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February Wins and Losses

February 9th, 2014 at 05:25 am

I will probably do a few shorter posts because I have a lot of my brain but haven't had much time to blog lately.

Spending wins this month:

**Gas prices are down. Helps with planned 4 trips to Bay Area?? I filled up at $3.15 yesterday. Dh went to San Francisco mid week for a show. Done with the shows. He scored free parking but had to pay $12 for a two drink minimum. $10 on tolls. (The tolls are a *shrug* because I accidentally double paid our toll refill last year. We did spend $25 on tolls the last 3 weeks, which covers the extra payment. Otherwise we tend to spend about $5 or $10 per year).

Oh, and I mentioned MIL gave us a $50 gas coupon. So, I think we will do fairly well with gas this month, even given all the excess driving.

**Groceries - dh did first grocery run on Friday (first for month). I was hoping we could make up excess spending this month ($100+ on food and parking in SF on a recent weekend). I think it looks fairly likely. If we did not need any groceries the entire first week, and can probably stretch out the 4th grocery run into March. That gives us $300-ish in grocery runs ($100 x 3) plus a fair amount of supplementing at Target and ethnic stores.

We haven't shopped Safeway very much in YEARS because prices have been so terrible. But we were at in-laws and they had a 16oz salad with a giant "$5" stamped on the packaging. I asked where they got it and they said Safeway. Whoa!! So I stopped by and picked up some salad. What a great deal!

So, I told dh maybe he should go check out Safeway - maybe they were trying to be more competitive. He is a little resistant as he is just very annoyed with Safeway. But a LOT of our keeping food costs down is keeping an open mind and keeping an eye on prices, and adjusting. So, I think he needs to go check out the prices. (HE does almost ALL the shopping, and he has a price book basically in his head, so he needs to go check it out. He can be the judge).

Spending losses:

Aside from all our shows and driving, was expecting a fairly low spend month.

Last night I caved for a pizza. I believe while we were eating the pizza, dh told me they were going to the movies today. Rolleyes So aggravated, because if he had told me that, I never would have bought a pizza. It's not a big deal. But, better communication would have meant better decisions. I did gripe about that a bit last night. I will make sure that him AND the kids know that it's not a big deal. It was just the communication. It's so rare they go to the movies. I don't want them feeling bad about it.

So, that is our budget loss for this week.

**Because of the above, I got out the old pen and paper monthly budget.

I will never understand on any level why anyone would be tempted to spend more with a credit card than cash. I have very much a cash spending mentality. So, if I don't want to over-spend (and pay interest???), I have to only spend the money I have on hand. & of course we pay ourselves first (money goes to mortgage and retirement and whatever first), so all I really have to spend is what is left in my checking account.

BUT, sometimes it is difficult to manage a household with more than one person. I found a VERY simple solution. I just keep a running total of our monthly spending, by the computer. On a piece of paper. We can usually squeeze out $200 of discretionary spending, monthly. This does not include gas and grocery spending, which we are well versed and practiced in keeping within our budget. So, it's just everything else.

Credit cards make this SO EASY to manage. I can't say dh overly participates in this part. But I can see any credit card charges basically as the card is swiped. SO, I just write everything down. Then either of us can look at the list at any point of the month and see how much we have left to spend.

So yeah, I hadn't bothered with this in a while, but when I do, our spending always seems to be lower than usual. So, I figured if I Want a really tight month, I better write it down.

I wrote down $160 SF spending, though I expect gas coupon and less grocery spending to completely offset that. It will remind us that we had a very big spend month on the discretionary side of things, and we can cool it for the rest of the month.

I added pizza and movies. & dh and I both made a couple of purchases.

I'd like not to spend any more money this month, aside for food and whatever for upcoming Bay Area trips.

Hardly a tight month, as they went to the movies last weekend (FIL paid), I went to lunch with my friend ($$$$), dh went to a show, and we have a birthday and an anniversary coming up (two trips to Bay Area). I think our social calendar is quite full. & I guess another reason why I Was so thrown off by the movie plans.

1 Responses to “February Wins and Losses”

  1. Looking Forward Says:

    I had my DH buy what sounds like the same salad (it had the $5 sticker) - the O Organic salad - with my Just4You it cost me $3.99. Smile

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