A few to dos for the weekend

I have 2 chapters to read this weekend, one quiz & about an hour of homework to do before Monday.  I took a short break to write this post because I’m currently sequestered in the library until I’m finished – hopefully I’ll be done in the next few hours and I can spend the next day or so relaxing.  Anyhow, when I have too much to do and what feels like not enough time, I start making a To Do list to keep me on track.  This is what I have to get done by tomorrow night:

  1. Read Chapter 3 & Chapter 6 for my POLSCI class.
  2. Write a short paper.
  3. Take a quiz online.
  4. Read Ch 4 for my Accounting class.
  5. Get taxes done.
  6. Run 4 miles tonight & 5 miles tomorrow.
  7. Open & sort mail.
  8. Write down when all bills are due in planner & put into my gmail calendar.
  9. Update Quicken
  10. Go to cousin’s little girl’s birthday party tomorrow.
  11. Go to my dear friend’s birthday dinner tomorrow night. Dinner was cancelled 🙂
  12. Finish doing some laundry – workout clothes, work clothes, kids’ clothes, sheets & towels.
  13. Clean bathrooms.
  14. Clean kitchen.
  15. Vacuum.
  16. Watch my DVR 🙂
  17. Read for pleasure and not because I’m forced to for class.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Weekly Spending Report 01-23-12

I’m a little late on getting this up, but better late than never, right?  I left DH in charge of grocery shopping this week because I had to study every day.  Well, sufficed to say, this will be the last weekend he gets to shop for groceries.  This is how we spent our money this week:

1.  Auto expenses:  This is the usual, gas and auto insurance

2. Car Payment – fixed every month

3. Cell Phone accessories – I dropped and cracked my previous iphone case & DH ordered me another one.  I’m a complete klutz.

4.  Clothing : bathing suit for all 3 kids as they had grown out of theirs and we signed them up for swimming lessons.

5. Dining – no eating out for me.  This is DH’s portion of lunches (boo).

6.  Gifts – Chinese New Years and we gave money to our kids & neices/nephews.  Kids deposited the money to their accounts.

7.  Groceries – $377.97.  Yep, my husband did not shop with a list or use coupons and kept going back to the store over and over and over and over.  There were at least 8 transactions to the grocery store.  WTF?!? He also decided to have people over last minute to watch the playoffs, which meant he went out and bought unnecessary food.  I’m super grumpy about this but it’s partly my fault because I should have been explicit & given him a not to exceed budget for the week.

8.  Medial – Co-pay for DH’s physical therapy session.

9.  Personal Care – body wash & shampoo/conditioner for the kids.

I’m upset about the grocery bill and the gifts given. I wasn’t planning on it and DH just took out cash and started handing everyone red envelopes without discussing it with me.  We are not rich and this has to got to stop. I was also super grumpy that he had people over at our house with out making sure I was okay with it.  At the very least, he could have mandated the outing a pot luck. Looks like, we’re going to start instituting a once a week finance meeting between the two of us.  He honestly didn’t track the amounts and when I showed him the numbers, he asked me if I was crazy to spend that much per week on groceries1!!!!

We got invited to so many events this weekend, and we turned them all down except for my GF’s birthday dinner at her house & my husband’s cousin’s little girl’s birthday. Being on a budget and having a social life sucks sometimes.


Weekly Money Check-Up 01-23-12

Weekly Money Check-Up is a weekly series on My Pretty Pennies. 

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on groceries again.  $125 went to Costco.

2. Today I am thankful for my health.  I went and got my annual check up and my numbers all look good.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy   organize my closet and gave a bunch of stuff away to Goodwill.

4. I will consider this week a success if I keep up on my reading for my classes and fit in 4 runs this week.  I’ve been struggling lately balancing work, school and family.  I need to find a way to better manage my time.

5. The craft I am currently interested in right now is knitting, though I don’t have time to do it.

Weekly Spending Report 01-16-12

Quicken still isn’t the easiest thing to run, but it didn’t take nearly as long and didn’t make me as cranky this week.

Auto: We only filled up once this past week.  Yay!

Credit Card Payment :  This is my regular payment to Capital One.  Balance is under $500 & I should be able to take care of this n the next couple of weeks.  Then, it will sit at zero since we don’t ever use the credit card.

Dining: $95 was for our son’s dinner with the family.  The remainder was my hubby eating out for lunch (BOO!).

Entertainment: Cost to take my entire family bowling.

Groceries: Includes our regular shopping and special stuff I picked up for the birthday party.  I have got to get a better grip on grocery shopping.

Medical:  We had 2 trips to the doctors this week.  One for me and my sinus infection & one for my little girl for her allergies.

Personal Care:  $8.18 for Benadryl & $4.36 toilet paper.

The good news is that I didn’t spend much money this weekend.  We stayed home because we were snowed but I did pick up some milk, more toilet paper, and some veggies to last us through the end of the week.  I think I’m heading in the right direction by tracking weekly again, despite how irritated I’ve been with Quicken.

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday!

Hopefully, we’re on the same page now

I took your advice on my last post and decided that the hubby and I need to talk it out.  Boy, did we ever.

I grabbed the remainder of the bills for January and I’m so disappointed in myself.  Since I only started to really pay attention to our bank accounts and tracking our money towards the end of December, I missed a whole bunch of bills that needed to be paid.  Our utilities and cable are doubled up because I forgot to pay them last month!  Below are the remaining bills:

Based on my calculations, we will only have $200 for gas and groceries after all of these bills are paid unless I transfer some money out of savings.  The good news is that my car doesn’t really need that much gas since I only drive about 15 miles a day.  Hubby’s car, however, will need to be filled up at least once a week since his commute is brutal.  I told DH that I know we can make the $200 stretch since we’ve got lots of frozen meat.  I will just need to stretch our grocery budget by cooking out of the pantry and using up the rest of the food that’s in there.  We are completely low on veggies so I will have to buy strictly from the Asian Grocery store since it’s a lot cheaper than the regular supermarket.

Then, I realized that we are out of toilet paper!  Lord, does it ever end once it starts raining?  That is the ONE thing that I am allowed to buy at Costco this weekend. We will not be leaving our house for any reason at all this weekend because that’s where I feel like we do most of our mindless spending! I’ve texted my sisters and friends if they want to see us this weekend, they will need to bring the food because we are on a budget until February!

I usually have $650 set aside for savings automatically and I really don’t want to take that money out unless there is a dire emergency.  I think if we plan carefully, we will be able to make it to February 1st without touching the emergency money.

 Anyhow, back to my talk with the hubby.  I showed him the actual bills and I pulled out the bank statement online.  I had him calculate what we had left over after our mandatory bills were paid for.  Boy, were his eyes glazed when they looked back at me.  He said he had no idea that’s how much we would have to pay out next week and thought that when he checked the balance in the account that bills had already been paid (insert eye roll here from me).  I told him that he spends money faster than I can pay the bills.  Next Wednesday, he will sit down and pay the bills and update the check register so he knows how much money we have left over to spend.
I’m hopeful that this opened up his eyes but until a few more months go by I can’t really say this worked!


Mars & Venus

This is sort of an emo post, so be warned.

My husband and I are Mars and Venus when it comes to money and our relationship with it.

My husband is really impulsive and likes to blow money because he has no idea how much money we need per month in order to pay all our bills.  I am also starting to realize that he is far too concerned with being the life of a party than to worry about money.  I have tried so many times to get him to see where the money is going and he is  just not interested because he wants me to handle all of it.

I’m not saying I’m perfect but I don’t do a lot of the impulsive things that he does.  If I want something, I will think it through for a long time because I feel guilty buying whatever it is that I want.  For instance, my black boots from 3 winters ago have a hole in them and the heel is completely busted up, but I still wear them.  I want a very specific pair to replace them but the price tag on them is $150.  I keep waiting for that price to go down or for one of the websites to have a big sale and put those boots on clearance.  To my annoyance, those shoes don’t ever go on sale.  And they have been on my wish list for over a year now but I can’t make myself buy them at full price.  My husband, on the other hand, would just go ahead and buy those boots and not feel an inkling of stress over the purchase.

He thinks that because we make $X,XXX salary per month we should be able to have fun and do stuff without worrying.  Oh?  What’s his  idea of fun, you ask?  Well, just this past weekend, my husband has asked me to:

  • go snowboarding with the kids
  • take our son and 5 of his buddies to the movies
  • stop by a bar on his way home from work so he can watch the LSU & Alabama game with his friends.

Usually, I would say yes to any of this (not all) but since I’ve recommitted myself into getting rid of our debts, I am focused on keeping as much money in our bank account as possible so we can actually pay down the debts instead of coast month to month.  I said, “No, we can’t afford to do that!” so many times this weekend that I feel like a broken record.  

The snowboarding was going to be a very expensive trip for one day. Below are the rates I pulled up from a local ski resort:

9am 12pm *3pm
Adult (16-61) $62 $56 $40
Student (13-15) $52 $46 $40
Youth ( 7-12) $42 $35 $35
Senior (62-69) $42 $35 $35
Children 6 & Under $ 8 $ 8 $  8
Seniors 70 & Over $15 $15 $15
**Daisy ONLY $48 $48 $40

There are 5 people in my family – 2 adults, 2 kids over 7 and a 6 year old.  It would have cost us $208.05 ($190+$18.05 tax) to buy just the lift tickets alone.  Not to mention, I know my DH.  He would have wanted to stop buy and get something to eat at the ski lodge.  You add in another $40-$50 for lunch for all of us.  Then, on the way home, we would stop by and get something to eat from our friend’s restaurant, add in another $60.  The total cost of this trip would have been at least $318.05.

The trip to the movies would have also cost us an arm and a leg.  It would have cost us $60.25 just for tickets.  Not to mention, we would have been asked to buy food + drinks, which for 7 people would have been at least another $30-40.  Total cost: $100.25.

Watching the game at the bar would also be super expensive, especially at the bars close to where DH works.  They charge at least $8 a drink and since it’s right after work he’d get a bite to eat.  That’s another $40 for dinner + drinks.

Had I said okay to all of the above, this weekend would have cost us $458.30.

The type of fun my husband has in mind costs us a lot of money.   And, quite frankly I’m not willing to have that kind of fun anymore.  I don’t want to spend money on things that aren’t important to me.  Going out to eat with a bunch of our friends isn’t my idea of fun anymore because I know we can save so much money if we all just picked someone’s house and each couple brought a dish and a drink.  Buying the newest flat screen TV isn’t that important to me because I barely watch TV.

I really want to get a handle on our money.  I really want to pay off the stupid debts we have.  I’m sick and tired of knowing that we make great money but because we choose to go out to eat, go do this or that, our money is frittered away by the end of the month.

I’ve been getting a lot of sideways glares from him this past week because he thinks I’m being the money nazi. Honestly, I don’t want to be the money nazi but I want our family to be debt free except for the house in the next 2 years and spending every cent on “fun” is not going to help us achieve our goals.
Are any of you bloggers going through this?  Anyone else already went through this?  What was the solution? I know I can’t change my husband but I want him to realize the choices we make on how we spend our money day to day impacts our ability to repay our debts and most importantly, save.

Weekly Spending Report 01-09-12

Let me tell you that putting these reports together was incredibly annoying.  It took me 7 days to get Quicken to even load.  Then it was another 4 hours before I could actually get it to generate this report.  This was enough to have me wanting to pull my hair!  I definitely need to find a way to do this that’s simple.  I think this is the key reason why I stopped tracking….it’s too agonizing and slow!

You can see the most expensive thing on there is our mortgage. The Education expense will be reimbursed in next week’s paycheck.  Those eating out expenses were all DH’s and we had another talk tonight about cutting those out completely.  Granted, they are not as bad as last year’s numbers but  I wish we can eliminate it all together.

Hubby wanted to go snowboarding with the 3 kids and I felt bad telling them no.  But, I had to do it.  It was going to be another $200 at least just for lift tickets and we just can’t afford to do that.  I wasn’t very popular this Sunday with the husband but the kids took it in stride, they asked if they can go one more time before the season is over and I said that I would consider it if we were good and didn’t go out to eat anymore for the whole month of January.  They are going to keep hubby & I accountable because they really want to go boarding in February.