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Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Musings: Week 9

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.

Groceries/Food                            $179.64
Piano Lessons                                $10.00
Clothing                                           $5.41
Toiletries                                          $31.06  
Total                                               $226.11

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.


  1. is supposed to be really great and it can be used on iOS or android as well as online. Here is a pros/cons list I found on them.
    Pros: is free. uses the very same safety measures that online banks use. tells you exactly where your money is going.
    It handles the most difficult part of budgeting for you.
    With this information, you can make wise, informed financial decisions.
    Cons: requires online access to your bank accounts.
    Therefore, if you haven't set up online banking yet, won't be useful to you.
    I haven't used it though so I can't tell you much about it from personal experience.

    1. Thanks, Taylor. I'll definitely look into it.

  2. I've never had a debit card or ATM card, either. My friend who was a banker for 20 years says she loves the debit card but it's very important to record all your debits. I don't want an ATM card--I keep my spending allowance out for the month, and when I'm out of cash I'm out of money--no more spending. I have learned to make my allowance last!! I've toyed with the idea of a debit card, simply because of the convenience of swiping a card. The other option would be a credit card that you pay off each month. I use one for gasoline (and I have a gift card from Wal-Mart to use when their Murphy gas is cheaper than others.)
    ~~Sherry Welch