A New Me!
To all my loyal followers at www.EnchantedStorybookParties.blogspot.com:
My new blog is www.LifeofaMommie.blogspot.com, please join me over there from now on!
Here is my first post over at my new blog! (I will be hosting a great giveaway soon to celebrate the new blog and the closing of the old one!)..................
So, I used to be www.EnchantedStoryBookParties.blogspot.com, but have decided to create a new me, fueled by many parts of my life right now. I hope you'll join me over at my new blog, "Life of a Mommie!" I will be hosting a giveaway soon to celebrate this new part of my life!I realized my life needed some work and adjusting this past Saturday. I guess you could say, the straw finally broke the camel's back. I had way too many things on my plate and got WAY too stressed out all of the time. It got to the point where the tiniest whine or cry (or my husband being five minutes late) would send me over the edge. Well, I got a new perspective on life and am using this new blog to help with that.This blog will be filled with musings on "mommiehood", random thoughts, deals and steals, coupons, stories, guest posts, help, advice, inspiration and a place to escape (even if it's for the 20 minutes that your husband is giving your child a bath and that's all the time you have to yourself that entire day).Everyone is welcome, tell your friends and let's all band together. After all, we need each other!
Monday, March 2, 2009
I'm not getting discouraged but boy did the budget blow up in my face this month! Wow! It was my very first month making a very detailed budget and I spent hours upon hours trying to perfect it. I guess I did okay for my first try, Dave Ramsey says to just try it our for a couple months and keep adapting. It will take time.
So, you've seen my initial feb. budget and the mid-month update (if you haven't you can click here http://enchantedstorybookparties.blogspot.com/2009/02/budget-update.html to see it), now here is how I actually did.....
Grocery: My budget was about 50.00/week for a total of 200.00 I ended up spending 216.91 so I was only over by 16.91 so I guess that's not too bad. I have decided to budet a monthly trip to Costco, which should cut down on my weekly spending. Some of the essentials that take up a lot of my budget (peanut butter, oatmeal, bottled water, etc.) are a GREAT deal at Costco. I go with my mom so I don't have to spend the 50.00/yr on my own membership.
Special Occassions/Presents: I had a lot of occassions this month but I actually ended up coming in 122.48 under budget! Yea!
Childcare: I had budgeted 120.00 but ended up spending 140.00 to come in at 10.00 over. Not too too bad.
Mortgage/House: Came in as planned right at 1.133.18
Hygiene/Target/Baby: I didn't really know how to plan for here, because we always need a lot and have unexpected things in this category. I thought 30.00 would be enough but I was way wrong. I ended up spending 93.94 for an overage of 63.94. I think 50.00 will be enough in the future, we had to buy my daughter a new car seat this month, so it was a little higher.
Savings: Came in right at 20.00, as planned
Unexpected/Forgot to Plan: I completely failed in this category, although some things couldn't be helped. You can click the link above for why this category went a whopping 751.02 over budget here. Now, I guess you can't say "over budget" because I don't budget anything for this category, this is the accidental category for emergencies and such. We had dr. visits, meds, MRIs, certain unmentionables and etc. Hopefully this category never goes this crazy again.
Car: I ended up not having time to get my tires rotated so I came in 40.05 under budget, but it will go into March's budget.
Gas: Prices fluctuated up and down so we went 5.59 over budget. Not bad.
Pets: Only went over 1.88
Utilities: Our gas bill was a little more than I thought it would be so we went over 6.33
Debt: I landed some extra money as my mom lived with us for a bit and paid us rent so I paid an extra 100 on our credit card so I went over budget 100 with that extra payment.
Medical/Health: Technically over, but it fell in the unexpected/forgot to plan category.
Entertainment/Restaurants: I was dying at work and had to buy subway, which was 5.38 and caved for two coke slushies which totaled 2.88, so we're 8.26 over
Blow Money: Spent 0
Clothing: Now, here is where I had an accident. You know how they say that when you go on an extreme diet, you'll end up purging on 10,000 calories in one day? Well, this was kind of like that. I was at Target and had a purge in the toddler girl clothing section. They just got their new spring clothes and I was like a crack addict. Don't worry, though, I have now checked myself into rehab, but since it's voluntary I can leave at any time :) I went over 86.45, bad mommy.
So, the grand total is an overage of 768.06 (I didn't count the 100 over for the debt section b/c I just used the 100 in unexpected rent money my mom gave us for letting her stay with us for a little while that month). The MRI actually took us over what we made that month, so we had to dip into savings to pay the almost 500.00 bill for my daughter's MRI, but we have since replaced the funds and are trying to make up for it.
Preview for next month, drumroll............It's my best friends wedding, I'm the matron of honor, my daughter is the flower girl, it's out of town, WATCH OUT BUDGET.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I love Dairy Queen! Here is a GREAT opportunity on how to score yourself some totally free DQ treats! Just visit http://blog.dairyqueen.com/2009/02/25/dq-sweet-deals/ for more details!
I would hop on one foot while juggling three small chocolate dip cones as long as I could in order to get free DQ treats!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Now, my budget plan and budget update usually won't be posted this close together, but I have been really crazy this month and haven't had a lot of time. So, you get what you get.
Here is my mid-month budget update:
Grocery Budget: I have spent 117.68 of my 200.00 budget so I have 82.32 left for the month which isn't too bad. It's my first month trying to make it on 50.00/week so we'll see how that goes. I used to spend so much more on groceries and it's amazing how much money this leaves us at the end of the month.
Special Occassions/Presents Budget: My Vday budget was 130.00 (not including hotel, paid for that in Jan.) and I have spent 11.42 so far, which means I have 118.58 left! My husbands Bday budget was 50.00 and I have spent 7.46, which means I have 42.54 left! My daughter's best friend's birthday budget was 15.00 and I have spent 0.99 so I have 14.01 left! My daughter's birthday party budget was 150.00 and I spent 116.61 including cake, food, card, present, party, etc. Her party is over but I still have to make up picture thank yous and those are still in the budget; I have 33.39 left!
Childcare: My budget was 120, 4 mondays @ 30/mon. = 120.00 BUT, my sister-in-law couldn't do it one Monday and my in-laws watched her so I will most likely come in at 90.00, 30.00 under!
Hygiene/Target/Baby: My budget was 30.00 because I didn't need diapers, but I ended up needing some other things, so I am already over at around 38.00
Savings Budget: My budget was 20.00 because I put in 5.00 every Monday, I'm right on target here.
Car Budget: My budget was 217.00 and I am currently at 120.53 with my insurance payment, haven't done the maintenance yet but I should be on target with 96.47 left!
Mortgage/House Budget: 1,133.18 for mortgage, right on track.
Gas Budget: Based on previous months I have budgeted 150.00 but gas prices have gone up about .10 so I might be a little over, so far have spent 51.86 with 98.14 left!
Pets: Budget of 40.00, my dog needed food = 41.88 so I was 1.88 over.
Utilities: Budgeted 250.00, have spent 131.16 on gas, 56.35 of TV, have 62.49 left!
Debt: Budgeted 488.27 to pay two credit cards, car payment and one student loan. Have spent 318.62 so far so I have 169.65 left for my car payment on the 15th
Medical/Health: Budgeted 0.00 but have A LOT under unexpected now, just wait and see the mess!
Entertainment/Restaurants: Budgeted 0.00, have proudly spent 0.00
Blow Money: Budgeted 0.00 this month due to all extra activity, have proudly spent 0.00
Clothing: Budgeted 0.00 this month due to all extra activity and saving for my daughter's spring wardrobe, have proudly spent 0.00
Unexpected/Forgot to Plan: NOW, you are probably thinking I'm on track and doing great, right?! Well, here's where I will blow your mind. I hope I NEVER have another month like this in the unexpected/forgot to plan section. Here's the breakdown:
1.) My daughter had to have an unexpected MRI and the bill was 451.35...OUCH! Thankfully, everything is just fine and I gladly paid the money to ensure my daughter's health and safety.
2.) I got an eye infection and had to have eyedrops and the bill was 10.00
3.) I had to pay my best friend for my bridesmaid dress in her wedding and the bill was 140.00
4.) I had to pay same friend for my daughter's flower girl dress and the bill was 45.90, actually a great price for a flower girl dress, and it will double as her easter dress!
5.) I forgot my daughter had her 12 mo check up and the bill was 20.00
So, drum roll please.......I am 667.25 over budget in this category, doesn't that just make you want to throw up???!!!
Hopefully I will come in under budget in some other areas and make up for this. Wish me luck!
Please feel free to share your budgets, your overages, how you manage, etc. I'd love to hear from you!
I don't know where to start with this post because there' s so much information, but here we go:
This month is the first month that I actually started using a real budget plan. I started following Dave Ramsey http://www.daveramsey.com/ and it is working like a miracle! You should really check it out, his monthly cash flow plan and debt snowball is amazing! I have to say that I am quite uptight and am really sticking to only buying what I planned for and not splurging on anything, nothing, zip, zero, zilch. If it wasn't in the budget I don't buy it, unless of course it's an emergency or something I forgot to plan but absolutely have to pay for. I start planning my monthly budget about half way through the previous month, so I have time to update it or make changes before the month actually starts. My budget will usually get posted at the first of the month, but late is better than never, right?! So, here is my breakdown:
Grocery Budget: 200.00; my household consists of my husband, my daughter (1yr) and myself
Special Occassions/Presents Budget: 345.00; now this month isn't typical of all months, it's my daughters birthday, my husbands birthday, my daughter's best friends birthday, and Valentine's Day (see my post for my exciting plans!), so the budget was bigger here for this month
Childcare budget: 120.00; my in-laws watch my daughter two days a week and my sister in law watches her one day a week (we pay my sister-in-law $60/day) I am home the other days
Hygiene/Target/Baby Budget: 30.00; I didn't need diapers this month because of a previous stock up, so the budget is a little smaller than normal
Savings budget: 20.00; We have created our 1000 dollar emergency fund (Dave Ramsey babystep 1) and are now working on paying off our debt (Babystep 2) but we still put 5.00 in savings every Monday while we are using most of our excess for paying off debt
Car budget: 217.00; Grr, we need oil changes in both cars, tires rotated in both (but one is free), and my husband has to renew his licences so the budget is bigger this month, but it also includes our car insurance payment 120.53/mo
Gas budget: Based on previous months I have budgeted 150.00
Mortgage/House budget: 1,133.18; I know, our mortage is outrageous, but there's nothing I can do about it right now
Pets budget: 40.00; we usually have one dog and one cat but we are currently boarding my mom's cat, the dog needs food this month
Utilities budget: 250.00; gas is higher right now, no water or trash bill this month
Debt budget: 488.27; we are currently paying off two credit cards, only 400.00 left on one and 1200.00 on the other, so not too bad, we have student loans and a car payment
Medical/Health budget: 0.00, nothing necessary this month, no one takes monthly medications
Entertainment/Restaurants budget: 0.00, this is included in Vday for this month
Blow Money budget: 0.00 didn't plan any this month due to party, present, vday plans and it's killing me from getting my sweet teas and coffees from McDonalds
Clothing budget: 0.00 no one needs anything and I am saving for my daughter's spring wardrobe next month
Unexpected/Forgot to plan budget: 0.00, obviously, because it's unplanned, hopefully this will remain as close to zero as possible
So, I know that almost everyone that reads this blog is into saving money every way possible. Well, so am I BUT there comes a breaking point. We all go on vacation, splurge, spend, blow at some point, right?!
Well, my breaking point was Valentine's Day. My daughter just turned one last week and I have never spent a night away from her. My husband had to travel for business last year so he has been away, but we've never been away together since our honeymoon.
We desperately need a romantic night away and we were both willing to spend to get just what we wanted, no scrimping.
I am so excited for our plan. I told my husband that I feel like we're going to Hawaii for a month or something, I'm that excited.
So, here's what we're doing:
1.) 5:30 dinner reservations at P.F. Changs (our very favorite restaurant, http://www.pfchangs.com/). Whenever we do decide to spend money and go there we don't get an appetizer, just order water, etc. to save money. But not tomorrow. I plan on ordering the Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps for an appetizer, the Chang's Spicy Tofu for an entree, their Passionfruit Tea for my dinner drink and their delicious Bomb Pop Martini for pre-dinner (it's tastes just like the popsicle and is layered in red, white and blue!)
2.) After dinner we are headed strait to The Chocolate Bar http://www.baileyschocolatebar.com/ . This place is unbelievable and if you haven't been you need to splurge one day and go. It's pretty pricey but really worth it. We're ordering The Lover's Platter and drinks!
3.) Finally, we are staying the night in a nice hotel and my mom is watching our daughter. We got pink champagne, fun games and I made treats. It will truly be a night to remember and I can't wait.
Anyone else SUPER excited about their Valentine's plans? Frugal or Non-Frugal?
Friday, January 30, 2009
Congratulations so Tamara B. for winning the $25.00 gift card giveaway! There were a whopping 386 entries, so I owe a HUGE thank you to all of you who entered! Make sure to tune in for more great giveaways coming soon!
Tamara B. stated in her entry that her favorite restaurant to eat out at is Olive Garden but they never get to because of their financial funds. I think that's a problem a lot of us our facing now, which is why I was so excited to give this card away, and I know it's going to a good home; to someone who could really use and deserve it. I read every single comment and the common theme seemed to be that everyone loves eating out, but not many people are doing it right now due to jobs, economy, budgets, etc. I hope and pray every day that each of our world's get better and we can start doing more of the things we love, like eating out with our families or significant others and getting a much needed evening away. I hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day and this blog finds you with job security and financial peace. Thanks to everyone who reads!
Thanks so much for entering, the winner has until Monday, Feb. 2nd at 3pm to contact me or the next winner will be chosen.