I downloaded a free app for my phone called Santa's Bag. Basically it allows you to put in a budget, enter gifts as you purchase them, give you a summary of how you are doing...and of course a countdown until Christmas. Only 55 days to go. I have figured that I am short on my Christmas budget. I need to do some serious frugal shopping! But I love the idea of getting someone something really great that I got for half the price (or less). We don't spend more than $20 on one person, but that adds up. Hopefully this little app will keep me in check.
Archive for October, 2013
I had to go BACK to the eye dr Saturday. Got 2 more eye drops. One I got as a sample. The other was $155!! Luckily I have an awesome pharmacist that found a coupon and I got it for $25. I have totally blown any budget I had after all these copays and medicines! But I am so thankful the prescription was $25 instead of $155. I did do an Aflac claim, so I should get something back. And I think I may be able to do one on the original eye appointment too. But I'll have to check into it.
I had another dr's visit scheduled for yesterday. Its been scheduled for about a month. Luckily my yearly physical is covered with zero copay. I did end up having a kidney infection, so I had to get another antibiotic. And I have another appointment today for a follow-up on my eye. Luckily she does not charge a copay for a follow-up. I am definitely done with dr visits for a while I hope.
I got a gift certificate for a massage on my birthday (back in April). I just realized that it expires 10/31. I called to see what they had available before next Thursday and all they had was tomorrow! I guess its a good thing I called. I would hate for a $60 massage to go to waste. But after these last couple of months, a massage might be just the thing I need.
So I woke up with my eye hurting. It feels like something is stuck in it. I tried to deal with it but it just hurt too bad. So...I ended up having to go to the eye dr. Luckily I went to the dr a couple of weeks ago to get glasses, because I haven't had new ones in 8 years! But if I didn't have new glasses, I would have been in trouble today! Dr says I am having some sort of allergy. Have to use eye drops and do cold compresses to get the swelling down. So, I had to do a $10 copay and whatever the drops cost me. I guess it could be worse.
I made extra payments to my credit cards. $133.68. Every little bit counts. We are postponing our garage sale again. Concrete guys are going to be out Saturday, so I think it would be too hard to do both. Plus it will give me a little more time to find more stuff.
Well...long story short....I ended up just adding an "actual" column to my budget spreadsheet. And in my checkbook register, which I write in at least once a day, I will just be more detailed. Then at the end of the month, I can just add my actual in and see how I did. I was just trying to make it too difficult. Oh, and cash I will continue to do in the "jars" but will have a sheet in each jar. Put the receipt in the jar so I know what I spent. That really is how I was supposed to be doing it this whole time (Gail Vaz Oxlade way).
I feel very aware right now. And still overwhelmed by what I was doing. So November 1 will start the new way of tracking.
What I am reallly thinking about is....what do people that don't think about their expenses do? I worry about my finances and work to try to keep them somewhat on track. So how do they get through? How do they not worry?
I feel like I am trying to make this overly complicated. I started writing everything in a little book. Then I created a spreadsheet...but now I don't know what to do. So, I need suggestions.
I need a way to track my spending that I do through debit card/checks/ach and a way to track my cash. For my variable expenses, I use cash. Sooo....What is the best way to track this? Should I do a spreadsheet for my non cash spending and maybe have a log for each "jar" of cash spending? I think I have thought about this so much I am not sure what kind of spreadsheet to use for my non cash spending. I would really love some help/ suggestions/ words of wisdom/ etc. Or some screen shots of what yall do? And then what you do with it. Add up categories at the end of the month and compare it to what you budgeted? I've lost my financial brain apparently.
I have a budget. It is broken down into weekly - based on my pay. Today....I realized that even though I have a budget, I'm not following. I am to a point. But, I am spending money on random crap and not even realizing it. Which means I am not following it. I have been tracking my spending for October. This is not something I usually do. Sometimes I will pay attention to my cash spending, but when I looked at all my entries of what I am spending.... wow. 1.29 for itunes, 2.86 for a snack, 14.36 in out to eat lunches in 2 days....and I didn't "BUDGET" for those. So, my eyes are open. A budget doesn't matter if there are small (or even big) purchases made without acknowledging the budget. When I wonder where my extra $32 a month is going - well the answer is itunes, car wash, snack, lunch, etc. I made a spreadsheet to actually compare what I spent to what I budgeted. This out to be disgustingly interesting.
And I realized that I am a shifter. I will shift money off of something to cover something I did. So I will never get anywhere if I am just moving the money around instead of not spending the money.
(I feel like Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation when he just starts going off and calling his boss all those names....and he ends in Hallelujah, Holy Sh*t. Where's the tylenol..... Only I am yelling at myself
Its my husband's birthday Wednesday. I have set aside $80 for us to go to dinner on Friday. Its more than I would like, but I want him to have a nice dinner and really enjoy himself. We are going to a steakhouse. In my mind that should cover an appetizer, cocktail, his meal, and whatever I eat. Hopefully me being vegetarian saves us a little. My family will be joining us - everyone will pay for their own bills. I also have to drive to pickup his gift that is finally out of layaway. I paid for it over the past month so I didn't have to borrow from savings or put it on a credit card. So I will be driving more than normal this week. We also have a wedding on Thursday night. So we will have to drive to that. And the reception is afterwards at a Mexican food restaurant. Unfortunately and fortunately. Unfortunately it is a restaurant that I cannot eat at....at all. Even their chips are made with lard....so it is not vegetarian friendly. I guess fortunately...I won't be able to eat anything so the bill should be cheap. So lots of driving and more going out to eat than normal.
Productive....sending it all away. I set aside my utility money. Paid what was due. Paid over the minimum on all 3 credit cards. And in 2 weeks I will be able to pay towards them again. After that payment, my CC3 will be under $100. Whew! I also set aside money for our termite annual renewal and put a little bit of money back in savings.
I ended up with 2216 Swagbucks when I logged in today! Cashed them in for 2 $10 Target cards for Christmas. Super excited about that. I did my Christmas budget and I am a little off-track on my Savings for it. I am going to have to be frugal! Even MORE frugal than normal.
I am cooking free steaks for dinner tonight...a customer gave them to my husband for all his help. (Customer is a butcher). So between finishing the cleaning and cooking that - my Friday will be over. And I can work all day on business stuff tomorrow. Oh I hope I can get it all done.
I realized today that I have to get an oil change. *sigh* Which is more than $40 because I use Synthetic oil....but I can go at least 5000 miles before my next one. So obviously today will NOT be a NSD and I will not have an extra $40 dollars. On the up side, I did half the cleaning last night. Tonight I will do some more. And I will finish whatever I have on Friday. Saturday I want to devote to business paperwork. I just need to keep the momentum.
Good news for today - I got my 500 Swagbucks. So I actually have 1116. I know for some people that seems like nothing, but I am EXCITED. Especially since I barely had any before my fellow blogger inspired me. But I am trying to decide if I should get Walmart cards and use it towards groceries. Or get Target cards and use them towards Christmas. Personally, I am leaning towards Target...especially since I have been doing all my shopping at Kroger. If I get a few more...I could get 3. And hey, $15 is $15.
I am still having a problem getting everything balanced. I had convinced myself to take $40 out of my money this week and pay someone to help me clean my house. But...I am trying to convince myself if I just do a little each day, by this weekend it should be better. And I can use that $40 for something else. Debt, Savings, whatever. According to me, if I break it down into minutes, I have 3 hours worth of work. So 1.5 hours today and tomorrow? 1 hour each day - today, tomorrow, and Friday? Not sure the breakdown. But I think its the right thing to do. Even though I am exhausted. So.... I'm going to do it myself....no need to spend $40.
Oh and yesterday and today are NSD!!!
I am functioning on about 2 1/2 hours of sleep. So....needless to say I am a little tired.
This week has been more positive so far. They started on our siding yesterday. Our computer died, but a friend built us one for free. *awesome.* I have a fridge and a pantry full of groceries so I can cook all week. I've managed to make my husband's lunch 2 days in a row. I did a little bit of housework yesterday. So I am almost in a groove. But the amount of business paperwork I need to get done is insane. Especially with it being the end of a quarter. So...I am hoping that eventhough I am tired I can get some of that done today. Along with some work and maybe a couple of household chores.
I did manage to get up to 586 Swagbucks. I am still awaiting my 500 points. I'm giving it until tomorrow to see what happens.