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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September budget roundup



September was a crazy month for us with some good news and some bad news.  I always like to do bad news first so the good news will cheer me up later, so here's the bad news.  We spent $166.25 on fast food this month.  To put that in comparison, I only spent $137.26 at the commissary in the entire month.  This is not good.  I have to admit that I contributed to our horrific total, but before yesterday I thought our fast food spendings were at $67.34.  Apparently my husband has been going to McDonald's without even telling me.  And on top of that, he's spent a total of $85 at the NEX this month on stuff he can't even remember, and thus I can only conclude that he didn't even need. 

We've worked out that his total "debt" from his month-long spending spree is $150.  The resolution that we've come to is that he's going to do without any money except for $20 emergency cash until I save $150 on my deal-seeking, so he can see just how hard it is to save money.  The better solution would be to make him clip coupons, pull up the scenarios, and go to the stores...but that's just a bit too much.  It seems silly and even downright mean that I'm taking away an adult's spending power, but he himself has admitted to having absolutely no sense of money.  The point that I'm hoping he'll learn is that there are very few impulse "needs".  I'm not taking away his entire access to money, I'm just making him wait a couple of hours until he gets home and identify his need.

Now the good news is that even with his spending spree and our fast-food fiasco, we're able to put away 43% of our total income this month.  This is on top of the $600 that is already factored into our budget as a monthly "expense".  We're able to put so much extra away this month due to the fact that we finally got our travel reimbursement - it's only been 9 weeks!  I also earned $95 in extra "income" from rebates and such.

There were a couple of areas were we managed to stay under budget.  We only spent $65 out of our budgeted $125 for gas, which is a complete surprise to me.  I double and triple checked my receipts and credit card bill for gas station trips that I missed, but I just couldn't find any.  This is a very pleasant surprise, and I can only attribute it to the awesome gas mileage that our little Honda Fit gets.  I love that car.  If my husband keeps up his spending spree, I think I'm going to have to leave him for the car.  Or the commissary.

I'm $60 under in our commissary budget - I only spent $140 out of our allotted $200.  You can catch up on the details on each of my four trips this month here.  It comes out to an average of $35/week, and we have meat around half the week.  You can see my menu plans here.  The commissary budget encompasses anything that I buy at the commissary, so a lot of times non-food items make it on there.  I have also been able to keep a good food stockpile going while still staying under-budget...actually, my last trip to the commissary was mainly stuff for our stockpile. 

This month, I spent $7.23 OOP at CVS, which is definitely not too shabby considering I've probably gotten hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise from them.  I spent $57.96 at Walgreens though, and once I got over the initial shock I realized this isn't too bad since I have a $80 gift card headed my way from the EasySaver rebates, and a $20 gift card from customer service from my run-in with the Walgreens from hell.

As far as unexpected expenses go, the only one that's within our budget is Chloe's training class.   We also had two rather huge unexpected expenses - the first being our rent from August that was supposed to be taken care of automatically.  The second was an old student loan of my husband's that has been in deferment due to his active duty status.  Except now they changed their policies and you are only eligible for a deferment if you're in a hostile combat zone.  In the past, that would have gotten your loan completely canceled, but now it's only deferred.  I guess if you're just doing worthless stupid old active duty, they don't care about you.  Jerks.

I didn't factor these two bigger expenses into our budget because they came out of our savings account.  We didn't have to break the piggy bank or dip into our emergency fund, so it's rather comforting to know our budgeting and saving strategy is working.  We're not rich because I definately miss those two large sums of money, but at least we're no longer sitting on the very cliff edge of being flat broke.

The next couple of months promises a lot of action and fun.  I just found out this past week that we'll be hosting a small family reunion at our house for Thanksgiving.  It began with my parents using their frequent flyer miles to visit and see the baby, which is not a biggie considering they make their own bed and even wash the bedsheets before they leave.  Then it expanded to my 80 year old grandmother flying in from overseas to visit.  And of course, if she's going to make the trip, she'll want to see my uncle and his family in New York.  And to minimize airplane trips for her, they're going to come to her instead.  At my house.  So next month we'll probably be purchasing a new table, considering 10 people gathered for Thanksgiving around my little 35" diameter table is probably impossible.  Not that I'm not crazily excited to see my family, but my head is hurting just thinking about it, and my wallet already feels lighter.

Oh, and did I mention that my husband's family wants us to fly to California for Christmas as well...?  Plane tickets for the three of us should only cost an arm, a leg, and maybe our first-born...in which case I guess it'll only be two tickets...

1 comment:

Momstart said...

My husband did a lot of the shopping this month because one of my two children has been sick for over half of the month, oh yeah, I was sick too. Anyways, he was proud of saving nine dollars by purchasing stuff on sale, but I had coupons to go with everything he purchased so it could have been even more. However, it was nice that he did do the shopping.

 
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