I can say that the budgeting method that has helped me the most is The Budget Mom and her budget by paycheck method. I like that her IG videos are no more than 5 minutes and they cause me to evaluate my spending throughout the month: plan, account for, evaluate. I also like the aspect of cash spending in cute envelopes that you can make for yourself afforably. It is really working out well.
I replenish my envelopes for spending weekly even though we get paid biweekly. I also deal with leftover money in no particularly consistent way. Tomorrow will be a no spend day because of the parade and barbecue at my parents' house. I will bring a dessert and pick up a plant as a gift (celebrating my mother's birthday too).
I have a balance of $20 left and I've decided to buy two items for my younger daughter. A bamboo swivel cosmetic organizer ($8) and woven storage basket ($12) at Aldi's. Both very cute and she's moving into an apartment on campus for the last two years of school. She's a hardworker who earned a full-ride and is interning 32 weeks at a law firm this summer while taking two additional classes. She's responsible and helpful and loving and she saw the flyer and thougth they were cute. Am I going to fret about this? Not at all.
It doesn't align with UFMC of "Wait 72 hours before buying non-essentials". But I'm not using a credit card and I've got the cash. And its definitely intentional spending.
I broke the impulse spending a long time ago when we were always house poor, managing to scrape enough funds necessary to react to whatever issue popped up. Now its proactive spending that I'm getting better at. I still fail miserably at times, like younger son's soccer cleats -- the cheap ones wouldn't work depsite how many pairs and brands we tried. I had to bite the bullet and buy mid-price point, but he's got happy feet so it was worth it.
I also see the sheer amount of money wasted on consumerism as the pile of donations in my basement has grown to resemble a mountain - I do regularly bag and drive to Goodwill. I also see the value in hand-me-downs, just have to be smarter about them. We just got two big bags of things from my nephew. We weeded through once eliminating by size what wouldn't work. We then went through and divided the rest by who would like what. They tried things on - we put snow pants with the winter stuff, hung up the winter coat, put jeans and dress pants away for the upcoming season, and the current stuff went right into drawers. Definitely saved me a lot of money and I dealt with all items right away, no piles lingering - Win-win.
And I do like new things. My wardrobe is a bit sparse of late, I lost 10# and took out everything that was big or I didn't like. I have two new items for the summer season. The only thing I would like is a graphic t-shirt with Audrey Hebpurn on it to replace one I don't like. I will admit to liking my Marilyn Monroe t-shirt too. Fun things that reflect how I want to be in life - embracing my quirkiness. And I'm no longer embarrassed my tattoos and will be adding another two along the way. I wish I was had figured this stuff out along the way.
This was a brain dump and went somewhere else than I originally intended. But, c'est la vie.
Archive for July, 2019
My financial life has improved dramatically from my days of lamenting about not having enough money and living in the fear of job loss. It's been a good while since I received the bequest from my grandparents' estate and my husband is still employed and I have learned to deal with the present and need to have a focus on the future.
Those doing UFMC with the Frugalwoods knows today's challenge is where do you want to go? We are in the process of downsizing from primary residence (23oo sf) to a 16oo foot townhome (three bedrooms/finished family room as the young adults are 21/20/17/15). The goal of this is to simplify our finances (buying cash with equity from current home) and to be able to travel to California more readily.
So the short-term goal: Sell current home (we are within four weeks of listing) and purchase new home.
Another short-term goal: Substitute teaching license for working in the fall. Should have done this last year, my skillset and lack of experience outside of higher religious education has made it impossible to get a job that I'm qualified for.
Medium-term goal: In four years purchase 25% of California condo from my parents (it is in a 55+ community that we are too young to co-own. My parents are fine with full ownership though the original plan was 50%-50% now. Starting in Sept I will pay for half of the monthly association costs.
I would like to save $60,000 by November 2023.
We are cash-flowing everything for the home remodel. Bathroom 1 is finsihed. Since April we've spent: $600 dryer for rental property; $600 for car repairs; $500 labor to finish bathroom after we fired friend; $250 for graduation dinner for 8th grader; $500 for older son to visit family in California in June; $150 toilet; $300 flooring for two bathrooms; and the list just keeps going. I also spent $400 for a girls weekend in Las Vegas in May. I've also budgeted for $800 for California next week with younger daughter.
Here is a quick financial snapshot:
Vanguard money market: $135,000
Fidelity 401K: $76,190
Vanguard IRA: $1,500
Z-estimate Value of Primary Residence: $490,000
Mortgage on Primary Residence: $206,000
Equity in Primary Residence: $284,000
Z-estimate Value of Rental Property: $237,000
Passive income generated: $1,600/month
Cost per month: $400 taxes, $70 insurance
Now to be smart and responsible in making money decisions.
I plan on continuing the budgeting by paycheck method that I found over at thebudgetmom.com. She's pretty simple and straightforward and I am actually finding success with her plan. Over at OneDollar with Dave Ramsey, their monthly challenge is planning for Christmas. While I haven't got that as a sinking fund, I am randomly saving $5 bills in a Christmas reindeer piggy bank that lives on my closet floor. Fairly easily I've collected $70 since January.
Its so nice not be robbing Peter to pay Paul, especially when they are one in the same.
If you're still here, thanks for reading.