In many ways, this week was better than last. I spent slightly less money. Because of my trip to Nebraska, I needed to stock up on groceries for the family, so that category is a bit high. Josiah and I spent Thursday and Friday at the home-school basketball tournament where they had a strict "No Coolers. No Outside Food or Drinks" rule, so I was only able to smuggle in a limited amount of rations in my purse.
Here's the spending breakdown for Week 9.
Piano Lessons $10.00
Savings from February -- $423.00
Between our January and February savings, we now have an emergency fund that exceeds our preliminary $1000 goal.
Since Esther and I will be traveling when this post is scheduled, I'm writing it ahead of time. I know we'll have some travel expenses. The trip from our house to Rachel's is 732 miles. We'll need to take breaks, but I plan to pack a cooler with sandwiches and snacks so we don't blow the budget. We travel on 3 toll roads between here and there, so there will be tolls to pay. They're well worth it -- the alternative is driving on Oklahoma 2-lane highways. Scary!
We've never had a debit or ATM card, and for the past several years, I've been operating on a cash-only basis for everything except gasoline. I'm considering opening a checking account for household expenses and using a debit card. It seems so easy to swipe a card, whereas it hurts just a little more to hand over cash. I wonder if using a debit card will affect my spending patterns.
I'm going to be on the lookout for some budgeting or expense recording sites. I'm sure there's a smartphone app, but I don't have a smartphone. Can apps be used on an iTouch? One of my older children who has upgraded to a smart phone might have an unused iTouch lying around. Hint, hint...
Any advice on debit cards, budgeting sites or apps? I'd love to have your input.