Month in Review

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.  Not Met! $1000 This is the second month in a row that we have been way over budget for groceries. I was able to stock up on 2 Liter Diet Cokes.  We also committed to purchasing a whole cow in August.    My plans for the next couple of months are to keep my stock up at its current level with everything but meat. I would like to also restock the freezer with some meals that will be good for grab and go once we hit September again. In light of the significant increase in food prices, I am returning the grocery budget to $700 a month. I will see what happens and how I decided to pay for the cow in August.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month. NOT met! $760 gas.  We have also seen a significant increase in the price of gas. It is currently sitting around $4.25 a gallon.  I am going to increase the budget to $500 for now but that may not be enough if gas prices continue to rise or don’t go back down.

Cash Envelope system- We are back to use a majority cash system.  I am hopeful that this will work even better in the Summer.

Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 13 for the month. I have been much better at posting on a regular basis. So hopefully, i t will continue this summer.

Exercise days-  Although my knee is feeling much better. I am at almost a month with no pain so that is at least a 2 week improvement over the relief I got from the first shot.  I have not started exercising again. Hopefully I can get to the pool soon!

No Spend Days- ummmmm what ? Yeap another expensive month.

May was super busy as expected. We have received our last check from Matt’s inheritance, so I am hopefully to get a permanent budget in place and look forward to finally getting some repairs we have talked about for the last year completed on the house.

 

April in Review

The winds of April certainly brought about lots of change.  Matt is now employed full time.  We also enjoyed a 10 escape from reality to Disney.  May is usually one of our busier months so I anticipate full steam ahead to summer and the school break.  We were over budget in several different categories. My intention is to just work through the month of May as it comes budget wise. I will plan to spend some time after we figure out Matt’s pay and do a re-vamp of the budget beginning in June. This revamp will also take into consideration inflation and the price increases that we are seeing.

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.  Not Met! $658.81 This does include our Amazon subscribe and save.  I am a little shocked at this amount but I have started to readjust again and instead of buying one item we are out of, buying two instead. I will continue just to monitor this in May but have no clue where we will end up.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month.  NOT met! $355 for regular gas and $430 for the trip to Disney.  Matt’s job is a 35 to 40 minute drive so I am going to have to monitor and adjust this amount going forward.  This also includes gas prices as high as I have ever paid so that could be an issue.

Cash Envelope system- Did not work with out trip so it was out the window. Disney prefers cards so that is what we used for ease.

Blogging- 15 post per month. 8 post during April not bad considering we were gone for 10 days.  Hopefully things return to normal and I can get back in a good routine soon!

Exercise days-  We managed to work an average of 7 miles a day at Disney so I am going to count 8 days of exercise. I also have an appointment this week for another shot so that should help. 
 No Spend Days- ummmmm what ? 

April was a fun month but it was also a month of struggle and change. May should bring about a sense of normalcy and anticipation of the summer!

March in Review

March was a long hard month.  I knew that this would likely be a one paycheck month and planned accordingly   But even with that knowledge it has been a difficult month trying to decide what to spend and what to wait on.  The fact that we had COVID for the past 10 days also added to the stress.  April has a shot of sunshine and family fun along with the promise of additional funds arriving  even out our budget!  I have also noticed a significant increase in prices. Gas was above $4 a gallon but has return below that mark currently.

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.  Not Met! $314.16 This does include our Amazon subscribe and save which was $145 by itself. We are continuing to eat out of the freezer and pantries but with the price increases we have seen it may be impossible to stay under $200 for April, May and June.  This is the goal. I will be readjusting the grocery budget in June no matter the outcome.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month.  NOT met! $410.89   We have really limited our driving this month so I am going to assume that I will need to adjust this budget based on the price of gas. We will be traveling to Florida in April so I anticipate at least $400 in gas expense so I would assume we will spend around $800 in gas for April.

Cash Envelope system- You cant spend what you don’t have so this is working well for us!

Blogging- 15 post per month. Post number 13 for March!   Hopefully things return to normal and I can get back in a good routine soon!

Exercise days-  No progress to report! Knee pain much better…. no excuse!
 No Spend Days- 3 while I was so sick from COVID that I could not leave the house! 

As I stated before March was a hard month for everyone in addition to several rounds of sickness. Looking forward to April with sunshine and lots of warm!

February In Review

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.  Not Met! $505.58  We decided to go ahead and buy the drinks we need for our Disney trip. I also ended up placing a small ($75) Costco order that included toilet paper and saltine crackers.  Although this is double what I wanted to spend it is still below my normal budget of $650.  I hope to be back on track for March.

Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month.  Goal  met! $295.41  Gas prices have jumped at least fifty cent a galloon this month so I am very thankful that we were able to control the gas budget!

Cash Envelope system-  We are doing extremely well with this!

Blogging- 15 post per month. Post number 13 for February which is good for me.  I do have lots to say in March so hopefully this will be including a noticeable improvement.

Exercise days-  No progress to report! Knee pain much better…. no excuse!
 No Spend Days- 4 for February, so double the days from January.  I am very hopeful to again increase this for March.

February felt like a long hard month. Things that I will want to remember in the future… Matt has been unemployed for 13 weeks as of today. All prices are increasing significantly.

January In Review

Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June.   Goal Met for January! We spent $193.63 including Amazon subscriptions!   I actually have $116 left in the Grocery Envelope so that is awesome!  Would love to increase that amount to $200 in February but just staying under budget is the goal!

Auto/ Gas / Insurance. My goal is $400 a month.  Goal not met! $405.99 This is huge because that included our trip to Conway South Carolina with an average of 5-7 miles per gallon while pulling the trailer.

Cash Envelope system-  We are doing extremely well with this!

Blogging- 15 post per month. This is actually post number 13 which is not the goal but really good for the month of January.

Exercise days-  No progress to report but I do have a doctor’s appointment this week. 
 No Spend Days-  2 for January, not great but a start! 

 

November in Review

I know very well how quickly things can change but November gave us a good reminder of just how change affects everything. My goal for November was to reduce spending basically a no spend month. Sounded like a reasonable goal with the focus on paying off all the bills by the end of year. Just three days into November and we learned that Matt would be losing his job. After looking at our situation, some prayer and as the shock wore off, we decided to first sell the van and try to arrange our lifestyle to live on what income we could be certain would be available. I am thankful that it really will not be a difficult adjustment. Things are different but not awful.

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   $484 I have already been purchasing some items for Lily’s party.  I also did some stocking up on drinks and other things that I wanted to have on hand.  I am not sure what the month of December holds as far as groceries but I know that starting in January and lasting until Matt has steady employment is to reduce the grocery budget to $50 a week which or $200 a month for fresh veggies and bread only.  I may try to do this as well in December after Lily’s party.

Auto/ Gas / Insurance. My goal is $400 a month. $385.80.   Met! One of the big downsides to the new Tahoe is the gas mileage of 15 miles per gallon. We are trying to be diligent about driving it only when needed. The Equinox gets awesome gas mileage and we can drive as much as we need without a second thought.  I am going to keep the goal the same with alot of monitoring at this point.

Cash Envelope system-  Goal not  met!  This goal becomes one of the most important part of our budgeting system. It is no longer a choice but a requirement.

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per monthGoal Met! This is post number 15

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.  Nope Naa

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. Need to find something to get started on this.

Earnings– Cashed out Ibbota for $28 and fetch for $3, with another 7 currently in the account, I am waiting to cash out at 10 this time. Verizon for $5. Total $36 free money this month!

No Spend Days– Did not keep up with this as it just was too difficulty.  I worked hard to make sure things were paid. I know we had 1 day of no spend and even that is an improvement over zero.

We had some unusual expenses during this month. We also spent a ton of money but in the end, I have been able to balance out most things. We are ending the month with a brand new Tahoe, new to us camper and a huge drive way!  Most of this was covered by Matt’s inheritance so we are grateful.  We also have to figure out how to cover the expense of Lily’s car.

I know of at least one more project that we want to finish which is some better organization in our closet.   We also have our first camping trip planned for December. And best of all is CHRISTMAS!

October In Review

October is typically our busiest month of the year. This year did not disappoint.  I am actually relieved to finish the month and start with November.  I am going to make an effort this year to post an item I am thankful for each day!  I probably will do in groups of five or seven but we can always see how it flows.

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   $500  Under budget and back on track hopefully for the rest of the year. I would plan to reduce the grocery budget for November but Lily has her sweet sixteen birthday party the first Friday of December so I am going to leave the budget in place to cover that!

Auto/ Gas / Insurance: . My goal is  $400 a month. $456.79.   Not Met! Gas prices continue to rise. Currently they are above $3 a galloon.  We also needed an oil change in the van so that has made things more difficult than usual

Cash Envelope system-  Goal met!

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month.  This is post number 8. Did I mention how busy this month was!

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.  Nope Naa

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. Need to find something to get started on this.

Earnings– NONE

No Spend Days– Did not keep up with this as it just was too difficulty. We covered all our expenses and that is what is important .

We had some unusual expenses during this month. We also spent a ton of money but in the end, I have been able to balance out most things. We are ending the month with a brand new Tahoe, new to us camper and a huge drive way!  Most of this was covered by Matt’s inheritance so we are grateful.  We also have to figure out how to cover the expense of Lily’s car.

I really really want to attempt a no spend November to keep us on track and help cover the camping expenses for December and January.  So here to a quieter and less expensive November.

September in Review

September was a blur and I am exhausted. The good news is that we are finally getting settled on a strong financial track.  In part because of being blessed with a portion of Matt’s inheritance this month from his father.  We have decided to use the money in several different ways.  First we paid off the car. We also have paid off all credit card debit.  October will bring some other choices and changes which I promise to share along the way.  Finally, I booked a Disney trip for April. I want to total pay for the trip between Tiny Eye and found money. I am adding a goal for this just to keep me accountable.

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   $404  Under budget with splurges on candy. I did notice a significant increase in the cost of food this month. I am planning to stay under budget for the rest of the year based on the fact that we have a completely stocked freezer and pantry right now.

Auto/ Gas / Insurance: . My goal is  $400 a month. $303.55.  Met! Gas prices continue to rise. Currently they are above $3 a galloon. The last time that gas prices jumped to above $3 a gallon was 2005 and they stayed up for several years.

Cash Envelope system-  Goal met!

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month.  This is post number 8. September was crazy busy.

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.  Nope Naa

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. Need to find something to get started on this.

Earnings– NONE

No Spend Days– Did not keep up with this as it just was too difficulty. We covered all our expenses and that is what is important .

Disney trip-  I was able to make $1000 payment toward the trip which is mostly my Tiny Eye pay for the month.

One of the unexpected expenses this month was home owner’s insurance. This is usually paid in July but got really messed up. IT was also $500 more than last year. October holds no predictions for me!   Just keeping my boat floating.

August in Review

July was  the official shortest month of the year and August is officially the longest month of the year! August brings the start of the school year which is met with a mixture of excitement and dread by all of us.  Another reason I think it is the longest month is that I am ready to be done with summer because I can’t use the pool on a regular basis.  Anyway here is how we did…..

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   $271.76  way under goal and I hope to keep it that way for the next couple of months.

Auto/ Gas / Insurance: . My goal is  $400 a month. $536.45. Not Met! But gas prices are rising and this month included oil changes for both cars and some other small maintenance.

Cash Envelope system-  Goal met!  This is going to become much harder in the next several month as we are planning some major expenses and also increasing our spending budget.

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month.  This is post number 14. Improvement but not quite goal.

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.   I managed 6 days of 30 minutes of exercise this month, same as last month. So it is small steps.

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. Need to find something to get started on this.

Earnings– $50 in gift cards

No Spend Days– 3. Not sure if I want to continue this or if I want to only count unplanned spending???? Definitely something to consider.

September is usually a month of change for us and it appears that this September will be no different.

July in Review

July the official shortest month of the year is now gone!  We spent a week at the beach and last week was probably the single busiest week of the summer with orthodontist appointments, appointments for mom and VBS every evening!  We start back to school in August so I am hopefully to enjoy some less busy weeks before school!

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   We spent a total of $693.49 I have completed my stock up. My goal is to only buy perishable items such as milk, bread, fruits and eggs until December.

Auto/ Gas / Insurance: . My goal is  $400 a month. $414.40. Gas prices are rising! This also includes our beach trip!

Cash Envelope system-  I am going to say No to this.  It is hard to use cash on vacation. Hopefully we will be back on track in August

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month.  This is post number 9. Did I mention that last week was the busiest week of the summer.

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.  At least there is improvement this month. I managed 6 days of 30 minutes of exercise this month!

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. I have finished the bible podcast. On hold until school starts.

Earnings– Zero

No Spend Days-Zero. We are enjoying the summer with extra ice cream and other fun!

August should be interesting to say the least!