December: Post 1

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I know this is kind of late for me to be posting my first post in December but after having to tally everything up from last month and categorize it so I know where my money is going I just started to run out of time.

I’m in a pickle, I’m starting to get back into the habit of going out to eat again. It’s a week into and I’ve gone out technically 5 times (it is the 8th today) and I have plans to go out today and Friday. Not good! Why don’t I just stop then, you ask? I feel bad for cancelling plans of going out with my friends… it’s nice to have a break in the week and it seems we need and “excuse” or “reason” why to meet up… like having margaritas and chimichangas. And what is with the alure of fast food? Is there something in the food Image Detailthat is addictive or are we addicted to fast and easy. I keep forgetting my lunch… because I’m getting up way to late in the morning so we are super rushed. And then I’m at work…. thinking well I’m hungry and it is definitely not good to starve myself. I now wish I had remembered about the turkey and gravy I left in the fridge at work… or the backup can of soup I have hidden in my drawer. I seem to have amnesia… all other food sources seem to vanish from my memory and all I can think about is a chicken chipotle flatbread sandwich from subway… even now at 8 am just thinking about it is making my mouth salvate. I never cared for Subway until I tried one of those… and so my addiction draws me in.

I will have very little money for any extras outside of the bills… and Amazon just notified me that my free prime membership is expiring this month. That means no more free shipping for my diapers… The membership is about $80 for a year or break it down to an estimate cost of 7 a month. If you add $7 to the normal cost for diapers do they still come out cheaper vs using coupons and going to the store?

So my diaper expenses are going up… and now my insurance expenses. I am required to get my own car insurance and decided to add on renters insurance. The car insurance has gone up to $140/mo + $30/mo for renters insurance. That is twice as much! Time to start getting other quotes.

I wanted to share with you my experience at the grocery store yesterday- although I did not spend less than $20 I ended up getting a bunch of things for free. I received 6 cans of progresso soup for free plus received $2.00 of the rest of my purchase thanks to a rain check, a new store promotion, and coupons. At retail cost my total purchase was $71.19 and I paid $22.60, that’s 68.3% in savings! I think that is awesome! Granted I’m still a newbie and made a big no-no in the coupon world, I bought 3 items not on sale and without a coupon. I ran out of steamables/steamfresh vegs and really need some (my kids looooooove vegetables and sometimes it’s the only thing they will eat at dinner). I’m hoping to see them on sale coming up and stock up big time.

Do you have a great grocery shopping experience? Any tips for us newbies?

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I’m now entering my expenses in a spreadsheet on excel, I might attach a blank copy if anyone is interested in starting to account for all their expenses. My monthly income comes from several places and is not all in one bank account so it’s not as easy as looking at a bank statement to know what I’m spending and what I’m saving. This really holds me accountable when I have to enter in the expense and see the money dwindle. I also have an estimated column that has the entire month’s expenses and an overestimate on how much they will cost. As I pay them off I just delete them off the list and put them into the area where I actually spent the money. At the end of the estimated column it shows a calculated amount saved or overspent. Right now it says I’m ahead $105 besides the $1,000 I already planned to save. Everyone needs some fun and since Christmas is just a few weeks away I am sure that money will be spent. Either way it is nice to be able to quickly glance at that number as see how close I am to over spending. I will not be showing the estimated column since it’s based purely on estimates. Oh and I forgot the best part of this spreadsheet is that I can easily copy and paste it right into the blog and categorize it. So at the end of the month I just sort everything by category and it will total the amounts for me. Sweeet!

Monthly income $2,500, Budget $1,500  
Cost Item Date Category
$31.00 Gas (12/1) Gas
$12.26 Wings @ B3W (12/1) Recreation
$5.80 Sandwich @ Subway (12/2) Recreation
$7.92 Newspaper, Creamer, Yogurt (12/4)  
$15.92 Food @ Culvers (12/3) Recreation
$2.11 Yogurt & Salad @ McDonalds (12/5) Recreation
$5.80 Sandwich @ Subway (12/6) Recreation
$1.04 Game @ iTunes (12/6) Recreation
$40.15 Gas @ Kwik Trip (12/7) Gas
$22.60 Groceries @ Copps (12/7) Food
       
$1,355.40 Left    
       
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