My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mid-month budget checkup

UPDATE: don't forget that you can get a copy of my budget spreadsheet by email.  I'm still offering a personalized template for anyone who's interested - all you have to do is place my button on your blog or email 10 friends about My Precious Pennies. 

September is just flying away...I can't believe it's time for a mid-month budget checkup again!  I'm very happy to report that we've managed to stay way under budget on everything except for our dine-out bill.  This is a CONSTANT struggle for us, and it's a family weakness that we have to fight pretty much everyday.  I budget $20/month for dining out, and unfortunately we're at $48.08 already.  
I have nothing against fast food or restaurants, but it is so easy to spiral out of control that I've just had to set a cap of $20.  Once we're better at resisting temptation, I will rise that up so we can have a fine-dining experience once a month.  If I were to budget for a restuarant meal now, we would instead spend it all on unnecessary fast food.  

Everything else is looking good though.  We've only spent $50.74 of our monthly $200 grocery budget.  It comes out to $50/week, and we've only spent $15.32 and $35.42 at the commissary the past two weeks.  I'm so proud of the fact that we've been able to stay way under budget but still manage to have plenty of meaty-meals.  Menu-planning has really helped us with staying under our budget and also eating healthy meals. 

We've had some "abnormal" larger purchases this month - those being my daughter's stationery entertainment center and Chloe's obedience class fee.  They're not huge purchases, but they're also not in our bare-bones budget.  That's alright though, because my budget bank will take care of the difference.  I haven't spent money on the dogs for a while, so Chloe's obedience class fee doesn't really make a big dent.  

Also along the lines of "abnormal" expenses, it turns out that we will have to pay off my husband's student loan.  It has been in deferment for 2 years now because of his active duty status, but yesterday I found that they changed their policies.  In order to be eligible for a deferment, he now has to be in a hostile combat zone.  It used to be that if you were in a hostile combat zone you could get the loan completely CANCELED.  I was so disappointed to hear about this - it just seems like they're shorting our military out.  If they're in immediate danger and have a huge chance of coming back with severe injuries (or not coming back at all), the least you could do was to cancel their loan instead of just deferring it. 

It was never the plan to keep the loan in deferment until my husband retired, but I wanted to wait another year so that we were more stable in our finances.  This time last year we would not have had the money to pay off the loan.  We can afford to pay it off now, but at the same time I would rather have the money for a rainy day.  At the same time though, I'm not so desperate for rainy-day money that I'll put up with paying interest. 

Fortunately, we've also had some unexpected income.  We finally got our travel reimbursement, even though it's been 9 weeks since we did the actual traveling.  My husband's last two paychecks were larger than predicted, simply because it's still going through the changes that come with a new duty station.  I've also received some rebates in the mail, and made some money from selling things on craigslist. 

My husband's also up for a raise, and we should be getting his yearly uniform bonus soon.  Granted, that teeny tiny bonus does nothing against his actual uniform expenses and it's a joke to even think he can replace anything with that money, but it's better than nothing.  Yesterday he told me that he's going to need a new jacket that costs $80.  Bye bye bonus, and so much for replacing some old shirts.  They're also going through a complete uniform switch, so sometime in the near future my husband is going to have to buy a whole new wardrobe.  And you can bet your bottom dollar that it's not going to come cheap. 

Come to think of it...those stupid uniforms cost just as much as designer clothes.  Now I don't know about you, but I personally would pick Calvin Klein as a designer over the military any day! 

1 comment:

Making a House a Home said...

You are doing great! How nice that you can pay off his student loan with money from your savings. Way to go!!!

 
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