Exhaustion

Work is so exhausting.  I thought last year that it would eventually slow down, however, it has not.  I work a lot and am getting very tired of it.  For the past month, I have refused to go to work on weekends because my kids have soccer games every Saturday and I literally have to be up before 7 since 99% of their games start at 8:30 and it is non stop until about 5PM.  Add in that I’m at work by 6:00 AM everyday and often times don’t leave until 5 or 6PM, well, you get the picture – I’m extremely exhausted.
With this exhaustion, I have slacked big time on working out.  I am just too tired.  I hate excuses.  I hate them.  I shouldn’t be this tired all the time, yet I am.  I know a big part of it is stress and another part of it is the fact that I’m not running to counter the stress.  I haven’t ran in about a month.  Sigh.  I am going to make myself go running tomorrow.

On the money front, I have still been bringing coffee from home and packing my lunches every day. Actually, I’ve been packing breakfast, snacks and lunch because I’m there so long.  Even though I haven’t been working out consistently I have still been eating pretty healthy.  I pack my lunches every Sunday night and literally just grab each morning.  The only thing I have to do is make my latte and I’m good to go in the morning.  For a really lazy person like me, this is a Godsend.  Thursday is my pay day and I’ve already written all my checks and will mail them all out tomorrow.   I know everyone gives me a hard time about checks but after a lot of bad luck with auto deductions on everything except my mortgage and car insurance, I’d rather just write my checks and be completely and totally old fashioned.

Have a great night everyone.

PS, I’m fixing the side bars but having problems and those numbers are not accurate.

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March Goals & Budget

First, a recap of my February goals:

For February, I’d like to accomplish the following:
  1. Pass my midterm test this Tuesday. Hell yes! Missed only one and got a 96%!
  2. Keep up on my reading and homework. Yes, I continue to stay focused!
  3. Complete my $5,000 baby emergency fund! Yes! YES! YES! With taxes, bonuses, we got slightly more than I expected and currently we have a FULLY funded Emergency Fund at $10,000.
  4. Pay $832.42 towards our visa card :) Yes! Sent them lots of money!
  5. Log in my eating on weight watchers & myfitnesspal. FAIL! I was good for about 75% and then studying etc got in the way.
  6. Run 4 times a week. Check, Check!
  7. Lift weights 3 times a week. Check, Check!
  8. Keep Quicken up to date. FAIL/PASS When Quicken cooperated I kept it updated. However, it failed more than it worked. Still holding out from spending more $ towards a Windows laptop.
  9. Keep my checkbook balanced! Pass! For the first time in at least 2 years. LORD HALLELUJAH!
For March, below is our budget for the month. The grocery is so sporty for us but I am going out of town on business for the next week and we have tons of food left. I know I have to pay for the kids’ swimming lessons this month as well as baseball for my two youngest.
With respect to actual goals I want to target, they are:
  1. Run 4 times a week.
  2. No eating out!
  3. Spring clean from 3/19 to 4/1!
  4. Purge my closet once again.
  5. Paint the girls’ room.
  6. Throw all overtime money towards Visa.
  7. Call Comcast and negotiate a better cable rate or else cut back on it or CANCEL cable!
  8. Send out letters disputing the inaccuracies on my credit reports.
  9. Sign up for classes for Spring Quarter.

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!

 

Lunch

Last night, out of sheer exhaustion, I fell asleep at 7:30PM and didn’t wake up until 6 this morning.  I didn’t pack my lunch because I didn’t even make dinner.  Today, I grabbed a salad at work.  BIG MISTAKE! I am so violently sick from that salad.  I vow to never buy food from my work cafeteria again.

That at least should help with the eating out budget.

Step 1 to Taking Control of Your Finances: Track Your Spending!

I’m determined to get a handle on my spending. I don’t make a lot of money but I feel like both Mr. and I make enough to take care of our family. I understand that it’s really not what we make it, it’s what we save. This year, I’ve been a decent saver. Every paycheck I put 8% of my paycheck in my 401k. I also automatically save $625 of our paycheck every other week. Where I know we fail is controlling our spending. We suck at it. Truly. However, I’m determined to try and correct it.

One of my first posts was about how I ate out so much I literally could buy a used car. I wish I could say that I was able to learn from that and stop spending, but I didn’t. Oh, I changed it for a few months but then something stressful happens, and BAM I’m in the same place again. This time, though, even if I don’t want to look at our bank account, I make myself do it. I am able to download my bank transactions to both Quicken and Excel. At lunch everyday, I download what I spent the day before and then track. I’ve resorted to putting sticky notes on my debit card to “STOP SPENDING, STUPID!” I’ve got sticky notes on my computer that say, “SSS.” It’s helping a little.

My biggest cost beside bills is eating. I love to eat. And I eat well. It’s hard for me to give up on eating because I’m lazy and don’t pack my lunches as often as I should. Somedays I come home and my mind is mentally drained and the last thing I want to do is make dinner and then pack lunch. I would much rather sit on my couch, thank you. But, I know I have to change. I do. I know it.

Anyhow back to the tracking. I use Quicken/Excel and my planner to track my expenses. Why? Quicken so I can have automatic download set up. It’s easy and DH can get a hold of all our info if I’m not home. As for Excel, I download transactions from my bank and I run pivot tables per week, and per month on how much money I spent and saved. I’m obsessive about my Filofax so I write daily spending in my planner.

I need to bribe myself into spending less. I think that’s the only thing that will work. I’ve been dying for a trip to the midwest, where my BFF (forever and ever) lives. Tickets are about $251 now. I figure if I stop eating out for the rest of the month and through to September, I will use the thousands of dollars I save and buy myself a plane ticket to go see her.

I’m super tired and this post is a bit sporadic. I might try to add more to it tomorrow. Good night everyone.

Weekly Spending Report 07/10/2011 to 07/16/2011

I’ve never done a weekly spending recap before and thought perhaps I should start.  I’ve noticed that if I don’t keep track of what I’m spending, I will just keep spending.  I know I have a lot of work to do in terms of cutting our spending back so please be gentle.  I’m working on trying to keep money instead but I really am not doing a great job with my spending.

10-Jul-11

Open New Account PenFed -5

Gas Transportation -55.31

Coffee Dining -4

Video Games Recreation -9.81

Lunch Dining -15

Total -89.12

 

11-Jul-11

Lunch Dining -10.77

Snacks Dining -10.93

Wedding Gift -100

Hair cut & color Beauty -250.25

Lunch Dining -10.18

New Account USAA -50

Garbage Utilities -13.25

Total -445.38

 

12-Jul-11

Lunch Dining -9.38

Pens Home Office -25.78

Hats Groceries -26

Gas Transportation -30

Total    -91.16

 

13-Jul-11

Coffee Coffee -4.53

Lunch Dining -8.1

CASH ATM -80

Breakfast Dining -17.32

Groceries Groceries -7.12

Total -117.07

 

14-Jul-11

External Hard Drive Home Office -65.51

Coffee Dining -10.52

Cell Phone Utilities -100

Groceries Groceries -21.52

Gas Transportation -40.01

Produce Groceries -6

Total -243.56

15-Jul-11

Lunch Dining -2.38

Coffee Dining -6.81

Clothing Clothing -12

Groceries Groceries -11.64

Hat Clothing -38.31

Total -71.14

 

16-Jul-11

Clothing Clothing -54.73

Lunch Dining -4.5

Total -59.23

 

17-Jul-11

Coffee Dining -4.25

Lunch Dining -23.84

Snacks Dining -15.81

Groceries Groceries -32.36

Gas Transportation -84.37

Groceries Groceries -99.47

Total -260.1

 

Total Weekly -1376.8

OMG.  This is what happens when you don’t pay attention to your spending.  I knew I was spending a lot of money.  I just didn’t know that I was literally throwing my money away on food.  I hate that this money wasn’t sent to pay down debt.  I continue to spend money on stupid stuff.  I can’t get DH to stop spending money either.  We definitely need to have a sit down tonight and figure out why we can’t say no to ourselves and our kids.

Next week I will do better. 

 

Weekend Plans

TGIF!!

I love Fridays because the day flies by and once I leave work I am immersed in family time!  I usually get to have dinner with my sisters at my house and we usually watch movies, dance or just shoot the breeze all night.  Today is the last day of school for my munchkins so we are planning to have a BBQ/dinner party to kick off the summer for them.  Their cousins and grandparents will be there as well and they are going to have a blast!  It’s not going to be too late of a night because I am running a half marathon tomorrow at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

After my run, I will be driving hobbling like an 80 year old home to ice and rest up.  Then we are going to a baseball game with some friends where I will be walking hobbling like an 80 year old all around the city.  Hubby’s co workers gave us some tickets and we found out some of our friends are also going so we’re super excited to spend more time with our friends.  I am hoping not to spend too much money this weekend but have a feeling that the Mr. will want to spend because we’re planning that spending fast starting July 1.  I have to make sure we are on the same page about how much will be spent tomorrow.  I will be eating like crazy

Sunday, I’m hoping to do house stuff.  I found some brand new Ikea picture frames that I bought last summer while cleaning the hallway closet the other day.  My plan is to print some art onto cardstock paper and frame them in near the entryway to our home.  I also need to hang up more picture frames.  I also have a painting project for an old mirror that I got for $1 last summer.  It’s really big, square and ornate.  I’m going to spray paint it black and hang it up in the hallway in our home.  I’m also going to be attempting to sew sewing some pillows for our couches with fabric that my mama picked up for me.  After all that, I’m planning on having a nice, relaxing home cooked dinner with my wonderful little family.

I’m planning on bringing $40 to the baseball game this weekend.  I’m going to eat a lot from home and keep some snacks in the car so we don’t have to pay horrendous ball park prices for food.  I’m really hoping to only spend some $ on beer for hubby.  It’s always tricky meeting up with a group because they usually want to split the bill evenly.  Which would be okay if everyone ordered the same amount of food and drinks.  Often times though we always order less but shell out more and the people who order more shell out less.  So, to be fair I’m going to ask for separate checks before the bill comes.