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Staying On Budget

I am trying really hard to stay on budget.  It isn’t easy.  I am trying to update mint.com each day so that I can get into the habit.  I have been pretty faithful since mid-December when I decided that I couldn’t tell you where my money was going.  My husband makes a good salary and I haven’t been using it as wisely as I could.  It is wise to know where it goes.

Three weeks into making this a priority, I have found that money  easily to slips through the fingers!  Ha!  I wonder if I am the only one to take 3 weeks to figure it out :0  But, the more important thing I have learned is that if I am persistent, I can change my ways and improve.

I am changing, slowly but surely!  Today is mid-month and I am very happy to say that I am on budget and I haven’t gone over in any of the categories YET.  It may be an interesting 2 weeks as I am over halfway in several categories already.  All is can do is try my best and be accountable for my purchases.  We will see how it all shakes out.

How about you, have you tried something new this year?  Are you succeeding?  I’d love to hear.

 

Ann

March Grocery And Household Totals

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Well, it is the time for truth.

Let’s see how I did for grocery and household spending in March.  It is a constant battle to keep the dollars in my pocket.  I can easily justify things for the kids, things that we need, etc.  It is hard work to say no, more than  yes.  So, how did I do?

My goal was to spend less than $45 per day for the nine of us for groceries and household.  The total for March was 1144.08 over the 31 days for a total of $36.91 per day.  A little higher than last month, but I’ll take it!

I wasn’t sure how I would do, but I am getting better.  I have changed my pattern and have really been thinking about what I am putting in my cart.  Yay me!!!

I think my goal for April will be to keep the grocery and household spending to less than $35.  I think that will be a challenge.

How about you, how was your spending in March?

Ann

February Grocery and Household Totals

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As you know, I am trying to track and ultimately to lower my grocery and household expenditures.  I posted about my January spending here.  It was an expensive month.  I spent $1543.50 over the 31 days for an average of $49.78.

February was better, but I’m not sure if it is because I was aware that I had spent so much in January, or if it was because I was out-of-town for 9 days, or maybe a combination of both.

My goal was to reduce my average daily spending to $45.00 for the month of February.  Anyway, I spent a total of $971.49 over the 28 days for an average of $34.69 per day!   That was an average of $10 less per day!

That is an awesome change from January, but I can’t be too optimistic just yet.  March will be important for determining how I am really doing.

There are no trips planned, no other out of the ordinary plans, we have used up our extra supplies from my trip, so this should be just a regular month.  I think I will have my goal for March be $45 per day as I had planned for February.  If it is less again this month, I will lower it for April.

I’m really proud of myself for keeping track this long.  I do feel like I am gaining control over my expenses!

How about you?  How was February for you?  Are you making progress towards your goals?

Ann

January Totals For Grocery/Household Spending

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I kind of fell off of the bandwagon already. Thankfully I put all charges on the credit card or in the checkbook, so I can look them up easily enough.

The problem is I’m lazy. That is why I haven’t posted the totals yet, I didn’t want to take the time and effort necessary to hold myself accountable. Just keeping it real.

So today I decided to stop being lazy and just do it. If you recall I spent $281.51 the first week. You can see that post here.

Week 2 I spent $356.25. That post is here.

My week three total was $362.76. That post is here.

My week four total is $278.72. My week five total is $264.26.

These weekly totals make my month of January total for household and groceries to be $1543.50!!! That sure seems like a lot of money.

Now, lets analyze this a little further. We are a family of 9. We very rarely eat out. We have 3 teenage boys and a 12 year old boy who eats like a teenager 🙂 I pack a lunch for my husband most days and 6 kids pack their lunch 5 days a week. 3 meals a day is 21 meals a week. 31 days in January. So 31 days times 3 meals is 93 meals. Then there are the toiletries for 9. Let’s not forget school supplies, activities, contributions, etc. that are ever-present for students. We had a chess club contribution this month, Valentines, etc. It all adds up so quickly.

For a simple number I took the $1543.50 total and divided it by 31 days. It equaled $49.78 per day. This number is skewed somewhat as I will be out of town for a week and I have bought ahead so that there is plenty of food and supplies while I am gone. I also purchased some things specifically for my trip and they are included in the January total.

I guess my point is that I need a baseline to know where I am now. And I need a baseline to see if I can do any better in the future. I think I can. Time will tell.

So, my goal for February is to do better than January. I want to hold myself accountable so I hope to get my total down to below $45 per day. It should be very doable since I have bought ahead and will be gone for a week. So far I feel like I have already won part of the battle because for the first time I know what I’ve spent, so I have a number that I can improve on.

How about you, how are you doing with goals etc. this year? Are you achieving them? Are you fighting the laziness like I am? Do tell !

Ann

Update On $2500 Savings For Christmas and Grocery/Household Update

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It is the end of another 2 week pay period for my husband.  I had $17 left over from our miscellaneous cash spending.  That brings my total up to $239.   The kids reimbursed me for a few items that they bought, I had some egg money to add to my total (we have chickens and sell the eggs).  Money is moving in the right direction!!  I haven’t been tempted to take any out.  I’m trying to be disciplined.  Day-to-day is okay it, is when I have a mini-crisis about money (which I do from time to time because I’m unorganized) that I am tempted to pull money out to avert the crisis, but then I’m not very disciplined about getting the money back into the account.  To resist this problem, I am trying to be more organized than I ever have been.  I’m tracking my spending and checking my account balances more frequently than I used to check them.

On another positive note, I did keep track of my spending for the third week in a row.  My total was 362.76.  I seem to be going higher and higher.  Oh well, right now I am just tracking.  I think at the end of the month I will get the grand total and try to get February to be less than January.  Baby steps.

How about you?  How is your spending going?  Is it me or does January seem to be never-ending?

Ann

Week 2 Grocery/Household Expenses

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I did it!  I recorded my spending for 2 weeks in a row.  A miracle to be sure!!

My spending for the week totaled $356.25  Last week I spent $281.51.  This week was $74.74 more.  Off of the top of my head I remember that we bought CDs and CD cases.  That was about $40, right there.  Also we made a trip to Jungle Jim’s International Market.  It is about a 45 minute drive from here, but my 2nd son, M, needs the time driving.  I normally wouldn’t count a trip like this because it is more like a field trip/fun time, but I did buy some actual groceries and food for our dinner that night, so I counted it.  That was $76.47.  Ouch.  It’s a good thing we don’t do that trip very often 🙂

Mostly it was just a normal week of spending.  Nothing glamorous.

Here’s to another week of keeping track of my expenses.

How about you.  What did you do to save money this week?

Ann

I Made It A Whole Week (tracking my spending)

moneyI made it through the first week tracking my spending!  It’s a minor miracle.  I spent $281.51 on groceries and household purchases and I know it.  No guessing, no wondering.  I actually know where the money went.

What I don’t know is if that was good or bad, or maybe even normal.  Time and sticking with the plan will let me know.

Yay me!

I’ll be trying again this week.  How about you, what did you spend your money on this week?