Monday, March 2, 2015

Grocery Spending

Our grocery spending for February was $694.  Combined with January, that puts us at $1161 for the year, under my goal of $600 a month.  February was more expensive because we needed to stock up after eating the fridge and pantry down in January.  I also made a stop at Trader Joe's when I was in the Twin Cities last month.  I love that store.  I love the cheeses, the produce, the pasta, the sauces, all of it!  The prices are so good there compared to my town.

Lil Bud has really started to eat a lot.  I've had to cook more food to feed us all.  I still take leftovers for lunch everyday.  Y shops for groceries just for his lunch and keeps them at work.  I've also started to occasionally pack lunch for Lil Punk.  Overall, we're just eating a lot more food which translates to more spent at the grocery store.

We spent $134 on eating out this month.  That included me treating my friend to lunch, a play date for Lil Punk at McDonald's, having tacos with Y when he was working late and a few other lunches out.  We eat out very infrequently and I don't see this as an area of concern.  Unless we're in town for a specific event, its harder for us to go out to eat than whip something up at home.  We even had a special Valentine's dinner at home with delicious shrimp from Trader Joe's.

How was your February for grocery spending?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Comp Plan Change

I'm in sales and compensation plans are always changing.  Mine is changing as of next month.  I probably should be happy but I'm not.  The new plan has a higher incentive for higher sales but lowers our guarantee.  I've never had to rely on my guarantee.  Furthermore, with the new plan, I would have made an additional $9000 last year.  I guess this is further reason that we need to live far below our income so we can offset any unexpected income changes.

On a lighter topic, I'm making dark beer beef stew today with carrots, parsnips, and new potatoes.  I'm using Amber Bock to make the sauce.  It should be delicious!  Has anybody ever made dark beer stew?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Life Update

I've neglected this blog lately, largely due to being busy and not focused on any financial matters.  I've done a bit is shopping in the last month or two.  We still haven't bought new loving room furniture.  Our savings is sitting at $11,100 currently.  My commission check for month was the lowest that its been for a long time.  That's what I get for going on vacation last month.  This month has been much better so my check next month will be better.

We've had a number of expenses that have been cash flowed this year: vacation, dental work, and propane.  After last year's exorbitant propane prices, I contracted 400 gallons at $1.89 a gallon.  The price dropped to $1.59 so my hedge set me back about $100.  But if I would have hedged last year, I would have been ahead about $800.  I guess you just never know.

We had Y's folks over yesterday for an impromptu dinner.  His grandpa also came and had tacos for the first time ever.  He liked tacos but I can't believe he's never had them before.

We have an easygoing day today.  The weather is cold like the rest of the country, 16 below, 41 below with the wind chill.  I'm going to bake a whole chicken.  Lil Punk has skating lessons later so I will bring her to that.  I should also return a few items to a friend of mine and give her some of my baby things as she's expecting.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Should Be Sleeping...

I have developed an issue with insomnia.  I wake up 2-4 nights a week and I'm not able to get back to sleep for a couple hours.  I hate it and the more I try not to do it, the worse it gets.  I'm not overly stressed at work or anything.  I'm just dealing with normal stuff.

Today I just woke up at 5:30 and can't get back to sleep.  I will get up in a few minutes to get ready for the day.  I'm going out of town today and still haven't packed.  Since it will be a late night tonight, I wish I had that extra hour of sleep.

It probably doesn't help that I slept with Lil Bud (Baby G) last night since 1.  He was flailing all over the place and kept waking up.  I think he must not be feeling well.  Lil Punk was up coughing last night too.  I always worry about them when I'm gone even though Y is more than capable and a very involved father.  I can't imagine having a partner who didn't contribute equally to parenting.

Off to get ready, work for a couple hours and hit the road!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Random Updates

It's not even noon today and it's been stressful already.  I hope the day goes smoother from here.  I am out of town on Thursday and Friday.  I did well last year at my job so they are taking the sales people who qualified out for dinner, drinks and a hockey game.  My company covers my hotel and mileage.  I will also get my $1000 gift card for meeting the sales goal for last year.  I still have the $1000 gift card from last year.  I'm going to request Lowes so we can get our front covered porch complete.

The energy stocks I purchased in the last couple month are up about $600.  I'm going to hold on to them because I think they will increase a bit more.

My kiddos are getting so big.  We had Lil Punk's conferences yesterday.  She is doing amazing at kindergarten.  She's very smart academically but struggles socially.  She is painfully shy and its so hard to watch.  I was like that also and I hope she is able to overcome her shyness sooner than later.

Baby G is no longer a baby.  He is running around and into everything.  He's blonde and has a full head of hair.  At only 14 months, he definitely has hockey hair.  He's charming, easygoing and loves his food.  He's over the top about his food.

Happy Tuesday!!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Financial Update

I filed our taxes on Friday and am happy to report that we are getting back $3251 from our federal refund.  I was too cheap to pay for Turbo Tax for out state filing so I will do that on my own.  We were only going to get about $1550 back until I entered our daycare expenses.  Since our daycare expenses are going down for this year and my income is a bit sporadic, I'm going to leave our deductions the same.

Y and I have talked it over and we plan to buy new living room furniture.  We are going to get 2 couches and a large chair with matching ottomans.  We have looked at the set a couple times and know what we want.  We will wait until we have the refund in hand to purchase anything.  The set costs around $4500 so it will take the refund and a portion of my bonus.  It's Lazboy and leather so very comfy and it looks good, too.

 I did have the root canal done before I went on vacation.  It was hurting intermittently and I didn't want it to bother me while in vacation.  The cost was $1307which I paid out of pocket. I submitted it to my insurance and am waiting on a reimbursement check for around $760.  After that has been processed, I will also submit to my medical flex for my portion of the root canal and crown, approximately $980 between the two.  Since I will be requesting a flex reimbursement, I will also add in our daycare expenses for January and February.  I think that only the portion that was withheld from January will be reimbursed at this time, probably about $408.

After buying for our furniture, I will beef up our savings account.  It's current balance is around $5400 so its on the low end of what I prefer to have in cash.  At least I say this now.  I've found it hard not to buy more cheap energy stocks.  I have about $7500 in BP, Conoco and Halliburton stocks that I've bought in the last month or so.  I would like to buy more when they are cheap.

We had a get together for Superbowl today.  It was fun to hang out with our friends and eat good food.  I was pretty disappointed that the Seahawks couldn't pull it together in the end.  Overall, I'm just happy that the Packers didn't make it to the Superbowl (spoken from a true Vikings fan).  Did you watch the Superbowl?  Any favorite commercials?  I liked the Budweiser ones but overall felt they were lacking originality.  The half time show was mediocre.  Katy Perry has a great voice but you couldn't hear it.  The special affects for the halftime were very good though.  I liked Missy Elliot singing old school.  What was your favorite part?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bonus!!!

My boss called me on vacation and told me that she had big news for me.  She gathered a bunch of my coworkers and put me on speaker phone.  She then told me that I received a prestigious award within my company that was accompanied by a $2000 net bonus.  Woohoo!!!