we should have sold the house to get as much out of the housing bubble as we could have)
And one step back. All that I have gained in the last month and a half is melting away with the fall of the market. As of today I'm back to April 1st. Although, with my son going to Washington DC on a trip and the cash I did spent on that, and his gratuation expense so far(all unplanned for expenses), I guess I'm doing pretty good. Lesson learned here is that both things I knew were coming up and I did not have a saving plan for those. I have since made a budget and have an account for such things coming up in my future. Still, it is a bit of a disappointment and discouragement to see no headway. My first knee jerk reaction is to say "this doesn't work, all my frugality is all for nothing." A lot of self talk here going on, to hang in there. :-)
The total of the coin jar is 94.77. For One Month! It's going into the American Dream Account.
I had a copy of MSMoney I found. I think we recieved it from when we got our new computer a while back.
I have set it up. I can't quite coordinate it with my bank yet, although my bank will download into it. I'll figure it out I'm sure.
My April figures aren't as bad as I thought. I was doing a bit of spending so my son could go to Washington DC on a school trip. But I still came up in the positive, little though it be. I can only guess what I could do without those unexpected expenses. I have not cashed the coin jar in yet but a quick count put it near $100. I have developed a personal budget for this month to see how well I can do. I found an old copy of Money sitting in my CD bin. I set that up. (I do everything on my PDA and it nearly ran out of battery power, yikes)I also set up some rules for myself. Don't we love rules. My son wants to do this all as well. So I'm bringing him onboard.
It should be a no spend day for me today. I'll be cleaning up finances for April and setting up for May. I'm anxious to see how I did with my coin jar since I'm tracking it now month to month with the adding singles.
We're having bad weather today so it will be a time for the family to bond, get stuff done, read a little and relax a little.
We restocked some of our freezer and pantry yesterday. We hadn't grocery shopped in a while but were pleasantly surprised at our bill even though I could not use any coupons for what we bought. I have always hated grocery shopping but yesterday it wasn't so bad. I don't think I ever new exactly what I had at home before. I have tried shopping with a list, doing the price book thing, inventorying the pantry and freezer, but it just seemed like so much work and then to shop with little kids, or even bigger kids. Well it was never fun.
It's bring your child to work day. I love it yet, so hard to really work today. I usually give tours of our building for the kids and parents (who are always amazed at what the other departments do)(we should have tours for our own employees just to see what happens to our work as it moves along). I love the kids questions and perception of things. I have brought my kids to work and I showed them all the fun things, skipped over the bad things and gave them some hands on things to do. If nothing else they had an understanding of what I do when I leave the house. Now our company has a whole program designed for this day. Breakfast with the boss, tours, a backpack full of information on our company designed for different age levels(very nicely done). There are games, keepsakes and a chance to win prizes. If you are bringing your child to work, I wish you a great day.
I have children, 4 boys to be exact, add one grandchild but I spent money yesterday and it wasn't for anything human. I went to the store last night after my meeting, missing American Idol (the only tv show I was watching during "No TV WEEK" to get 4 pet rats, food and bedding. I was trying to use newpaper for bedding but very stinky. My two kids at home wanted the pet rats but then found them too much trouble. If we give them away, they'd be snake food. Rats do have little personalities and I could not see them being snake food even though it's it the grand life cycle. I faithfully clean and feed these critters to save they're little lives. I realize it's for my peace of mind. Rats live to 2-21/2 years...we have one year left for them to have a natural passing. How many families have pets for the children, to learn responsiblity only to have the Mom, parents do all the work?
I worked a little later today, I'm salary so it doesn't count but it did eat into my garden time. I did workout (I'm working on losing 25 pounds), talked to my kids and tried not to watch TV. One of my son's was watching Million Dollar Baby which he taped from Sunday. I've seen it but caught myself gazing at the screen. It was a beautiful day yesterday but blistery out this morning. I have a staff meeting tonight so no chance to get in the garden today.
We've been eating down our freezer and pantry this month and I'm starting to see progress. Today we ate the last of the ground beef in the freezer and the pantry is having empty spots. Now I think my menu planning will have to be more inventive. We have chicken left and a couple of roasts, lots of veggies left in the freezer. We didn't even get milk and bread this week so it's really been a no spend weekend for us.
I read somewhere on the web that it's No TV Week. I had forgotten about this week. When the kids were younger, we used to do this week and found it lots of fun. But if you think you aren't addicted, ha! The first day is always hard. I have always fallen asleep with the TV on. I find the first few nights really hard. The kids were always excited about this week and found it not so much a hardship. They enjoyed it so much that we would do other weeks too during the year. We'd do games, cooking, adventure walks,bike rides, reading, lots of reading. We'd talk too. They especially liked this in the dark or by candle light. (We'd do no electricity days too for fun to see what we could come up with) We had other no TV days but the kids didn't know it, summer nights sitting outside, visiting with neighbors while the kids played hide and seek at dusk. Or in the winter after shoveling or playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate and making popcorn. So much of life is missed watching that stupid thing. This is where Bob Hope sings "Thanks for the Memories"
It's coming up on a month since I truely took charge of our finances. We are still eating out of the freezer and pantry. We took a small car trip but used our gas wisely. We used coupons for eating and got a deal on our motel stay. We recreation shopped but didn't buy a thing. We did have a good time none-the-less. (my stock went up too this week, YEAH)
My EmigrantDirect letter came today. It's been two weeks since I opened the account and read somewhere that it could take quite a while to get the letter. So I'm a happy woman.
The market was down today, my Sharebuilder was down .20, too. Surprisingly my 401k funds went up....good going.
I've decided to put dollar bills in my change jar to increase my savings. I went from cashing the jar in yearly, to quarterly. I'm now concidering monthly.
I have also downloaded a budget program (youneedabudget.com)
While I'm hoping to make some headway this year moneywise, I think this quarter will be a bust. My youngest son is graduating this year and with that and his Washington DC trip has set me back.
I am ahead by only $25.00. I do have 50.00 extra coming in soon. I have been racking my brain trying to think what I can make money on. I will have a garage sale this spring. I'm not one to have garage sales, and have had only one in my lifetime. Our neighborhood has one every Spring so I'll take advange of that.
Getting my son ready for his school trip to Washington DC is really costing me. My son has gone on a big health makeover and has lost a lot of weight. He was content to wear baggy jeans half falling off as most of the kids here do, but he's going to meet and have lunch with the Senitor Kohl so can't do that with butt hanging out.
We are still eating our pantry and freezer down and eating well. Most of the beef is gone, but did find a rib roast that I got on sale at Christmas so we will be having that on Easter.
Our weather has been good so the furnace did go off and I suspect will be off now until Fall, unless we have a very severe cold snap.
I just read in FreeMoneyFinance about the cost of pets. I guess Rats don't cost as much as dogs after all, but it sure seems like it. I did forget to figure in the cost of an upgrade in vacuume because of the dog hair, woodwork for the scratching and attacking the windows when ever someone strange crosses our yard. Hmmmmm.
I confess to being a recreational shopper. I will shop and compare, see where I can get something cheaper. I have been avoiding stores since January. It was very hard at first, like withdrawal. Lately, though I have been feeling empowered with my self-disipline. This past Sunday was hard to stay home with all the Easter sales but I did. My husband even commented that he would have bet his life I would be in the stores all afternoon. My new goal for this second quarter of the year is to cut the eating out and have more meals at home. I work and usually use the excuse that I'm too tired to cook or it's too late to start dinner.
I was reading up on the cost of pets and yes we do spend a lot on the little buggers. We have pet rats. My boys came home with them one day, rats-2.50 each (we have four), cages-100.00 each (we have two) ,food-6.99 every two weeks, bedding was 20.00 every two weeks, I have since switched to shredded paper, treats (they beg so cutely) 2.40 a week. I also have a dog, he seems to be much cheaper than rats, 100.00 a year for shots and 10.00 for food every two weeks. He begs cutely too, but we give him human treats. Of coarse the cost of begging someone to care for all these pets while on vacation...well lets say if someone does it's priceless. I have not added in corn cob for squirrels, thistle seed for the finches.
I spent money today (hanging my head). I was so proud I resisted going recreational shopping today but then ended up having my car washed. It is in my budget so that wasn't so bad. I just was hoping this week to do it by hand.For me, it's just still to chilly out to do that.
I did end up taking my son to the emergency room early this morning with intense stomach pains. He had chicken at the prom so I thought it was food poisoning, but he had gall stones. We have good health insurance for which I am so thankful.
My bank statement came yesterday and I balanced my accounts. I keep my registers on a PDA so they balance out right away.
I just got done cutting out my coupons. I have always cut out coupons since I first started out as a homemaker. I don't buy everything I cut out and even when I pick out the coupons for the food I need for the week I always cost compare in the store. We use coupons for meals, glasses, clothes, carcare and whatever else might come along. We have a pretty good idea what most things cost so we can tell if it's a great deal. We have lived most of our married life under the 30K range, we have been debt free except for our home and we have lived a very good life.
We a good Sunday to you all.
This week I have spent 87.35, the bulk of it on a tux for my son's prom tonight. My baby looks so handsome and grown in it.
My great last quarter was mostly due to my other son not attending college this semister. It was against against my wished he take a break, thinking once he's out he'll not go back. The other was just plain not spending and watching every penny. My husband would like to retire in 3-5 years and I along with him.
My plan for the weekend is to continue to eat up the pantry and freezer and get groceries to fill the gap. I hope to do a little yard work. Take pictures of the prom and it should be on our local cable as well.
Have a great weekend!
I'll be working late today. I had planned all the meals for the week (we're eating the pantry and freezer down) and tonight is a planned carry-out night because of my hours. I have been searching through all the ads for the best deal all week. So, I'm stopping by a seafood restaurant for a Lenten Special Bucket of Fish, with french fries and coleslaw, with an extra 2 dollars off if you bring in this ad. It's a spending day but not bad. 12.99 total, for three maybe four people. We are a family of four, two sons, one 18, the other 19. I do not know at this point what the sons plans are for the night. They both work in the service industry so Friday nights are a must.
Inspired by many entries about no spending days I have done so now three days in a row. I did spend on Monday, a card for a friend who's daughter died in an accident. It was a Halmark card too. I have accumulated 10,000 dollars personally since January. I'm a very happy woman this first quarter.
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