Goals for this month:
1. No unbudgeted spending, post here every day.
2. Hand laundry twice this month. Continuing indoor herb garden.
3. Meal planning every week. Last month was our first experiment with meal planning and we decided not to try to make it at all frugal (other than the decreased food waste and lack of impulse eating out); this month we're going to focus on cost containment.
4. Six OT shifts this month, with extra takehome pay going to student loans. Continue planned debt snowball.
5. In honor of Thanksgiving, identify one thing to be grateful for each day!
No spend/Budgeted spending
Legitimate unbudgeted spending
11/1: No spend! Worked extra OT shift last night. Grateful for getting to snuggle with DS when I got home.
11/2: No spend! Grateful for the wonderful ladies at our breastfeeding group.
11/3: Budgeted spending: $50 on new diaper covers to replace the ones being outgrown (it's pretty incredible how fast DS is growing). Took shuttle to save gas money. Landlord still hasn't turned on heat and won't return phone calls... the rumor is that the boiler is broken. Meanwhile, we're making do with a couple of space heaters, but our electric bill is probably going to be sky high this month. Part of me wants to call the Fair housing commission to report (especially given the fact that he's just blowing us off), but part of me wants to have a good relationship with the landlord... he hasn't raised rent in years, even though everything but electricity is included and energy prices have gone up so much. Opinions? Today grateful for a nice warm shuttlebus after walking there in the cold!
11/4: Budgeted spending: $5.50 for family lunch at food truck while doing everyone's doctors appointments today. Just got electricity bill (counting winter storm part of the two space heater thing)... twice as much as this time last year!!! luckily I overbudgeted that, so we're still under budget, but still. At least the heat for the building as finally been turned on! Which is what I'm grateful for... a nice, cozy apartment! Also, did hand laundry (phew!).
11/5 7.75 on subway tokens (budgeted). Grateful for the baby reminding me I have to slow down.
11/6 Budgeted grocery shoping. Grateful for our new parish priest.
11/7 No spend! Grateful for the wonderful ladies at work, who I can run ideas by and not worry about being shot down if they're still in process.
11/8 No spend! Grateful for our wonderful nanny, who dotes on my son so I don't have to worry when I'm away.
11/9: Not really sure how to code this, but DH forgot his lunch (which I also forgot to pack... jeez!), so I walked the baby down to him at work at we bought lunch together. We used our designated pocket money for the lunch, so it was "in budget", but now we don't have much in the way of pocket money left. Pocket money is a new category in our budget, and I think it tempts us to spend. I guess as long as it stops once we're done with it (it's pretty nominal and was meant to catch things like 'I need an afternoon snack' or an extra cup of coffee some odd morning). Anyway, then I took a gratuitous trip downtown for confession and adoration (I say gratuitous because we have perpetual adoration at our parish, and I could always just go to confession here... I just kinda had the 'lets go downtown' bug) and spent more on the subway tokens. Not a banner day! Clearly we need to refocus. Grateful for being able to work from home so much so I can be around DS for all but a few hours a week.
11/10 No spend! Grateful for having wonderful people who take care of DS when I can't be there.
11/11 Totally fell off the horse. Went to the thrift store and the fabric store, and spent way more than I had planned. Sigh. I guess I'll have to rework the budget for the rest of the month. Grateful for the wonderful thrift store we went to... spent more than planned, but saved a lot over retail!
Oh, and I was thinking more about Hiroko's question. I realized we actually save a lot of money by making our own beverages. We roast our own coffee, which allows us to buy green beans in bulk (they last over a year with no decrease in flavor, unlike already roasted coffee). It probably wouldn't save money over the cheapest available discount coffee, but if you like coffee and are spending a lot on it, this can really help -- it's so good I don't go to Starbucks or whatever because I like my coffee so much better. We brew our own beer -- again, not a savings over Budweiser, but over pretty much any non-discount beer a real savings. And again, I like the craftsmanly aspect to it. It's also fun to do with friends (we have a potluck on bottling days), reduces the amount of waste and packaging (bottles are all reused), etc. Finally, we make "juice water", which is basically water with a touch of juice (lemon, cranberry). That saves a ton of money over soda and juice at full strength.
Edited by AnkaJones - 11/12/11 at 7:26pm