Saturday, August 5, 2017

Money Peaks and Valleys

Despite putting not a single penny aside towards our 2017 savings goal, and in fact, borrowing another $20 in cash from the December fun account, there were some financial peaks to write home about. First, the valley's. DH has a minimal base salary that even if he sold nothing, he would draw, but one might work at McDonald's and earn more. His real earnings are commissions and corporate earning bonus's. Summer is a historical lull time, as folks have purchased new earlier in the year, or are waiting for the current model clearance in late fall. Add to this that people tend to be gone on vacation and spending vacation funds, buying a car is not a high priority. We know, this, and we plan for this. Yet, the significant dip is glaringly there when we go to balance at the end of the month. 

Another valley, though we'll feel it next month as we put on VISA (to be paid off in full each month), was upgrading DD2's violin. She has been using a 3/4 for several years, but has increased her strength, and was ready to move up. Fortunately, they took a significant portion off in trade based on buying her 1/2, and 3/4 from them, so it was several hundred less than I expected to spend. The last full week of July was not thrifty for me as I had lunch meetings three of four days in the office, plus a girls night out.

With the valleys out of the way, we had quite a few peaks in our thrifty ways, or planning ahead ways, which helped ensure we did not need to dip into the savings account. I apologize at all the wedding talk, but I find wedding expenses, even as just a guest, in particular those for close family and out of town, can be significant budget busters.

  • Hotel was prepaid back in March when we booked the room for our nieces wedding.We took advantage of the breakfast bar included. 
  • Having eaten a good breakfast with eggs, bacon,fruit, oatmeal, and yogurt, lunch was light. DH made a run to Walmart for another SD card for DD1 who was already at the venue doing video. He bought a massive deli sandwich for $6.00, which fed DH, his mom, DD2, and me-plenty to keep energy up before the wedding. 
  • Wedding gift was mostly paid for in March as well. I supplemented the Keurig coffee maker with a cute little breakfast basket that included two coffee mugs, a box of a 16 organic and recyclable coffee pods, baking mix, and my home made jam. I forgot to take a picture, but here is the basket I got off Amazon for $12.00. Ingredients probably totaled another $13, total of $25 for the whole basket. Take that Fortnum and Mason.

  • DH's mom drove with us to the wedding. She insisted on taking us out for lunch when we got up north as thank you for driving her, plus driving her to the various wedding activities she was/wanted to be a part of. She insisted on the way home as well, but neither DD2 or I were very hungry. Most of our meal came back home, which, added to some leftover pizza already in the refrigerator, made a decent supper Sunday night. 
  • Found three bargain dresses, one for regular wear. Since the regular wear dress was deemed too old for me, and I didn't need two blue cocktail dresses, I returned two for a refund. I kept the most expensive of the three, but get this price, $23.00.  
  • I talked myself out of new shoes for the dress. The styles in the store were cute, but overall impractical with either a heel that was too high, or thick wedges. I wore my same black slim wedge sandals purchased two years ago for under $20 at the end of summer and they were lovely with the dress, plus comfortable as they were worn in.   
  • Spent virtually nothing at our community river days, other than a few shared food samples while watching the singing finales. DD2 spent some of her own money, but even she was frugal considering al the money sucks available through the carnival, food trucks, and vendors.
  • DH and I had thrifty dates at our wine club night, a Sunday afternoon local vineyard to listen to jazz, and a couple cabin weekends. 
August will be a belt tightening month. My challenge is $350 for the entire household budget, including cleaning, personal, and grocery needs. I'm adding a challenge to myself to pack a lunch every day-hoping to avoid meetings over the lunch hour that need to be scheduled in a restaurant. I'm off to a good start this first week of August, but still socialized by eating outside at the picnic tables with coworkers yesterday-all brown bagging it. Are you belt tightening before fall? Did anyone else have a financially tough July?


  1. I don't even want to LOOK at our July spending outside the regular bills. At least I can put off the painful truth until we get home mid August. lolz

    1. We can commiserate over a beer or two. Life has to be lived though.

  2. I appreciate posts about finances and how folks are dealing with them. I get some good tips this way.

    1. I doubt you got anything useful from me this month, other than there is always a need to watch your pennies because sometimes the dollars just don't come.


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