Checkin for Week of January 18

So I caved under the sales at JCPenney.  I’m weak.  However I would like to note I spent much less than I normally would have.  I bought 2 blouses and 1 pair of exercise pants.  Total with the sale and the 20% off was only $46.  Then I ate at Sarku.  That was really the whole reason I went to the mall.

So I’m starting now, no clothing or shoes purchases.  Nothing. Nada.  I have plenty of clothes and shoes.  More than plenty.  I’m going to purge a few more items that I don’t wear and/or make me uncomfortable (don’t fit, ugly, etc.).

Currently my budget looks like this:

Income: $2850 (per month)

Rent/Groceries: $1255.00   (I live at home so I just contribute towards all expenses)

Auto (Gas): $80

Business Services: $100

Entertainment: $25

Food and Dining: $200

Dentist Loan: $400  ($2866 remaining)

Medical: $150 (HSA Reimburses this amount.)

Shopping: $100

Cash: $60

Misc: $60

Add to Savings: $420

Total Expenses Budgeted: $2850 – (I’m trying to do the Dave Ramsey budget every penny model.)

 

Regarding my savings.  I’m working towards getting a hefty savings built up.  I’d like to get a 6 month cushion built up.  Then on top of it I’d like to start saving for a car.  I want to get where I’m saving around $800 – 900 per month.  Once I’m done with my Dentist loan that will help.  And then with my cutting out purchases that should also push me towards that goal. Food and Dining are the next to take a big cut.  This needs to come way down to help me reach my savings goal.

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Embroidery and Budget Update

I went ahead and bought a cheap embroidery machine – a Brother PE-500. Its pretty nifty. I’ve used it a couple times. I’m waiting on some tea towel fabric to get delivered. I’ve been playing around with free embroidery files from the Internet. I keep having to remind myself I only have a 4 inch square. That’s 10 cm. Any larger and it won’t transfer to the machine, it can tell the size. So I’m playing with some free software to see if I can re-size the patterns. One thing I was looking forward to on the Ellure model is that it can do sewing and embroidery. At first that wasn’t a big deal to me since we already own a sewing machine, however on the table that I’ve got the two machines on it would be difficult to have both actually operating. The sewing machine is pushed to the back to give me enough room for the embroidery machine. And if I want to make the tea towels I would need to have both available. I envision being able to start one towel embroidering and then have another towel that I’m hemming. So I might get another little table for the other machine. Right now I’m using a drop leaf table in our dining room anyway and I could get another table and put it in my room, or I could expand the other side of the drop leaf… I’m still planning.

I’ve blown my budget for the month on that purchase. But I’m happy I bought it. I’ve still been not eating out too much. Took my lunch to work. Was home sick for 2 days so I ate at home those days. Today I’ve ordered in but that’s because I have to leave early and didn’t want to be starving all afternoon.  And its Friday… So quit judging me…

The dogs and cats (of which we have 2 and 3, respectively) also ate into my savings. I’ll be splitting the bill for their checkups with my mom and sister, so I think I’ll be out about $400 from my savings for them.  On a good note I finally hit $1000 on my savings account.  (it will be $600 now but its the thought that counts right?)

This month (January) I spent only $129 on restaurants – not counting what I paid in cash and debit.  For Gas I spent $114.  Not bad over all.

Today I’ve decided…

I’ve decided – I have opinions and I’m going to share them.

So – Number 1 – I am going to start living by a budget.  Actually I decided this last month.  And then 6 months before that. But this month (September 2012) I actually started living it.

I don’t know if this is a universal feeling, but its mine, I have always felt that if I had to think about money and about how much an item was, that was low class. Here is an example: if I go to the repair shop and have them fix a hole in my tire – I wouldn’t ask how much that service was going to cost.  I just let them tell me at the end. Then if it was more than I thought it should be, I was angry. Not at them necessarily but at myself for not asking first. Feeling like I let them get one over on me, take advantage of me in some way.  So this month I finally asked. How much is this going to cost? Are there any other costs I should worry about?  I felt empowered by this simple question. And by getting an easy answer.  Any place I do business – restaurant, car repair, shops – any place, I shouldn’t feel embarrassed to ask. All of these places want my money, my business and in some cases want my return business. There is nothing stopping me from asking. Except by own feelings of embarressment.

So here is how my budget works out. I’ll update at the end of September with how well I did.

Gas and Car Repair – $200.00

Restaurants = $180.00

Grocery = $150.00

Extras (Clothes, books, etc) = $100.00

These are all the variable items in my life.  I’m not counting incidentals that are required. Like doctors bills, hospital bills.  Also I’m not the primary grocery buyer in my household so I don’t have to budget much for that.

I just did a check up for the month and some categories I’m waaaaay over. Some I’m at about 50%. So overall I’m pretty happy. Especially considering there were months previously that I spent nearly $1000 on Restaurants and Extras!

My big reason for doing all this is I turned 30. Suddenly I’m not a kid anymore. My health scares me. And should anything happen I don’t want to be in debt. I don’t have any big bills except by orthodontics and my credit card bill.  My ortho is something that I know when that will end. I have a pay off plan with my Dentist. So that I’m not really counting. However my credit card bill is me – all me.

This blog isn’t going to be just about finances however. I also plan on discussing my braces (including pictures), food/restaurant reviews, computer stuff I find interesting, and other miscellany.