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Archive for December, 2007

An unplanned bonus, oh oh....

December 21st, 2007 at 05:28 pm

So I thought I wasn't going to get a bonus this year so we worked with what we had instead. Aka, I don't need this bonus at all. Not a good thing...

I know a couple of ways of using the bonus that are responsible, such as putting it in savings for future travel, making an extra payment on the debt and adding it to the house downpayment pot.

But I got to say, my friend (shop til you drop type) and even my husband (who feels guilty for agreeing to buy me so little this Christmas *rolls eyes*) are encouraging me to spend at least part of it on me.

Now you see why I take money away from myself before I ever see it. *Sigh*

I give myself an allowance monthly, I don't need this money to splurge on myself. I have plenty in the budget for splurges so that they spread out. I think I may go with my original plan to put it on debt. After all, that will save us money in the long run...

Don't you just hate temptation?

I love my wishlist

December 18th, 2007 at 08:59 pm

If I am in the mood for shopping (always online since I hate stores) I can put things in my amazon wishlist without actually spending money. Then, I forget about them or wait for them to go cheaper (the latter is especially useful for new video games since paying full price is ridiculous).

Later on, I will go through the list and get rid of the things that were really just a whim (usually takes me 2 months to give something the boot) and I have no buyer's regret because I didn't buy it and I don't feel pressured to buy something because I know the list will remember it for me if I really do want it later.

I get to enjoy shopping online without spending and then later on pat myself on the back when I delete things from the list.

I know some people couldn't do it this way because it would lead them to buy more stuff but I am quite content to window shop without spending so it works for me.

Musing on No Spend Days...

December 17th, 2007 at 06:12 pm

I read a lot of blogs that have no spend days. For me, almost everyday is a no spend day. Its easier to count the spend days. Not that this means I don't spend any money, it just means I usually do it in batches, lol.

However, the batches have been getting smaller. This weekend we went to a play (my christmas present) and we spent $35, which included lunch and dinner. We used to spend twice that on just supper so definite improvement there.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Trying to remember patience is a virtue....

December 14th, 2007 at 08:59 pm

Ever get yourself to that spot where you don't need to do anything more but wait for time to finish a job? *Sigh* I am at that point with our finances. Everything is on auto-pilot and doing well and now I just need to wait...

But I hate waiting, I prefer to tinker. My grocery budget is where I want it, I have an allowance which is perfectly adequate, the bills are as low as I am capable of getting them and my husband is debt-free and saving up a down payment for a house.

All I need to do is wait. Blah, how annoying. I know I should be glad to be at this point but I like working on problems or projects.

Steak for Cheap

December 12th, 2007 at 04:54 pm

So Chuck Roasts for $1.49/lb at my local Safeway store.

So how many of you knew that if you buy a cheap roast and cut it in half before you cook it you get a really tender, thick steak?

We tried it the other day because I think someone else mentioned it and wow. So much better than those tough little charcoal steaks.

We now cut it up before throwing it in the freezer and its better quality steak than what we were eating before for at least half the price. Yummy!

DH is debt free! Woohoo!

December 10th, 2007 at 05:43 pm

As of this past Friday my husband is debt free. So that would be the first half of the debt eliminated (yes, you read that correctly, half). Starting this month, he will begin to fill up the house downpayment fund and next month he will start receiving an allowance to do with as he wants!

This is actually a month ahead of schedule thanks to overtime.

So now all that is left is mine, no pressure there...

Went Grocery Shopping with DH

December 6th, 2007 at 03:55 pm

He got to the store first after work and so started to pick up things. I was amazed to discover that he had not only stuck to the list but had also compared prices per unit. When I commented on it, he told me that well yeah, he had picked some tricks up by osmosis from me! Lol.
I guess I didn't realize that I talked about that stuff that much or that he was watching that closely the few times he joins me in grocery shopping.

I guess this means that we both have the basics down, now if only I could figure out how to avoid my occasional spendy moods.... I only get them once every couple of months but boy are they bad, they more than make up for months of being good.

Temptation

December 5th, 2007 at 05:58 pm

I have to be careful not to look at laptop computers. I really really want one and have wanted one for awhile now. But my debts come first. They have to because otherwise I will never pay them off. I am currently living within my means but I need to start living below my means if I want to pay off my mistakes and start aggressively saving for retirement.

Even looking is dangerous, I start getting really interested and thinking how I could afford it and that is when I realize that I am still finding big projects to spend money on.

Right now my best motivation is wanting to buy a house next winter. It works even better than the debt because the amount it would cost for the laptop could be saved up in just two months, but that would put me two months behind on saving for a house and I want the house more. I don't want to have to sign another year lease for an apartment because I bought a laptop.

It does worry me about getting a house though. It would be so easy to find big projects for my house and it would be so easy to make excuses for why we need it. I already know that I will have to budget so that we have a limit to what we can spend on the house each month.

No worries though, my desire for a laptop hasn't resulted in me buying one for the last two years, it won't for another two. I have a plan and I intend to stick with it. After all, I can hit only $2000 in credit card debt by the time we buy next winter which means being debt free two months after. I won't give that up for anything.

Retirement savings update

December 4th, 2007 at 09:13 pm

I have yet again upped my monthly retirement contribution by $50. Its my reward for getting my expenses under control and a way of making sure I don't spend that money frivously. After all, I spend what I have so if its not in my pocket, I can't spend it.

I was debating whether to put it towards debt or retirement but the problem there lies in the fact that I tried that last year and made no progress on my debt. So I figured this way I would know I made progress of some sort. Though I must admit, the little debt ticker is useful in that I can see when I have stalled or failed completely.

I have also received a $10 Panera Gift Card from Mypoints.com. I am very happy about that. I have a feeling that any eating out we do this month will occur in the last week. My business trip cured me of wanting to eat out,lol.

Just Life

December 3rd, 2007 at 10:38 pm

So I have survived my 4 flights in 8 days (one set for seeing family for Thanksgiving, one set for a business conference). Still will need a couple of days to regain my energy, especially since I spent all of Saturday doing chores and going to the company Christmas party.

Speaking of which, I have discovered that my friend is a very bad window shopper. Had I realized how much, I wouldn't have had her come with me but she claimed that she had things she needed...

It probably didn't help that she saw us buy things that weren't on our list. They were things we had been planning on buying for awhile and we have it built into our budget to afford them at our convenience but she didn't necessarily know that. Course, I can't blame myself for the fact that the night before she had put herself $78 into the hole by overdrawing her checking account.

Its sort of like watching a train wreck. Maybe the crash she has embarked on this month will help wake her up. She already knows that her next paycheck will be eaten up completely by the car payment and other bills. Yuck.