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Archive for November, 2005

Forgot . . .

November 30th, 2005 at 09:53 pm

So I figured since it's the last day of the month I'll review my goals. I won't have my final spending numbers for November for another week and a half. I get paid every other friday, so my second paycheck in November will cover me through December 9th. However, since I now have a record of all the income of November I figured I should check and see how I did on my goals:

- Stay within my budget for everyday expenses Try to cut where possible.

Well, I am probably going to be over budget by about $60 this month. Most of that is due to high grocery spending from a stock up run to Costco and expenses surrounding my urgent care visit such as $30 in prescriptions (misc. expenses in my tracking). As of today I'm still right around my normal budget categories: Must Haves: 50.1%, Save 28.9%, Wants 16.8% (goal is 50/30/20). Looking at my spreadsheet groceries and misc. are really the only categories that have increased from last month. Some are down, like work snacks (coffee and snacks at work) and entertainment and eating out. We'll see how the total numbers come out in another week and a half Smile

- Put $450 extra towards student loans to stay on track for 4/2006 and 9/2006 payoff.

This didn't happen at ALL. I ended up having some medical expenses that I will have to use my emergency fund for (I still haven't gotten all the bills). $286.69 this month went towards emergency fund payback rather than debt reduction. I still have $322.71 that I need to pay back into the emergency fund. I also needed to bring my short term savings up (Christmas gifts, Christmas travel) and added $217.61 to that this month. I plugged in the new numbers to the debt snowball spreadsheet, and I'll now pay off my two private loans in May '06 and October '06.

- Put additional needed to make short term savings goal (about $75)

This was sort of met, I actually put more into short term savings, but at the expense of debt reduction. I realized I hadn't factored in all gifts and travel expenses needed, and so had to up the amount I contributed.

- Allow my crazy budgeting/limiting of spending self to make at least one purchase on myself (not something I HAVE to buy, just something I want) I seriously can't remember the last time I allowed myself to make a purchase just because I wanted something. Sometimes you just have to splurge.

Well, this was half and half as far as success goes. I did purchase a new hardcover book this month, but honestly I probably would have bought it whether I made this goal or not, so I'm not certain if it should count Smile I did browse for a while trying to find something to use my Banana Republic gift card on, but I wasn't really in the mood to shop. Also, my mom sent me a package today with a new coat (thrift store find that was just a bit too small for her), some socks, and a hat. So although I didn't splerge on myself, it feel like it was a good month Smile

Christmas spending plans

November 30th, 2005 at 06:25 pm

It's been a pretty slow week so far. Work has been busy but not crazy, so the time has gone by quickly. I got my end of the month incentive check today, and will be using $60 for spending money until next paycheck. I had planned on using all of it for savings, but I went a bit over budget this month.

I've narrowed my boyfriends Christmas gift down to two options. I'm buying him a little practice guitar amp. One is $400 (which would pretty much be my whole Christmas budget) and the other is about $240. Previously I had a different one in mind (see post below), but it doesn't really come highly recommended so I did a little more research and decided on another option - of course the one that's $400 Wink Now I just need to decide between the two.

I don't really want to base my decision completely on money, but right now the cheaper one is the frontrunner (mainly for other reasons). However, in anticipation of *possibly* going over my Christmas budget, I'll move money from my incentive check into my savings account rather than use it to pay back my emergency fund. After going over the numbers, I'm still on track to pay back my emergency fund in December, but won't be able to make as large of an extra student loan payment.


$11 phone bill
$28.21 internet bill

$5 coffee and snacks at work

$13.03 cigarettes
$4 coffee

11/30 (incentive check):
$60 to spending budget
$113.42 to short term savings (Christmas fund now at $500, Dentist in Dec at $90, and Xmas travel at 13.51)

I think I need about $90 for my half of a rental car for Christmas travel, other than that all of my short term savings categories are where I want them to be Smile I may still be under budget for Christmas spending, but I haven't made all of my gift decisions yet.

$72.46 left in budget (til 12/9)

Weekend wrap-up

November 27th, 2005 at 01:05 pm

So far a pretty relaxing weekend. Yesterday my boyfriend and I spent some time with another couple. I went out and did some Christmas shopping (which ended up just being Christmas browsing) with the girl, while the boys hung out at home. We got together and had dinner at their house afterward, so the only thing spent was a cigarette and mixers purchase.

It was kind of weird, this is the same couple that we went out with on Friday night. It's not like I know their financial info, but the whole time they were talking about a car they're buying and their various trips. I got a bit of Jones' envy I guess. I had to remind myself that things are going well for us, we just have chosen not to spend money on big ticket type items.

I think their talk stemmed from them being competitive. Everytime money comes up with this couple, they talk about their jobs and stock options and whatnot. It was the first time they've seen our new couch that we bought a couple months ago. I think there was a bit of talk because of that (it's a really nice brown leather couch, but we saved and bought it on sale). Of course the first thing they ask us is how much we paid, and then they go on to talk about their new car. Sometimes I don't really understand that competitive side of money.

The good news was that I've narrowed down my boyfriend's Christmas present. He's getting a guitar amp, but since I don't really know anything about amps I've been doing a lot of research and also consulting with friends that do. The couple that we hung out with yesterday gave me some good advice, and I've narrowed it down to two different amps. One has all the bells and whistles and the other is just a nice little amp. My boyfriend says he doesn't want all the effects, but I'm not certain if that's because he thinks it'll cost a lot more and not be worth the money or if he knows he won't use them. The two have the same basic set up, and are similar in price (only about a $50 difference), but I'm still debating. I'll have to do some research about the two companies to see if one tends to be better made than the other.


$17.81 cigarettes and mixers

$67.69 left in budget

Thanksgiving wrap up

November 26th, 2005 at 12:38 pm

We had a nice and mellow Thanksgiving. I had to work the day after and neither of us have family in the immediate area, so it was just my boyfriend and myself. We made turkey breast and all the fixings to go with it. We have leftovers for a while! Smile

I was paid yesterday, here's the breakdown:

$262.50 half of rent
$57.63 regular gov student loan payment
$193.07 emergency fund pay back
$250.00 spending ($81 of which is already spent Frown so actual spending money for two weeks is $169)

I have a second doctors bill that I'll have to use my emergency fund for. So, as of now the total I'll need to pay back (after I actually get the bills) is $714.37. I've put back $286.66, so I have $427.71 left to go. My plan is to have it all paid back by December 23 (second payday in Dec.).

So far I've only received one of the bills, and I put that on my rewards credit card (credit cards can be used for medical bills! scary). I'll pay it off when the bill comes in a couple weeks. That way I'll be getting a percentage from the credit card company, and my money will be earning interest longer in my savings account. I think I'll do this for all the medical bills Smile

Last night we went out with friends, and it ended up being waaay more expensive than I thought. We went to a place I wasn't familiar with (their choice). We should have known it was going to be expensive, these are the friends that meet for drinks and dinner about every other night and have no problem coming away with a bill of $80 to $100 for just the two of them. So, $60.51 was down the drain. Oh well, we did have fun, it's just we could have had the same amount of fun at a less expensive place.


$60.51 drinks/appetizers

$14.00 surprise cupcakes for coworkers (we had to work the day after thanksgiving, I figured everyone need a little sugar)

$2.99 drup store (bag of chips for lunches)

$91.50 left in budget (or $7.03 per day)

Thanks for the comments . . .

November 22nd, 2005 at 09:46 pm

Thanks to baselle and jodi m for the nice comments. You'd think judging by my previous post that I hate customers or at least my job. Neither is true, sometimes it's just frustrating Smile I think mandatory customer service work is a great idea Wink

So, after my venting, I sat down and had dinner (left overs), prepped lunch for work tomorrow (sandwiches) and did a bunch of dishes from last night and tonight. Now I'm about to sit down and watch Threshold. All in all a very exciting evening Smile

11/22 Update

November 22nd, 2005 at 06:50 pm

Hmmm, feels like it's been a while since I posted. It's been waaay too busy at work. What is it about the holiday season that makes people be so mean to customer service workers? Seriously, customers have been driving me crazy lately! I mean, I know everyone is starting to get stressed out about the holidays, but seriously I would like to help you if you would just stop screaming at me!! Sometimes I wonder if people ever think, "You know, maybe I shouldn't scream at this nice girl behind the counter, she didn't mess up my account, and if I'm nice and tell her the problem, things will be fixed that much faster." I don't think it even crosses their mind . . . Eh, I guess the people that are nice make up for it, but still.

So, other than that things have been alright. We're planning a pretty low key Thanksgiving. I only have Thursday off (who says bankers have great hours?), so we're having dinner with some friends. We're in charge of the stuffing and dessert. I'm thinking pumpkin pie, but since I've never made pumpkin pie we'll see.

Spending has been not so hot, but still close to my new goal . . .



13.03 cigarettes


3.00 snacks at work -- did I say someone screamed at me for a half hour? yeah, stress snacks Smile

-$48.32 in budget (til this Friday)

(new goal: stay within $40) - well, I'll take $9 over . . . just have to be more careful with the next two weeks

Saturday . . .

November 19th, 2005 at 05:42 pm

I had to work this morning, so now my weekend has officially started. I had to pick up a prescription after work (another round of antibiotics), and on Friday I was in such a rush to get to work that I forgot my lunch Frown Oh well . . . Other than that things are pretty uneventful, not many weekend plans.

A few weeks ago I switched my credit card to a rewards card (Chase VISA). I've been writing down all my transactions as if I was spending money out of my checking account in order to try and prevent a shock at the end of the month. Also, I've already done one payment online for some of the purchases, and plan on doing another this weekend. I'm excited to see my rewards Smile


$8 lunch

$10 prescription

-$32.39 in budget (new goal: stay within $40)


November 17th, 2005 at 09:02 pm

So, I realized I didn't enter my break down of last months spending Smile I've been working on keeping spending in categories from "All Your Worth" - must haves, wants, save. I decided since paying down my loans is a big motivation right now, I would strive for 50% "must haves" but switch the percentages for "wants" and "save" so that I have "save" at 30% and "wants" at 20% This is my breakdown for the two paychecks in October . . .
(since I get paid every two weeks, some of this spending was actually in November, which was why I forgot to post the updated numbers)

Must Haves:

525.00 Rent
10.28 Phone Bill
157.63 Minimum Loan Payments
82.54 Groceries
33.52 Electricity

808.97 or 46% total (goal: no more than 50%) - yeah!! under in this category


66.39 Short-Term Save
450.00 Extra Student Loan Payments

516.39 or 30% total (goal: 30%) - right on in this one Smile


44.38 Coffee/Snacks at Work
143.29 Cigarettes (yeah, I know, bad)
96.18 Misc
87.27 Eating Out
28.21 Cable Internet (I consider this a "want" not a "need")
21.32 Entertainment

420.65 or 24% total (goal: 20%) - over in this section, need to work on that, close though


$15 cigarettes
$9.23 drug store (should have been prepared with supplies this time of month, instead I had to stop by the drug store while at work, oh well)

-14.29 in budget
(new budget goal: to stay within $40 under and offset with next paycheck)

No spend day!

November 16th, 2005 at 09:29 pm

Today was pretty uneventful, although long. I had a staff meeting at work, so I was there from 8:30am til 7pm (which means I was away from home from 7:50 - 7:30 with bus times). Now I'm tired, and I think I'll just indulge in a little t.v. watching. It was a no spend day, which was good. Brought my lunch (like always) and resisted the temptation of buying an afternoon coffee. I ended up just snacking on a granola bar I brought from home to satisfy that 3 o'clock craving for sugar.

I checked with my boyfriend about my entertaining difficulty buying ground sausage. Apparently I was in the wrong meat section! Sheesh. I was looking near the beef and breakfast sausages. Down the aisle by bacon and hotdogs I guess they have a section of ground sausage that is - as my boyfriend describes it - 'spicy.' Oh well, he was happy enough with it, but now I know where to look. He found the whole thing kind of amusing. Figures, send a vegetarian to buy 'ground sausage' and who knows what you might get Wink

As far as my whole over budget problems, I think I'm going to shoot for staying within $40 of my normal limit. I'll just subtract $40 from my spending limit next paycheck to make up for it (basically just include $40 of my Costco grocery purchases on NEXT paychecks budget). I should be able to stay on budget for the month as a whole without a problem, and I'll try to keep spending to a minimum until next paycheck.


Nothing. Nada. Smile

$9.94 left in budget.

Where'd my budget go?

November 15th, 2005 at 04:49 pm

It's been a rough couple days for the budget. Actually to keep things positive, it was really the stock up trip to Costco that made things all crazy. I now have $9.94 until next payday (11/25) if I want to stay within my spending plan for this paycheck. That's not going to happen. I should be good on groceries, but $10 for 9 days?! I don't think that'll work out very well.

I'll take a look at it, really I should probably break up the $145 spent at Costco over this paycheck and next paycheck. If I put say $40 or $50 of the Costco grocery spending on NEXT paycheck's budget I should be able to stay on budget for the month overall and have more then $10 Smile

Anyway, spending for today was pretty light. I had to go get a prescription filled, and while I was waiting I picked up a couple things on my grocery list. It's crazy, I've never thought to buy canned foods at a drug store. I needed to get diced tomatoes for pasta sauce tonight, and it was on sale for $0.89 a can (from $1.39). I picked up four since this is generally a staple type product for us. I felt even better about my purchase when I checked the price at the grocery store. They had it on sale too, but for $1.00 a can. Who knew drug stores had good sales on food? I also picked up a couple bags of chocolate chips (my favorite brand, and my boyfriend's favorite type of cookie), which were on sale for $1.50 from $2.59 and some more rolled gauze (seriously, bandaging between your toes is crazy hard).

Grocery shopping was pretty uneventful, just some veggies for a couple planned pasta dishes - things we don't buy at Costco since the quantity would go to waste. My spending would have been a lot better, but I had problems with the ground sausage. I checked with my boyfriend this morning to see what kind of meat he wanted in his half of the sauce (I don't eat meat), and he said to pick up ground sausage. No problem I think, I can do that, it's not like I'm choosing a cut of meat. Ugh! It was actually pretty comic, there I was with my basket of veggies trying to determine if there was a difference between "ground beef" and "ground sausage"!! I finally got the one thing I could find that actually said "ground sausage" - made from pork, I guess maybe that's the difference - but it was $6.50!! For a little tray! I'll have to consult with my boyfriend this evening and figure out if I even bought the right thing.

Wow, that was a long post. Anyway, here's the spending breakdown:


$17.81 grocery store
$10.00 prescription
$11.49 drug store


$15 cigarettes
$4 coffee


$23.18 phone bill

$9.94 left in budget

Weekend update . . .

November 13th, 2005 at 12:51 pm

Not much going on this weekend, yesterday was a no spend day Smile That's two in a row, mainly just 'cause I was lazy and read my book Wink

We have plans to head to Costco later today, so we'll see how that goes. We've made a list, and generally are pretty good at sticking to it, but we need a few things that are going to be a bit more expensive.

I'll also check and see if there's anything for Christmas gifts. I should have a pretty inexpensive Christmas, although I don't know what I'm going to get for my boyfriend yet. Extended family is getting cards, which is the norm in my family. We generally get together around the holidays, but since all the cousins are grown and only a couple of my cousins have young kids most presents are small. I'm actually not going to be able to see my family this holiday season. I couldn't get both Thanksgiving and Christmas off from work, and we're planning on heading to my boyfriend's family for Christmas - it's their turn, we're all about rotating that kind of thing Smile That means that we'll have to find something for his parents and sister, which could be interesting.


Back from Costco, umm yeah. We stuck to our list (except for buying some frozen shrimp), but Coscto runs always seem so large. Afterwards I always have to remind myself that I'll only need to do minimal perishable type grocery shopping for at least 3 weeks or so - and we have basics like pasta/cheese/baking goods that will last much longer. Since there's two of us, we always are very careful with buying in bulk . . . We can only eat so much food. So, we primarily stocked up on non-perishables and things that we could freeze or use quickly.


$145 groceries at Costco
$13.58 cigarettes

$91.42 left in budget or $8.31 per day (til 11/25)

Update from earlier today . . .

November 11th, 2005 at 09:43 pm

Just an update from earlier. I had the day off and kind of lazed about for the day. Read a bit, and did some financial record keeping (figuring new budget and whatnot)

My boyfriend was so cute today. He called on his way home to see what I wanted for dinner (we REALLY need to go grocery shopping, we just have odds and ends). I hadn't thought about it, so he just picked out what he wanted. He came home with a bottle of wine, and made italian from scratch (tortillini in alfredo sauce, yum!). Really cute, and he was proud of himself for picking a good wine Smile

He paid for groceries, so it was a no spend day for me. I paid for groceries last time, and we generally just rotate grocery purchases (or go together and split it).

Three day weekend!

November 11th, 2005 at 11:27 am

Yeah! I have a three day weekend Smile

I figured out how I'm going to pay back my emergency fund. This month I won't put any extra on my debt (normally I put $450), and in December I'll pay $238 extra on student loans and put the rest towards my emergency fund. That will bring it back up to $1100 by the end of December, and will only push back the pay off of my two private loans to May 2006 and October 2006 (instead of April and September).

I feel better about the whole thing. Smile If I work overtime or get any extra bonus amounts, I'll put that on the loans to see if I can bring the payoffs back to April and September.

I was paid yesterday, here's the spending break down:

$104.19 to S/T Save (balance: $490, at goal for X-mas/dentist appointment expenses)
$93.59 to Emergency Fund (left to pay back: 501.37)
$262.50 half of rent for December
$100 Private Loans (minimum due)

$250 spending budget from 11/10-11/24

Good and Bad

November 9th, 2005 at 09:24 pm

So, the good news first. The book I bought yesterday was 30% off. Which means it came in at $21.32. I was very excited . . .

The bad news is, I checked online to see how much my urgent care visit is going to cost me. Umm, yeah, I guess I didn't take into account my high deductible ($1,000), so total bill will be $594.96!! Ugh! Well, I guess that's what an emergency fund is for, but still. Almost $600 just because I had a spider bite and crazy puffy toes and couldn't get in anywhere else Frown

In my annoyance about the cost, I ran some numbers to figure out if I would have been better off with a lower deductible. I have a choice of three deductibles - 250, 500, 1000. The $1000 deductible plan costs $109 for the
whole year ("Preventive care" visits don't count towards the deductible, you just have a co-pay - which is why I haven't paid any of my deductibe until this urgent care visit). The $500 deductible plan is almost $794 a year. So it actually works out that I would have spent more money if I was on the lower deductible plan. It would have cost me $794 pre tax, plus $500 to cover my deductible. Instead I paid $109 pre tax, and $594 towards my deductible. That made me feel a bit better, it's just a pretty big hit to all come at once.

Besides the fact that I have to pay $600, I now have to decide how I'm going to go about building back up my emergency fund (which was at $1100 before this). Right now I put almost everything beyond my living expenses towards my student loan debt. I'll have to decide how I want to cut that back in order to build up my emergency fund again.


$21.32 book
$4 coffee at work (11/9)
$5 lunch at work (11/8)

0.92 under budget - I get paid tomorrow, I'll update with the new numbers then

11/7 Update

November 8th, 2005 at 08:51 am

Things are going well here. Spent a little yesterday at the drug store - I still needed to stock up on some toiletries type stuff - hair stuff and whatnot. I thought I was going to come in way under my spending plan, but it seems I should be right about on.

I have about thirty dollars left, but I have plans to buy a new book today. Normally I would just wait until a book is available at the library, but my boyfriend and I have both been waiting for this next installment in a series so I decided to go ahead and buy it when it comes out. It was pretty entertaining when my BF and I were deciding who gets to read it first. We were trying to work out having me read it at work and he could read while at home. It felt like we were negotiating for child custody or something Stick Out Tongue The weekends were the sticky point so we finally decided it would just be easier for me to get the first crack at it. We'll see how that goes though, since last time I bought a book that both of us were waiting for he ended up reading it before I did Smile

I'll update once I know how much it is, I have a 25% off coupon so that should help.


9.55 drug store

$31.24 left in 10/31 - 11/10 budget (10.41 per day)

Weekend wrap up

November 6th, 2005 at 10:13 pm

Overall I had a nice weekend. Saturday night my boyfriend and I decided to go out to dinner. We planned on going to the Pho place (Vietnamese noodle soup, really good and inexpensive), but of course we were dorks and went after they had closed. Instead we walked to the Thai restaurant a couple blocks away. It ended up being at least double what we would normally spend at Pho, but we both had leftovers for lunch today.

I made quiche today, but as I was getting ready to fill them I realized I didn't have enough eggs. So, another grocery store trip. It actually worked out alright since I didn't realize we were getting low on some other things too (coffee, milk, basics like that). The quiche turned out great, and will be dinner for the next couple days.

I don't know if I just haven't noticed before, but it seems like coffee bean prices have gone up. Although, I haven't bought coffee in a while since we've been working on a big bag from Costco. We grind our own, and generally get the less expensive brands. Even Millstone was 10.50 a pound! Normally it's more in the 7 or 8 dollar range. I got the store brand, which is fine since we've had this particular store brand before, but sheesh! Even the store brand was 7.50/lb.


$33.27 dinner out
$11.52 cigarettes
$18.75 grocery store

$36.79 left in budget til 11/10 ($10.20 per day)

Doing well . . .

November 5th, 2005 at 01:52 pm

So far I'm doing well on my spending plan. I had to go by the drug store to pick up a few things (face wash and some other bathroom stuff I had been putting off buying), and I bought coffee at work on Thursday. Other than that, I haven't spent any money in the last few days. I'm actually on track to stay below my spending limit. I'm proud of myself, but I can't really say I was trying THAT hard. Just kind of being careful where the money went Smile

Also, my last student loan payments finally posted. I'm doing a "debt snowball" plan, so the first private loan is getting all the extra payments right now. It's so exciting to see the balance going down!! My 401K is getting up there as well - I contribute 5% of my wage. The first half of the year it was more around 3%, but I bumped it up to get the full company match.

Debt Update:

$2962: Private Loan 1 (480 principal reduction since 10/14!!)
$3380: Private Loan 2 (32 princ. reduction)
$8460: Government Loan (same balance, payment will post 11/7)

Savings Update:

$1108: Emergency/Long Term Savings (just some interest added)
$416: Short Term Savings
$2017: 401K ($277 added)


$15.97 drug store
$4 coffee at work

$104.33 left in budget ($17.39 per day)

Uneventful day . . .

November 2nd, 2005 at 07:24 pm

Today was pretty uneventful. Went to work, came home, did laundry, ate dinner . . . you know, just an average day.

I'm trying to think of something I want to treat myself to for one of my November goals. I think I may look around and see if there are any nice winter coats (with a hood! sheesh, I really should have a coat with a hood in Seattle). I still have a gift card from Banana Republic, so maybe I'll check there. Problem is I always talk myself out of purchases - you'd think this wouldn't be a problem, but I do it even for things I actually really need. I mean seriously you should see my winter coat, ugh! It barely even qualifies for that name -- it's not really warm, it doesn't hold up to Seattle rain, and I've owned it since I was in high school!

That's why I'm making this a goal, I will allow myself to make a purchase for myself . . . .

Spending and Savings:

$15 cigarettes

$123.30 left in budget ($15.53 per day)

Update . . .

November 1st, 2005 at 09:41 pm

So, I had a realization about my goals. I realized that I'm not a good budgeter. I don't mean that in the sense that I go over the amount that I have to spend, but in the sense that I just can't seem to say groceries will be X amount and nothing over that. I think I need to step back from the mentality of setting a dollar figure to every little small expense and realize how much progress I've made. I need to just allow myself to track expenses, keep expenses down, and continue to pay off my student loans and save money.

I feel really good about this new idea, I'm much better at the big picture anyway Smile It's not like I spend on frivelous things, I just don't want to make myself worry about each little small expense, you know? I've spent so long worrying about just living expenses . . . now that I actually have SOME disposable income I still live in the mentality of pay check to paycheck. Which is great, because I automatically budget myself, but I need to stop worrying about the small stuff and see the bigger savings goals.

I guess this seems like kind of a small idea change - and maybe a bit crazy - but it is kind of a big mentality change from the goals I was trying to reach. I don't want to be a yo yo budgeter, always going on and off budget. I just want to have a lifelong spending/savings goal and plan. I guess I'm not articulating this very well, sheesh . . . and I always seem to make these posts so long . . .

Well to wrap things up, my new updated goals for November . . .

- Stay within my budget for everyday expenses Smile Try to cut where possible.

- Put $450 extra towards student loans to stay on track for 4/2006 and 9/2006 payoff.

- Put additional needed to make short term savings goal (about $75)

- Allow my crazy budgeting/limiting of spending self to make at least one purchase on myself (not something I HAVE to buy, just something I want)

I seriously can't remember the last time I allowed myself to make a purchase just because I wanted something. Sometimes you just have to splurge Smile

Update after the weekend . . .

November 1st, 2005 at 08:30 pm

So, I feel like the weekend ended up being expensive. Really though, once I look at the numbers it wasn't too bad. We went and saw Wallace and Gromit, did a bit of grocery shopping, and otherwise just hung out Smile We did go out to eat after the movie, which I paid for -- but my boyfriend will pay next time (that's generally how we split things like that). Plus $12 for dinner out is not really crazy expensive, just unplanned Wink

In good news, I checked my 401K and it's almost up to $2,000!! I love milestones like that, because it makes the little bits seem worthwhile. Also my short term savings is up to right about goal for Christmas spending (travel and gifts), my ER bill (still don't know how much that'll be, but I'm budgeting $100), and my final dentist appointment for the year ($90). I haven't added to my long term savings with Emigrant Direct, but right now I'm concentrating on paying off my student loans (or at least the private ones) in 2006. So far that's on target too.

Goals for November:

- Continue to stay in budget, and try to come in below Smile I really need to work on breaking down my budget in November and lowering costs. It's just hard to see where to lower without always staying home (my entertainment budget is not huge, but I do go out on occassion). I need to look at the small expenses (like coffee at work) and lower those. It's all about willpower sometimes.

- Put $450 extra towards student loans

- Put additional needed to make short term savings goal (about $75)

Spending update:

3.90 drug store (toiletries)
8.00 movie out
16.00 dinner out
2.00 coffee at work 11/1
28.31 groceries

138.30 left in budget (15.47 per day)