Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February Blogger Challenge--Week 1 UPDATE

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, ladies.  I'm going through some stuff personally and school work seems to be really piling up right now so I'm forced to focus my attentions in some other areas at this present time.  BUT, I'm still doing what I can to stick to my budget this month!!  So far, here's how the numbers have come in:

Food: $72 spent out of $200 monthly budget--this is actually an area that I'm feeling pretty good about.  Out of that $72, I bought ALOT of stuff including 8 frozen Digorno pizzas!  I recognize that frozen pizzas aren't exactly the pinnacle of healthy eating but when you're caught in an evening rush between leaving work, picking up your kid, rushing home to change and then rushing off to some other evening activity (scouts, sports, doctors appts, etc), then having a stockpile of something quick and easy (and cheap!!) to shove into the food processor (a.k.a. mouth) helps to cut down on the trips through a drive through--thus increasing my Eating out budget to astoronomical levels.  So, I'm happy with this!  Another perk is that I earned $.70 off of each gallon of gas for my next fuel fill-up by shopping the sales and shopping while a gas promotion was going on at my local grocery store!

Fuel: $25.01 spent out of $250 monthly budget--somehow this seems off because I'm sure I've filled up more than once this month (and trust me, $25 does not fill up my SUV!--this was just a quick "get some gas before you end up on the side of the road" fill up) but I only have one gas receipt.  Maybe one got misplaced? 

Eating Out: $36.99 spent out of $50 monthly budget--yeah, this one I'm not totally stoked about.  Yes, it's still under my monthly budget amount but I'm also only a week into the challenge.  I ended up allowing myself to get caught empty handed on an impromptu trip to the park with some friends and we didn't have time to pack any snacks prior to going (we were already out running errands when we got the call asking us if we wanted to go) so we ended up needing to get lunch while we were out.  Not at all a horrible experience (it was actually REALLY great for me to be out with some friends on that particular day--I needed it!) but it kind of hurt the wallet.  The other half of this expense came from going out to dinner with my team at work during an offsite meeting that we had last week.  Someone else chose the place and none of us really realized just how expensive it was.  It was one of those artsy fartsy "downtown" places where the atmoshere is super awesome but the prices aren't.  Yeah, I got french fries and a beer. . . .and a $20 total bill.  It was lovely (sense the dripping sarcasm?). 

Aside from that, there are two other areas that I spent money this month.

Pet: $2.10 out of a $60.00 monthly budget.  I ended up buying the wrong dog food last month so I had to return that and buy the right stuff.  This expense was the difference in price between the old bag and the new bag. 

WalMart: $23.81 out of a kind of non-existent budget.  I don't usually budget for trips to Walmart--I told you, my budget is stupidly tight.  But, I was in Walmart for something else and found some really good sales on kids clothes.  I ended up getting Tyler a set of thermals for $5 and a two piece athletic running suit for $7.  Pretty good deals since he needs those items for football.  So, in total (yes, I bought some beer too for the Super Bowl party I was headed to) I spent a little over $20. 

Now for the somewhat awesome news. . . .I had some rather unexpected additions in income this month.  The most awesome one is that I randomly received a check from my mortgage company for almost $1600.  Yes, I got this letter in the mail (and I have a serious anxiety problem with my mail--even diagnosed as an anxiety disorder by a doctor--I hate opening my mail.  Hate it. . .I'm always afraid I'm going to get a bill that I can't pay in the mail so I'm always very anxious when opening my mail.) and was terrified to open it.  But, it was a check.  A BIG check!  Apparently, when I closed on my house TWO YEARS AGO, they overcharged me (REALLY overcharged me!) on some of my closing costs and they caught it during an audit and were refunding me the money.  Now, when you look at the situation on a deeper level, it kind of sucks.  This is money that I've already paid in the form of taking out a mortgage and I've been paying interest on it for two years.  That totally sucks.  But, I'm making a decision not to look at it that deeply because the chunk of money was really a lifesaver at that time.  You see, I was within less than $100 of being totally maxed out on my credit card.  And I only have one credit card.  And I use that sucker to pay for EVERYTHING.  So, being close to maxed out is never a good thing.  With that and the extra $405 that I had accumulated in checks and other repayments for various little things (see, little things really do add up!), I was able to put over $2000 extra dollars into my account this month.  I immediately turned around and applied a $2700 payment to my credit card.  And I'm hoping that won't be the last one this month! 

Overall, I'm feeling pretty good about my performance in week 1.  Still not totally as great as I would have liked (I don't like the eating out part) but I'm going to try to celebrate the successes and learn from the hard parts. 

How have you done so far in your spending this month? 


  1. you're doing great! the walmart thing is OKAY! just consider it a reward for the credit card being paid off-- that check you got is AHHHMAZING!

    1. Thanks for the reassuring words! I just wish I could go and splurge a little on MYSELF. . and then not feel totally guilty about it. Oh well, one day, right?!

  2. Wow! That check sounds awesome! I'm not so patiently awaiting our tax returns to come in so we can have a little extra house money!

    And not too shabby on your food budgets thus far! Keep it up!

    1. UUGGGH! I, too, am impatiently waiting for my tax return to come. Why does it feel like it takes forever?! Unfortunately, I think I have already planned what every last cent of it is going to go toward!

  3. I think I will def have to read through these posts. I'm back to school now for the first time since my seperation and am beginning to look for my own apartment so it's gonna be a bit tight financially. But I think if I learn how to budget better it will be okay.

    1. Good for you!!! That's so awesome that you are taking such big steps for yourself, your daughter, and your futures. Strong mama!! I'm not going to lie, it's been really (REALLY) hard financially being on my own and adding the stress of school on top of it sometimes feels like too much. But, when I get overwhelmed, I remind myself that it's not permanent, only temporary. Whether it be finanical stress or school stress (or really, ANY stress!) it's only temporary. Things are tight but they'll change. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually, I'll be in a better place.


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