As I suspected, we are in the negatives for July in making efforts towards our December 31 savings targets, but not quite as bad as I had first thought it was going to be, ending at -$633. On a more positive note, I am pleased to say we ended August in groceries at $298.77. Not bad at all, and if I really wanted to play Mother Hubbard, I think I could scrape together meals for another week, bizarre ones, but meals all the same. So with knowledge of what we have in stock, I am aiming for August again to be under $300. To add to the challenge, I want to keep household (personal, cleaning, laundry etc.) at under $50, and meals out, not counting the vacation meals, at under $100. I won’t count DH’s lunches-no control there on my part, and I won’t count a few activities DD2 has with friends that will need lunch money.
I’m not even going to try and figure out what we spent beyond groceries this month on entertainment and meals out. Eating out was as much as ever, and I can’t even remember where and what we might have eaten. I splurged well beyond my per diem in New Orleans, and last night, we had planned and did end the month with pizza because DH was going to be at the cabin most of the day. But hey, August 1 is a fresh start.
I checked our suit cases and one of our large ones still has some life in it, and we use the large so infrequently, it didn’t make sense to splurge on a new one. However, I found a carry on size, largest that will pass, with the 360 turning wheels, for $50 at Gordman’s with another 20% off. It seems as good a quality as the one I purchased for DD2 before Spain at Kohl’s for $100, plus 30% off and $10 Kohl’s cash, so I guess a better buy once all discounts and earnings are applied. All our carry on size have handles that won’t extend, or are ripping in seams. I really abused them the years I traveled for work. I found some light weight knit dresses, perfect for layering with tights and sweaters, to refurbish my summer to fall, and cruise appropriate wardrobe. These were not originally in my plan, but with some of my purging, I am realizing the sorry state of my work wardrobe. I really have purchased very little in the last year, and these seemed practical, not indulgent, except perhaps the black one, as I already have two black dresses.
So that was July. August has us going on vacation, with a firm budget, and back to school expenses. As much as DD2 has clothes galore, it just feels like a fresh start to a school year to let her get a couple new things. Then there is school supplies and the list; I wish I had stock in three ring binders. I'm not sure how to pack for the trip. It could get downright cold at night out on the Alaska coast, but I’m thinking items that can be worn in layers and swapped and switched out. I need to get DH’s suit to the dry cleaners-ouch that will eat 1/3 of the household budget right there! Guess we’ll be using up the dribs and drabs of our cleaning supplies, but the last of the laundry soap went in the washer this monring. How are you all gearing up for spending to close out summer? Are splurging or cutting back, or like me, do you have a mix of both going on?