So I think it is pretty obvious that I will not meet my blogging goal for the month. I do have a legit reason for it this month, so I wanted to make sure that I have it recorded. We ended up having to move things from Go Daddy due to price and this web site disappeared for approximately a week. That is as technical as I understand. I am very happy that it has all been saved including the huge amount of pictures that I post each year. The good news is for now we have three years until we have to deal with the same thing again.
I am over grocery budget again. So far this month I have spent $436 in addition to purchasing our cow. We will still have to pay the processing fee in May but this is a years supply or more of beef.
On a positive note, we have been able to reduce our total debit this month. I am so excited about this small accomplishment. I do anticipate that the next 3-4 weeks will be very expensive as we have several summer expenses that are due. These include pool membership, swim team, church camp and baseball camp. We also have our car insurance due in the month of May. Yikes
My plan/goal is to get some baseball pictures posted in addition to some other special ones over the last week.
I mentioned yesterday that we had purchased a trailer of mulch. The cost of the mulch was $15. I was totally amazed at the amount of mulch that we received. Here is a picture of the trailer AFTER I worked on spread for a couple of hours on Friday night.
This was a picture of the mulch uncovered about half way through Saturday.
I have never purchased mulch this way before. I am used to purchasing by the bag at Lowes. I would have been able to purchase approximately 7 bags at Lowes during the best sale which is $2 a bag. This was ALOT of mulch. We were able to apply mulch to all 3 flower bed around the house in addition to the two areas in front of the building and the new area I started in front of the kids play house.
Finally I decided to add mulch around the square foot garden and mulch in the area directly beside several of the beds. I have been doing some research and the mulch should help maintain the temperature better, hold water and prevent weeds.
I will admit defeat, I was unable to use the entire trailer of mulch, left approximately a fourth of the mulch for someone else. It did take a lot of effort or more accurately plain old hard work but we saved over $200 in mulch.
I did not want to write this post. In fact, I am writing it 4 days late because I have been avoiding putting the words to the paper. February was a hard month both emotional and financially on me. Actually I think that says it way to nicely. FEBRUARY SUCKED.
Financial- We have been hit with several unplanned financial expenses including a new tail light for my van, nails in at least 3 tires and kid’s expenses were really high for the month.
- Total paid to credit card debit $981. We also added to our credit card debit by $381
- Grocery budget $450- Total spent $466 I had planned to spend only $300 but…
- Gas budget- $280- Spent $205, This was managed by only paying cash for gas and moving money other places.
- Kid/Summer expenses : $200, Zach was registered for Baseball, purchased new bat, glove and pants. Lily need silent auction item for LYT
- Earned $125- this is indeed a much lower amount but this is the expectation until at least March.
Personal- I fail, just do not want to even discuss it any more.
Yes this is the “day late and dollar short” version of 5 Things Friday. I will be the first to admit that the last couple of weeks have been very stressful and emotionally exhausting in addition to being financially straining.
Yesterday, was our first full paycheck for the month of February. The good news is that we were able to catch up from the snow week. I have a plan in place for both our tax returns and am very hopeful that this will allow us back on a slow but steady track to paying down our huge debit this year. We are working to reduce both our electric and water bills to a more normal level. Matt and I have already worked out a Menu plan for the month which means we should be able to keep the grocery bill on a lower than usual level. Another positive is that Matt has been selling vinyl decals on a very steady basis this month. This is definitely helpful as we have lots of unexpected expenses.
I am battling left-overs in our fridge. Our super bowl party is always fun but we end up with some interesting left-overs. This week, I made an effort to make meals of left-overs and strongly suggested that Matt and Lily eat left-overs for lunch. Today, I am repurposing left-overs, we had a bag of carrots, and a bunch of celery, several cups of rice and some pulled pork. I did a little bit of thinking and decided to make pork fried rice. I chopped up the pork and realized that we had over 4 cups left which is enough to make 2 full meals for us. I let Kendall help chop up the carrots and celery. I added some green peppers and onions and that became our veggies for the stir-fry. One set for dinner and a second set in the freezer for a crazy day of what is for dinner.
Zach has officially started taking piano. He has been asking for over a year but we really wanted him to wait until he was a strong reader before attempting. Kendall started teaching him this week for fun. He even practiced every day without being told. This is definitely an expense that I don’t mind adding.
I am so ready for spring, in fact I have already planned out our square foot garden and added several more containers. I am very hopefully that with a little extra work this year we will have a bumper crop. I purchased trees a couple of years ago to start work on a landscape line. The trees came with a 2 year guarantee. I received an email yesterday that a new peach tree is being shipped this week. My mother has also been growing several pecan trees in her flower bed. So we should be able to finish the border without spending any additional money!
Our busy schedule has returned. Some days, I am honestly thinking how do we actually do this. This week, Lily has practice for her play, 4 nights and a party the 5th night. Kendall has 2 days of extra curricular activities in addition to church on Wednesday night. Matt has also doubled his hours at work for this week. Yikes, better rest up today!
The final week of January has been a rough one for us, on many different levels. Today is Thursday and I can see a small light at the end of the tunnel at least for this week. Both our electric and water bill will be extremely high for February so I am already working the budget numbers to accommodate the extra amounts.
Since I am not totally positive on what things I want to monitor this year I am going with a list method of goals and may decide to add or delete a few as the weeks go on.
Financial- We are attempting to use a cash only method for the first six month of the year in order to get us some better financial balance.
- Total paid to credit card debit $1050 total reduction in credit card debit $415
- Grocery budget $160- Total spent $200. This is still $275 less than budget.. I will be increasing the February budget to $300.
- Gas budget- $280- Spent $235
- Kid/Summer expenses : $85
- Earned $170- this is indeed a much lower amount but this is the expectation until at least March.
Personal- This is truly where I am add or change several things
- Blogging- 15 for the month. I am going to set a goal for 20 but realize that is probably not realistic.
- Reading The Bible – 31 days complete!
- Exercise- 7 total days for the month. Again setting a goal for 15 but not sure if that is realistic or not.
This week we , Matt, kids, my mom and myself, decided to search out some clearance deals. I will go ahead and say that Matt was able to get the best overall deal. Matt works at Dollar General. Until Tuesday of this coming week, the majority of Christmas items are twenty-five cent each. After hearing of his awesome deal, we decided to browse the other Dollar Generals in town.
On Friday night, Matt found a candle that was placed in the wrong area with a twenty-five cent coupon on top of it. He purchased the candle for me and a box of candy canes for a total of twenty-six cent. He also submitted his receipt to Ibbotta and receive a twenty five cent rebate so a candle and box of candy canes for one penny after rebate.
One store had lots of canned pumpkin (I purchased 12 cans) a container of green sprinkles and a container of cloves all priced at twenty-five cents. We also found a Cars stocking also priced at twenty five cent. I also purchased tissue paper, gift boxes and bows of varies sizes. Plastic round ornament boxes were priced at $3 each, I purchased at total of three at two separate stores. I also found some paper plates for a Ladies banquet that I am responsible for a table at. These were not on clearance but a great deal. I ended up spending a total of $50 ! I will say I am very impressed with my self.
Our final stop was the local Big Lots, we found all Christmas items between 50% and 75% off. We also discovered at the register that this weekend, we received an additional 20% off. I am excited to say that we found wrapping paper that will work for several occasions for less than seventy five cents a roll! This was a huge score and completes re stocking our wrapping paper.
Today, we claimed and sorted the recycle paper bin at our church. I started with many years ago. After less than an hours work for the sorting we have a case or more of paper that will be used for printing coupons, art work and recipes for the next six months or so.
I have always said that menu planning saves us a ton of money, now I have the proof. On Saturday, we headed to Aldi to purchase some items that we were out of, we even added in three boxes of cereal to help with breakfast this week. Our total was $25.57. Matt was working Sunday morning and the kids and I decided that we wanted to make a big “Cracker Barrel Breakfast”. After checking, we need a couple of items to make the things we wanted. Kendall and I took our list and headed to Food Lion. The one meal list cost $25.47. No more special meals for us. Everyone is home on Monday but then it is back to reality. To end on some good news, we have $6.41 left out of our $160 grocery budget.
Breakfast- Saturday- Pimento Cheese and Bacon Biscuits, Sunday- Cereal and toast, Monday- Sausage Gravy and Biscuits, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or left-overs, Thursday(kids have eye appointment) pancakes or waffles.
Lunch- Saturday- Left-overs/sandwich, Sunday- Baked Potatoes, Monday- Sandwiches. The kids are taking 1 day of sandwhiches and 2 grab and go days. I will be taking left-over soup all this week.
Sunday- Saturday- Chicken Tacos, Sunday- Egg Casserole, Hashbrown casserole and cooked apples, Monday- Pizza Rolls, Tuesday- Chicken Pot Pie (from freezer), Wednesday-Hamburger Helper, Thursday- Country style steak or pulled pork, Friday- Chicken Nuggets and French Fries.
We are eating a lot of quick simple meals and sandwiches this week but it is just what we feel like. The menu may change depending on the weather and my work schedule.
This was a different month for us. On the positive side, we did not put any “regular/usual expenses” on credit cards. But on the negative note, our debit load did increase but this should be the highest it goes and from December forward it is the focus!
Debit Reduction: Did not happen see above
Blog Post: This is my 12th post of the month. I seriously need to up my game. I did notice that I did not even post regularly on Wednesday this month so pictures should be an easy addition.
Days on Treadmill: Goal Met! We walked a total of 20 days this month!
Groceries- Goal met! We spent $291 on groceries this month! Two months in a row, below budget. I am hoping for a third! I will say that we have cleaned out and turned off one of our freezers and plan to turn off our third refrigerator prior to our trip. The pantry is also starting to look empty. My current plan includes a minimal month for November with a huge trip to Costco planned for December. I am also very hopeful that Food Lion will run it’s quarter back sale in January. I will be re-evaluating our grocery budget at the end of December. I honestly think that I will raise this to at least $600 next year because of the growing kids that live here.
Gas: Fail! We are over budget this month by $75. I did have another flat tire this month but other than that gas is a huge expense for us.
Earnings: We are continuing to focus on bringing in every extra penny we can. This month was an average month
Swagbucks = $175 Matt earned $75 and I earned $100
Ibotta= $20 Matt was able to cash out this month.
November is a fun month with our trip to Disney!