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Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Musings: Weeks 30 & 31




I took 2 weeks off from blogging due to being past a deadline on a writing project. All my receipts were stuffed in an envelope on my desk. Rather than spending a lot of time organizing and sorting by dates, I compiled them into the July monthly report.

July Spending Report

Category
Spent
Budgeted 
Savings
Groceries*
$605
$700
$95
Miscellaneous
$12
$120        
$108
School
$13
$50
$37
Entertainment
$0
$75
$75
Toiletries
$97
$50
-$47
Piano Lessons
$0
$80
$80
Clothing
$119
$60
-$59
Gifts
$79
$75
-$4
Hair Care
$20
$30
$10
Benevolence
$20
$35
$15
Discretionary Cash
$25
$25
$0
Total  
$990
$1300
$310

Here’s what I’ve learned:
·       Out of sight means out of mind. When I wasn’t diligent about keeping up with spending, then I overspent. Case in point – the groceries. We do have three family birthdays in July, and we have a large extended family gathering on the 4th, so extra grocery spending is understandable, but somehow we just kept spending. When I record and report my spending weekly, I’m more aware when things begin heading in the wrong direction and I can correct it.
·       It’s easier to spend with a debit card than it is with cash. I know this shouldn’t be the case, but it’s so easy to swipe that card. When all of my spending was on a cash basis and I had to hand over the green, I was more cautious. I also had my money portioned out by category in an envelope system, so I was more aware of going over budget in a given category.
·       It’s really tough to NOT spend money on gifts. I love it when I’m shopping and I come across something that is the “perfect gift” for someone I love. For me, the ultimate act of love is making a gift for someone. So, I’m a sucker for beautiful yarn or fabric.
·       Going to school is expensive. One of our children is going to public school this year, so we had to get school clothes and supplies. When you home school, no one really cares if you wear the same jeans and shirt 3 times a week, but this is a whole new world for us.
·       I have an uncanny ability to justify “unauthorized purchases.” See the previous 4 points for proof. J

·       I won’t give up. I’m not going to be defined by my failures, and I’m not giving up. August will be the month I go back to shopping for groceries from my freezer and pantry instead of at the local grocery store. 

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