Monday, August 1, 2016

Onward and Upward in August





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?

10 comments:

  1. Splurging on trips cutting back on groceries and selling lots on eBay to add to travel fund. The other thing I splurge on is my hair colour lol

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    1. I went so far as making an E-bay account, but with working full time, still having mom duties, and volunteer commitments, I found I didn't really have the time to purge for the purpose of listing and selling. Probably just as well, as what I purge, other than teen clothes, tends to be worthless.

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  2. We are definitely cutting back as we booked and paid for our holiday on Saturday and I want to replace the money as soon as possible. We really don't need anything much this month at all. I have plenty of craft materials and some furniture to renovate and we have plenty of food in house, garden and allotment. I came home from my Mum's yesterday with 9 polo neck skinny rib jumpers and a new coat for Winter, all in immaculate condition. I now need to purge some things to make room for them.

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    1. I learned we might have another $299 ding to our finances. I'm not sure where to cut back any more, but perhaps at least one of those dresses may need to go back. I read your post with awe at what is coming from your allotment. What a nice feeling it must be to know not only is your pantry stocked, but you provided the effort in full. I feel like that just when I prepare a couple extra freezer items, or make a batch of jam, so you must feel it 10 fold.

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  3. I don't want to talk about my totals. LOL. We went way over in July. Between all the parties and extra people here, it was a train wreck.
    We don't travel much and we only fly by Spirit cuz I get tickets so cheap. When they changed the the size of the free bag that you could bring on, I hit the Goodwill and go a $3.99 bag.
    I think that you are doing well. Just tracking it alone is a major accomplishment. I'm hoping that September will be better for us as DJ will be back in school. We shall see.

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    1. Now that I'm not traveling for work anymore, New Orleans being a one off, we likely will fly only once per year. If I go super cheap like Spirit, I'm probably going to someplace with a very casual clothing need, so think I can do a back pack shoved under the seat. For weekends, I do like a roll away as I think the clothes stay a little more neat,and the new 360 wheels save my back so much strain. Budgets are stretched for everyone these days-it's helpful to have forums to commiserate, but then pick up the good ideas from each other.

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  4. We always have the intent of trying to cut back but life happens and we end up splurging. On things like towing, car fixes, medical things...

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    1. Oh Val-so can relate! We enjoyed that splurge to the ER with $500 deductible, the deer in the road, and the 2nd car breaking down.

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  5. Our only real family vacation was already one year ago and it's got me wanting to travel SOOOO badly! But we just had a large car repair and could hardly afford that. Sigh. So, I'm hoping for some good old fashioned frugal fun this month and a low spending budget. Darn cars!

    Your trip is going to be awesome! Really jealous here... except for the in laws part.

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    1. I've been reading your summer adventures and it sounds like you are making the most of summer. I'm so happy for you that your new schedules have added so much more family time. And yes, darn cars!!

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