Budgeting, Impulsive Spending, Spending, Weekly Update

A new month, a health update, and this past week’s spending.

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week (variable spending only) as a way of keeping myself accountable for my impulse spending. Also, to see my true savings, I am tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t.

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I can hardly believe it’s June already! We will soon be halfway through 2022. Crazy.

I had such wonderful plans for the summer, but, unfortunately, they are all dissolving quickly as I anticipate the possibility of foot surgery. Since breaking my foot last November, recovery has been a slow process. The fracture did start to heal and there was some bone growth. Every month I went for an x-ray, and every month the doctor reported that “it was still cooking”. It was promising. Until it wasn’t. Two weeks ago I went and he did not give me my usual update. Because it’s been over 7 months, I have what is called a ‘non-union’. As long as there is still pain, surgery may be the next step. I will be getting a second opinion, for sure, because the thought of starting all over with crutches and a boot depresses me. But I do not want to live with the pain either. I guess we will see.

As far as spending for the first week in June, it was a mixed bag. I had two impulsive purchases, an ‘oh crap’ moment, and a few regular expenses.

June 1 – 6th Spending:

  • Groceries: $166.00 (a two-week shop)
  • Eating Out: $5.00
  • Hair Cut and Color: $120.00 (includes tip)
  • Charitable/Spontaneous giving: $200.00
  • Ticket: $97.00 (expired state inspection — good grief I deserved this one!)
  • Car Maintenance and state inspection: $694.00
  • Household: $38.04 (kitchen towels, oven mitts, and cleaners)
  • Auggie: $22.00 (shampoo, conditioner, and dog toy)
  • Clothes & Accessories: $297.69 (a new shirt and two new wallets!)
  • OTC meds: $21.00 (Tylenol/Advil)

Total weekly spending: $1,660.73!!!

Wow. $791.00 of the $1660 was my car. Because I hardly drive these days, I totally missed getting the state inspection, which was due last October. I totally deserved that ticket, and quite frankly was embarrassed that it had expired 8 months ago! I definitely dropped the ball on that one. My car was due for maintenance and ended up needing a few things, hence the $700 bill.

The other large expense category $300. Some of you who have been following me for a while know I have a weakness for purses and wallets. And, after getting the news about my foot, I was feeling sorry for myself. No excuses, just the truth. I wanted to replace a wallet that was worn out, so I purchased the same one online. I found a coupon code, so I thought I was a savvy shopper. ;). A few days later, I started thinking about a wallet my sister had given me that she purchased in Italy. I still use it, but it is smaller than what I usually use. So I started searching for Italian leather stores and found saw an absolutely gorgeous wallet on Cuoieria Fiorentina‘s website. Without a moment of hesitation, I purchased it. I guess old habits die hard. I may return the first one, but we will see once I have both in my hands. I wasn’t planning on purchasing either, so I guess this falls under the category of ‘impulsive’.

Everything else was spending as usual. I’m hoping this coming week’s spending will be a lot less.

Your turn. How was your spending this week? What are your plans for the summer?

Budgeting, Medical Expenses, No/Low Buy Update, Prayers, Retirement Journey

MEMORIAL DAY and a May Budget Update.

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week (variable spending only) as a way of keeping myself accountable for my impulse spending. Also, to see my true savings, I am tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. 

https://parade.com/1021399/marynliles/memorial-day-quotes/

As the weather changes and there is more sunshine, my mood tends to lighten up. And, invariably, with my happier mood comes more spending.

As we move closer to a retirement date, I find it easier to pay attention to my savings versus my spending. And, as long as I’m meeting my savings goals, I’m free to spend the rest.

And that is what I did in May.

Below are all my variable expense categories. Two of them are unusually high, and one of them was simply out of my control. Can you guess which one that was??

Hint: Auggie.

Below are my variable categories and the amount I spent in each.

  • Groceries: $491.52
  • Eating Out: $145.12
  • Household: $94.41
  • Personal Care/Hair: $332.95 (make up purchases, hair cut and color)
  • Misc.: $36.72
  • Clothes: ($15.92) a RETURN
  • Auggie: $755.96 (dogfood, dog sitting and trip to the Vet for a double ear infection.)
  • Gasoline $126.55
  • Roadtrip to NY: $165.80
  • Gifts: $392.19 (includes most of June’s birthdays)
  • Charitable/Spontaneous Giving: $158.18
  • Mom & Dad: $182.24 (Supplies for my Mom and Dad)
  • OTC Meds: $121.92 (Vitamins, pain relievers)
  • Medical Expenses: $455.27 (my foot! and some prescriptions)
  • Personal Spending: $15.96 (a pen refill)

Total Variable Spending for May: $3,458.87 (this amount must make you feel great about your budget! I aim to please…)

Wow. When you add it all up, it seems like a ridiculous amount to spend. However, when you look closer — everything but the medical expenses, gift categories and pet costs are within a decent range.

I have no problem with gifts and giving. ESPECIALLY when it involves my parents. Vet costs, however, are outrageous. One might want to think twice before getting a pet – the costs could be quite prohibitive to a budget.

Also, sadly, my foot is not healing. The X-rays show the fracture is still not fully healed. There is some bone growth, but not quite enough. Since there is still pain, a surgery may be in my future. Praying that my foot heals before the next visit because surgery is the last thing I want.

As far as our overall savings, our networth went up by $15,000 this month as the markets slightly recovered, I made a huge payment to our mortgage and put more money into our savings accounts.

I anticipate June to be about the same as far as total expenses, however, most of the spending will be in the travel category. ;). I’ll write about our travel plans in another post, as they have a lot to do with future retirement plans. Stay tuned.

Your turn. How was your May? Please share!

Budgeting, Retirement Journey

A little delay…

Monday’s post will be a couple of days late. I wasn’t able to put anything together while visiting with my Mom this past week. I will definitely share some updates and the likely changes to our retirement plans in the next post. (Yeah, reality has set in with both inflation and the market decline). Stay tuned. 🙂

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Amazon, Budgeting, No Buy/Low Buy, No/Low Buy Update, Retirement Journey

No/Low Buy Update: Week 8 (the week everything falls apart….)

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week as a way of keeping myself accountable for my No/Low Buy Year. Also, in order to see my true savings, I am also tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. 

Via

Well, what can I say? An upcoming trip, weight gain, clothes that don’t fit, a constant search for shoes that work with my broken foot, and a son who is deployed. I shopped both online and in person. I was a little stressed this week.

I have come to realize that when I’m stressed not only do I over eat, but I over spend. I am becoming keenly aware of it and caught myself…sort of. The purchases below do not reflect what I originally spent, but only the things I kept and actually wanted/needed.

What I spent February 21st – February 28th:

  • RED t-shirts: $79.76. (If you are so inclined, please pray for my son’s safety as well as all those who are deployed. He is a on a naval destroyer ship and with things going on in the world as they are, it’s been a stressful time for this Mama.)
  • Clothes & Accessories: $447.53 (includes shoes, undergarments, jeans and summer wear for both my husband and myself). Ouch.
  • Groceries: $118.83
  • Eating Out: $62.30
  • Household/Personal Care: $45.99
  • Spontaneous Giving: $144.26
  • Pets/Auggie: $49.65 (replacement prong collar and latch — this pup needs continual training!)

Total spending for the week: $868.56

Okay, so that was a lot lower than I thought, but still high for a No/Low Buy Year. I’ll have to reign it in a bit in March to stay within my budget for the year.

Things I almost purchased but didn’t:

Total: $530.99

I’m kind of laughing at the things I almost purchased. I don’t need pajamas at all. In fact, my pajama drawer is already too full. And the wooden food storage bag containers? So cool, but so unnecessary. Besides, they were on Amazon, and I’m not doing Amazon. I came to my senses and returned most of an online clothes order.

FEBRUARY SPENDING

Total spent: $3,761.74 ($1,468 was Auggie’s surgery, and misc. stuff needed for him)

Total I almost spent: $785.00

My takeaway for February:

WINS:

  • I stayed under my food budget.
  • I continued to bless others with giving.
  • I had the money already set aside for neuter surgery.
  • I could have spent way more on clothing/shoes, etc. but held off.

LOSSES:

  • I spent way too much money on clothes and eating out.

I don’t like my impulsive behavior when I’m stressed. I’m hoping in March I can start walking my daily 3 miles which always makes me feel better, and less likely to snack and spend.

How did you do in February?

Budgeting, Cash Savings, Goal Setting

The 2022 Budget. In Simple Form.

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To prepare my 2022 budget realistically, I’ve taken some time going over what I spent in 2021. I use a budgeting app called YNAB, which keeps track of my spending and allows me to see reports at the end of the year. However, just seeing the numbers was not good enough for this task. I needed to see exactly what I spent my money on. So, I went over every single transaction. To say I was in a bit of shock is an understatement. As I suspected, most of my purchases were impulsive and media-driven. And although I single-handedly funded a planner small business, I will no longer be making impulsive, unintentional purchases.

Why all that work?

I needed to see the waste in my spending. It has allowed me to understand my weaknesses, and put into play a different behavior pattern. One way to do this is to make my budget as simple as possible.

How did I make it simple?

First, I decided on a monthly budget amount of $6,000. This amount would allow me to save enough money for my goal, while not being so austere that I would be miserable. Once I added up my fixed expenses, I subtracted that amount from the $6,000. Whatever was left was what I could spend for everything else.

My Simple 2022 Monthly Budget.

Fixed Expenses: Mortgage, Utilities, Insurance, Taxes, Cell Phone, Internet, Subscriptions $3,300.00

Variable Expenses: Food, Clothes, Gas, Pets, Personal Care, Gift giving, Entertainment, Vacation. $2,700.00

All other income, windfalls, cash gifts will go into savings. I will use the savings if an emergency should arise (house repair, car repair).

Pretty simple budget, right?

If I can stick to this simple formula, I have a chance at meeting my 2 years’ worth of expenses goal in cash savings. Having cash to use for expenses is a key part of our retirement plan (which I will touch on more in another post), so I’m pretty motivated to get it accomplished.

Have you created your 2022 budget? If so, how do you do it?