Sunday, February 27, 2011

February Goals Recap

  • $100 for me for spending money  Fail!
  • $125 for Y for spending money  Success!
  • $100 for miscellaneous spending for month--oil changes, hair cut for daughter, etc.  Fail, big time!
  • $350 for grocery budget  Pass!
My goals for the month are as follows:
  • Stick to above spending plan  Sort of Pass!
  • File Taxes  Pass!
  • Give will information to attorney  Pass!  I'm pretty proud that I actually did this.
  • File for money on dependent flex account  Fail!  I might do this next month.  The money is there. I just need to file for it.
  • Save at least $500  Success!  I saved $650 this month.
I realized something very important about myself this month.  I spend just as much as Y and I justify it as household spending. This is one area that I really want to watch.  I spent the following for February:

Gas $488.73  Ouch!  I do have a long commute but even so.
Groceries 333.75  Very proud of this
Eating out 52.77  Not too bad
Booze 39.94
Healthcare 148  Reimburseable
My personal spending 95.69
Misc. 244.46  This was a number of different things including some things for Y's truck like new spark plug wires.  Y does the work himself but we still have to pay for the parts. 

I don't think that we will try to do this again for March.  It did get to be a little bit stressful.  For the last week, I pretty much scrapped the challenge. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Will

One of my goals for 2011 was to get a will in place for Y and myself.  I contacted an attorney through a referral and sent him the paperwork that I had. It looks like we will both get our wills done and testamentary trust set up for $300.  We need the trust if something were to happen to both of us for our daughter. 

Of course, I don't want to spend the money but it will be worth the peace of mind to know that we have properly planned for the unknown.  We do have our life insurance in place so our family would be taken care of in the event of a death(s).  I also like knowing that if Y and I both died, we've made the decisions on whom would settle our estate, be the guardian for our little girl, and the trustee for the trust.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Obsessed with Money??

Y and I were talking yesterday about money.  He's pretty nonchalant with money and is more of a spender than myself.  He wants to get his motorcycle tuned up this spring and it will cost around $350.  He had a bunch of copper to sell so he sold it yesterday in anticipation that it would pay for his bike tune up.  I asked him yesterday how much the copper sold for.  He told me that he didn't want to tell me because I was obsessed with money.  WTF?!?

I know that I like money, think a lot about money, check our money daily, and write about money but I'm not obsessed.  I think that I have a healthy awareness.  If everybody was as aware as me about money, they would probably be bettering their financial situation. 

One reason that I really like money is because we often didn't have much money when I was growing up.  I'm in my early 30's so I'm not that old.  Growing up, we were so broke that we didn't always have a toilet that worked indoors.  We actually had to use the outhouse for almost a year one time.  It sucked.  I never want to be that poor again.  That is why I save my money and want to better myself financially.  I will always have running water, a working toilet, and a working shower/bath.  Always!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taxes and Blown Budget

Yesterday Y and I stopped by our accountant's office and signed our taxes.  We saw the final numbers and we are getting $1457 total back from federal and state.  It's much less than the $4000 that we got back last year but we flexed our daycare instead of claiming the standard deduction.  I also paid $1800 less in federal taxes this year.  It's really hard because I am a W-2 employee but I have a ton of deductions so I usually shut my taxes off for a few months of the year.  In 2010, I shut my taxes off the middle of July and turned them on in the beginning of November.  One of my goals this year is to keep my taxes on the entire year.  Yeah, I know, kind of an atypical goal.

Y and I totally blew our budget on Saturday because we had a date night.  We had not been out together on a date since last April.  10 months is way too long to go without a date.  His parents watched our daughter and we went to the movies and went out to dinner.  Because of that date, we won't be within our limited spending for February but I'm okay with that.  It felt really good to see a movie and have a grown up dinner.  Y and I definitely need to make a point to have actual dates more often. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Automated Savings

With Y's previous job, he was paid weekly and I had it set up so $125 was transferred to our ING savings account on his payday.  I cancelled that transfer when he quit getting a weekly paycheck.  I hadn't set anything up and I realized that we are saving very little to nothing every month.  I was able to put $550 from my paycheck into savings but that's the first time in a couple months that anything has been deposited into savings.

I set it up today so $100 would transfer from our checking to our ING savings on each payday.  That will be an automatic $400 per month. 

We are also on another type of automatic savings plan.  We use Y's flex dependent option to the tune of 5 grand per year.  Thus far for 2011, I haven't submitted the forms for flex dependent or flex medical reimbursement.  If I wait until the end of the year, it would be $5000 in one pop.  That does sound kind of tempting to do but I would miss out on the interest along the way.  I also have $175 in medical expenses that I could request reimbursement for but haven't done so yet.  There again, I could wait until the end of the year and just get the entire $1000.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Confession: Home Parties

I feel really crappy this morning because I had a moment of weakness yesterday evening and went to a home party.  For the record, I do think that home parties where a bunch of us women are invited over to buy overpriced things are a total rip off.  But, I have had them before and I never want the person that invited me to not have anybody show up so I usually go and end up buying something. 

Last night, I spent $62.32 on a fragrance warmer and baking dish.  I would never spend that amount in a store but I wanted to support my friend and the stuff was really expensive. 

It completely busted my budget so I'm now wondering what I should do about it.  I do have a stash of cash that is my fun money.  That money is around $450 and I could take the $62 out of it and not count it for this month.  My fun money is money that I've saved from Christmas, birthdays, etc.  But....I don't really want to because we do have money in our budget this month and I want to keep my fun money intact.  But...that's not really fair to Y who is participating in my limited spend month. 

Has anybody else experienced this?  How do you deal with telling a friend that you can't make it? 
Any tips on how I should treat this in my budget?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2nd Week of Feb. Spending

I'm doing okay this month with having a limited spending month.  Y is totally on board.  I do have $100 to spend on what I please this month.  I broke down and went shopping this week.  When Y saw my shopping bag, he asked me what happened to our no spend month.  It's nice to have his support.  I did have 3 No Spend Days this month. 

My goal for February was to stick to my spending plan--kind of a limited spend month.  Goals are as follows:
My spending $100
Y's spending $125
Misc. $100
Groceries $350

This is where I'm at:
My spending $58.43
Misc. $50.26
Groceries $155.03

Not too bad for halfway through the month.  I will have to watch my spending pretty closely.  Y and I both get paid this week and I can't wait. We still have money left in the account but are way below the $500 that I prefer to keep in our checking account. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Taxes and Miscellaneous

I met with my accountant yesterday to file my taxes.  The good news is that we are going to get a refund but not as much as last year.  Last year we got around $4000 back between federal and state.  This year it looks to be around $1200 which is still substantial but not anywhere near four grand.  Yes, I know that you shouldn't really want a refund because its an interest free loan but its practically impossible to calculate what we'll owe for taxes because we are both W-2 employees but I have a ton of business expenses.  In fact, I even have an assistant that I pay out of my pocket.  I need him because I wouldn't be able to do my job as well without him but its up to me to pay him.  I know that its messed up but it is how it is.  I'm not sure on the exact amount because I needed to get a couple things yet to my accountant.

I wrote last week about my broken glasses and the cost to replace them.  I knew that we had vision insurance through Y's work.  Without insurance, it would have been $158 for frames and lenses because they were running a special on the frames.  Get this, with insurance that covers up to $75 for frames, it cost $121.  WTH?  Apparently, my insurance doesn't allow for discounts on frames.  Yeah, whatever!  The $121 will be reimbursed by our flex medical spending money but still.  I was really annoyed when I found that out.

On a more personal note, my little sister is a drug addict and lives many states away.  A few days ago, she called my mom and told her that she was evicted and needed money.  Instead of sending her money, my older sister and her husband are driving down to get her.  I have my doubts that she will actually leave with her and go home with her.  I think that she called my mom because she hadn't talked to her for a long time and she thought that she could play her for some drug money.  Two months ago, she was living with a random guy.  I know this because I sent her pics of my little girl.  He's now out of the picture completely and she had her own place but got evicted?  Yeah, right.  I know how drug addicts work and they are conniving and ruthless.  Harsh, I know but true.  I didn't offer to put up any money for my older sister to go down there because I have my doubts that my little sister will go back with her and if she does, I don't think that it will last long before she's on the streets  again.  Time will tell.  I hope the best for my little sister but she's already making excuses why she doesn't want to leave the city she's in.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February Goals Progress

My goal for February was to stick to my spending plan--kind of a limited spend month.  Goals are as follows:
My spending $100
Y's spending $125
Misc. $100
Groceries $350

We are one week into it and I'm not doing too badly. 
Groceries $138.27 spent
Me $14.03 spent
Misc. 24.95 (oil change)
Y $25 given to him in cash, still need to give him the other $100 but hoping to wait until our payday to give it to him.  I might have to borrow it from my cash fun money at home and pay it back later.  Since he agreed to this, I don't really think its fair to make him wait until the middle of the month to get the money.

Other spending hasn't been too bad.
Gas $127.41
Healthcare $60--This will get refunded from our flex medical account but I haven't sent this in yet. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Daycare Expense

I've mentioned before that Y's pay schedule is different with his new job.  He was paid weekly and he is now paid on the 15th and end of the month.  January was hard because he only had one payday and it wasn't a full pay period.  For February, he will be paid twice.  Previously, I paid for daycare, escrow and normal day to day expenses like gas and groceries out of his paychecks. 

My biggest problem is now paying for daycare.  I pay for daycare weekly, on Monday mornings.  It is $120 per week.  With our other bills, I refer to my budget when one of us gets paid and I pay the next items due.  For example, our IRA's are set up automatically to come out of our account around the 10th for $250.  Usually with my first paycheck of the month, I deduct $250 from my account and mark it as paid when it actually comes out of the account.  That way, I make sure that there is always money for the automatic withdrawals that are set up from our account.

I don't have the option of setting up daycare on an automatic transfer.  In fact, I can't even use bill pay from my bank because if it was a day late and not there by Monday morning, my daycare provider would freak out.  She always acts like somebody is trying to screw her over.  I'm sure that in the 12 years that she has been doing daycare, she has been financially taken advantage of.  But, that's not really my problem.  I'm always going to pay her for watching my little girl. 

Anyway, should I just write the checks for daycare when we get paid so that we know that money has already been accounted for from our account?  Is there a better option?  I just seem to be constantly having some snags with paying for daycare now.  Any ideas would be helpful.  Thanks.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No Spend February Progress

So far it has been a success for February.  Yes, I know that its only the 3rd of the month.  The breakdown is as follows:

2/1 Movie 1.07
      Groceries  16.39
2/1 No Spend Day
I already gave Y $25 for this month so I need to give him another $100.
The movie will come out of the miscellaneous $100 for the month so that total is $98.93 left for the month.
I still have my $100 for this month.  I decided that getting gas would not count as spending money because I do have a long commute and I'm going to get gas regardless.  Just because I fill my car up with gas, I don't want to blow that entire day as a spending day. 

Today is payday and most of the money is gone already.  I was paid $900 and $250 went to our IRA's, another $156 to investments and $112.53 to my student loan.  The money is actually still in my account but I deduct it when I get paid because they are all set up as automatic deductions. 

Yay for paydays!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Broken Glasses

My daughter broke my glasses about 1 1/2 weeks ago.  I thought at there was a slim possibility that they would be able to be fixed.  I checked today and there isn't a way to fix them.  They said that they can order new frames which would be $169 or they have a special, half off frames with the purchase of lenses.  I looked around and found a pair that with lenses would be $158.  We changed insurances around the beginning of the year and I thought that I had vision insurance through Y.  We have only received a medical insurance card thus far.  I thought that it might be the same card but when she checked she said it was only for medical, no vision. 

We have the money in our flex medical account that we would get reimbursed for the $158 as the worse case scenario but I hope that we do have vision insurance that will pick up part of the cost for the frames.

I kind of kick myself that I put my glasses within reach of my daughter.  I guess that its a part of parenting that you just live and learn.