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Archive for November, 2018

Cash Envelopes - Who Does It? YNAB - Who Does It?

November 15th, 2018 at 08:38 am


Today is my birthday. I'm taking it as an opportunity to look forward and make serious progress in our lives towards simplicity and responsibility.

I've spent (wasted) time on-line looking at budgeting stuff. I'd like to have and adhere to a spending plan. I'd like to ideally do it in cash. With envelopes. Does anyone here do a cash envelope system? My biggest challenge is handling the variables. I'd like to ideally have separate funds for groceries/gas/miscellany/other.

I'm upping the weekly spending to $250/week, broken down as follows:
Consumables - $100
Gas - $62.50
Miscellany - $62.50
Other - $25.00

I've been very unsuccessful at trying to break down budget categories that are narrow and include things like clothing/gifts/entertainment/etc. Perhaps I will graduate to this eventually. I am longer a recreational shopper.

I've also looked into using the YNAB software program. I will be one month ahead starting 1/1/2019. We don't use credit cards. We are paying down medical debt. We don't have many outside savings accounts.

I've spent too much time watching tutorials on youtube and IG, especially TBM (The Budget Mom who has elaborate budgeting/booking keeping practices) and Six Figures Under (who I enjoy reading her blog, but the YNAB video intimdated me).

So what works for you and what doesn't? I'm reinventing myself and money practices so I am game for any and all suggestions.

Also, in January we will be putting 10% in the 401K, we will be taking a family vacation in January or March (currently have $4,000 earmarked for that), and have increased our HSA funding from $1,000 to $1,750. I will be bringing in $300/week part-time, we will also pay cash for our daughter's semester at community college and continue to cashflow home improvements.

The Way the Other Half Rolls

November 10th, 2018 at 07:21 am


I've been blunt that our economic situation has been precarious at best being house poor and always on the brink of unemployment. We won't be house poor in (hopefully) six months with a downsize and DH is actually becoming secure in the position he's remained in (with new computers and added duties and being cross-trained).

Our car situation is one area to be improved. We've always purchased our cars outright. And my parents gifted us their minivan when they downsized to a SUV. Our oldest is dating a you-tuber. Like a famous you-tuber who makes a boatload of money and is 7 years older than she is. He wanted to talk to my husband about her birthday gift. I thought it was going to be an engagement ring (I would be fine with it, though in my ideal scenario they'd wait a few more months) Thankfully it wasn't a ring, but he wants to buy her a car. Hers is definitely old and she thankfully doesn't drive it very far.

We vetoed that since she's set to travel for months at a time in 2019. And she has enough money to purchase herself a car is she wishes, but she's not in that mindset right now. He agreed with my husbands points against the purchase; I hope he just takes her on a nice vacation instead.

And here I am happy that I can afford to pay for my (most probable) furnace repair on Monday if new batteries in the thermostate don't rectify the situation.

Bequest Received in Full and Other Money Thoughts

November 8th, 2018 at 10:35 am


Today I received the second installment of the bequest from my grandparents' estate.

I put 90% into a Vanguard account.

The remaining 10% will be used to for home repairs for our primary residence. My thrilling purchase tomorrow will be a new bathtub. We also need to update the master bath shower. The realtor is coming 11/22 to advise on upgrades (repairs). We are giving ourselves 6 months for the repairs. Slow and steady wins the race I suppose.

My children each also receive an additional sum of money outside of the education fund. I will set up Vanguard accounts for them. I will divert 90% of the funds to that and then 10% to their local accounts. (All but the youngest have PNC Virtual Wallets - 2 checking/1 savings & debit cards).

I'm also making necessary repairs to the cars. Tomorrow it is brakes and front tyrods on one of the minivans.

I'm also contemplating supporting ethical companies as I'm decluttering and replacing some things. And in the spirit of declutter and moving towards minimalism, Christmas gifts for the kids will be an additional day on the family vacation. And one item to open in the range of $65. And new pajamas for Christmas Eve.

It will be nice to start January 2019 on solid financial footing.

Other Spending

November 7th, 2018 at 08:19 am

I received the first installment of the bequest from my grandparents' estate. I put 90% into a Vanguard account and the 10% will be used to start some repairs and rennovations on our primary residence.

I did spend some of it on needed items.

I spent $120 on clothing and got the following: Son 1 - pair of sweatpants, 5 underwear, 1 sock; Son 2 - pair of sweatpants, 5 underwear, 2 socks; DH - 5 pairs of underwear: Me - 1 Holiday dress, 1 winter sweater, 1 pair of tights.

I also spent $30 on a MyPillow for my husband who is sick at the moment. He usually never complains about anything, but he asked if we could upgrade. The MyPillows are made it the USA and are now at Jewel (grocery store) for $5. I spent $32 with tax.

So much for a sneak peak into my thrilling shopping life!!

And I have a $10 gift card to CVS. Will save that for candy for the Christmas stockings.

Grocery Spending - Tracking

November 7th, 2018 at 07:28 am

I read somewhere (Budget Mom?) that a reasonable amount for spending for consumables is $100/month/person. I've got six now (everyone is home full-time for the time being). So I *should* be spending $150/week. I will also add that my spending includes lunches for everyone (they either are home at the noon hour or pack a lunch). I've been tracking (back at it) for three weeks now.

Oct-Week 3 - $162.50
Oct-Week 4 - $120.00
Nov-Week 1 - $112.50

The week 3 was high because there was a Sams run and I purchased several items that I don't normally buy at Aldi's or Jewel.

This week's expenses include my ingredients for today's cooking session that includes:

- California meatloaf
- Black bean and corn quesadillas
- Taco filling
- Oven baked chicken tenderloins
- Chickpea and peach curry

The above totals include all consumables such as personal care products/pet food/paper and cleaning products too.

Only way to improve is to be candid about the situation. I would like to get that down closer to the $100 range, even though I operate under the $150. (Please keep in mind that guideline doesn't suggest a HCOLA or diets that need to accomodate keto or gluten free - just a random target number that I gathered from watching IG videos). With today's cooking session that will get us through at least four days of meals, I am hoping that Nov-Week 2 will be around $60. We'll see!

Welcome to My Shopping Basket, Or My Exciting World

November 1st, 2018 at 08:09 am


Way long ago I was a recreational shopper. Then lack of funds reformed me to an intentional shopper.

My sons are 14 and 16 and both growing like weeds. The lack of funds coincided with lack of proper clothing.

I normally delete my emails before reading them but am glad that I read that Kohls was having Black Friday online deals now and Kohls cash is upped to $15 per $50 spent.

Here's my recap:

2 pairs of fleece lined pants $20.00
2 packs of 4-count boxers $32
1 pack of 6 pair socks $18

I had $8.80 savings and free pick up at local Kohls.

OOP $57 and $15 Kohls cash

So that's my totally thrilling shopping cart.

Smile