Planning Ahead to Succeed: November 2016 Budget Outlook

MAY Budget

How did we do with our October budget?

Thumbs-up:

  • I worked 10 shifts.
  • We spent $402.82 of our grocery budget before all of those Ibotta rebates (If you sign up and try through my referral link, you can get $10 cash back after submitting your first rebate).
  • We spent $540 in child care.  It’s a LOT less than the $2500/month we used to pay for three kids in full time care.
  • I signed up for ShopKick and have earned enough to get a $2 Target gift card in one week.
  • I put $250 in my Roth account. I am at $3408 of my $5500 goal.
  • We have a new roof! Insurance has reimbursed us, but the gutters still need to go on before we know our final out of pocket
  • I only bought gas for the van once, spending $32.54.
  • I earned about $1.78 through Google Ad Sense. Whoo hoo? I won’t see any of that until I reach the threshold though. I worked more so I posted less. I earned $0.00 through Amazon.
  • No tuition due this month.
  • I got a $15 for 50 Christmas cards at Staples Groupon deal, plus 12 free cards from Shutterfly, and a free calendar from Shutterfly.
  • I brought drinks and snacks for the kindergarten Halloween party, and spent $4 out of my normal grocery budget plus $8 for juice boxes to make Monster juice boxes. We used things on hand to make them.2016-10-31-08-22-46

Thumbs-down:

  • We spent $381.76 in medical expenses, which includes the twice monthly massage therapy I get for my arthritis.
  • Entertainment spending was just slightly over budget at $110.14. We did improve over last month though!
  • I signed up for Google Fi and replaced my dying cell phone.The new phone and protective case was $278.71. There IS good news though. I have avoided using data when out and about and as of today only have used 220 MB of data our of my 1 GB. I think I will be reimbursed most of my $10 in data!

How is November looking?

  • Once the gutters are on, we get the final tally from our roofer. Estimate: $1000-1500 out of pocket.
  • I picked up 12 and a half shifts this month.
  • I plan on putting $250 towards my Roth. I’m not sure I can squeak more, because we still need to make our big ticket Christmas purchase and expect a very expensive medical bill.
  • I plan on milking a single gas tank again this month. Estimate: $30-35.
  • My kindergartener is in Girl Scouts and I will have to buy a uniform smock or vest plus basic badges for about $25. Our troop came together to donate supplies and we had a few donors, so we should be OK until cookie season is over. Woot!
  • I anticipate $128 in office copays , $50 in medication copays, and $20 of OTC meds.  Massage is $110. We also will have to pay for testing that may be up to $750 cash.
  • Christmas: I am done with shopping for our kids/niece except for the big ticket item we are buying- an Xbox for the kids to share. We’ll also have cash gifts for the teens, my parents, a gift for my in-laws, and flowers for my best friend. My strategy for buying flowers for my bestie and my in-laws is to purchase a Raise.com gift card at 1-800-Flowers for 26% off, then wait until Ebates has a high cash back value (12-15%) and pair it with a sale.  If you want to try Ebates for the first time through my referral link, you’ll get $10 cash back after your first purchase.
  • I am buying food for the PTO’s staff appreciation this month and we may do Pizza for the PTO one day.
  • The mister and I have one date at a favorite restaurant with two other couples. Maybe $100?
  • We will probably do Thanksgiving at my mom’s house, and I will bring something to share. No extra out of pocket planned.
  • I am lunching with friends one afternoon, but my mom is babysitting and we are lunching in and bringing something to share.
  • Other than the local Christmas Parade with scouts (which is free), this will be a low-key month without a lot of special activities. I think we might play around with cooking and baking.
  • I have been trying to get 75 or more Swagbucks per day (referral link), with a goal of earning a $25 gift card every month. My plan is to get 4 Hulu gift cards this year to pay for Hulu, then do Domino’s Pizza for the rest.
  • I also have a lofty goal of getting 1000 Shopkick Kicks every week, which would translate into earning $16 in Target gift cards every month. My strategy is to get kicks and scans at every store I normally shop at, plus take the toddler to the mall once a week for a stroller walk,  getting kicks while we walk. We opted not to pay for a YMCA membership this year, so this will help me get some walking in during the winter.
  • Swimming lessons are officially over until next summer, meaning we will save $300/month.

What are you doing to meet your goals?

 

Planning Ahead to Succeed: October 2016 Budget Outlook

MAY Budget

How did we do with our September budget?

Thumbs-up:

  • I worked 14 shifts. It was horrible and unsustainable, but the paychecks were very, very nice. I did my first weekend shift and they shut down our system for maintenance for most of one day, so I had to hire a sitter anyway. I was told they can’t guarantee not doing it in the future, so I told them I will work one more weekend and that is it. Saving sitter money was the only benefit of working Saturday/Sunday.
  • We came under the $400 grocery budget.
  • We spent $705 in child care. More work equals more child care. It’s still a LOT less than the $2500/month we used to pay for three kids in full time care.
  • I earned $75 for doing a research study, which I used for groceries.
  • Several family members bought popcorn and donated to our son’s cub scout troop.
  • We used gifts from my stockpile for a birthday.
  • I put $700 in my Roth account. Woot!
  • We haven’t had the driveway lifted yet. We finally learned yesterday insurance will pay for a new roof!!! There is depreciation, so we will have to pay a little ourselves.We knew we would need a new roof in 2-3 years even before the tree fell on our house, so even though this has been a huge pain, it is a positive.
  • I only bought gas for the van once to account for my regular non-vacation trips.
  • I earned about $0.44 through Google Ad Sense. Whoo hoo? I won’t see any of that until I reach the threshold though. I worked more so I posted less. I earned $1.92 through Amazon, but I still won’t see that yet.
  • We paid cash for my grad school tuition. We have only one payment left!!!

Thumbs-down:

  • We spent $433.77 in medical expenses, which includes the twice monthly massage therapy I get for my arthritis.
  • We had our first weekend alone in 5 years and went to a Star Trek convention. We spent about$1000. We budgeted for it, but dropping a grand is hard for us.
  • Entertainment spending was crazy high at $150. We’ve got to put the kibosh on it this month.
  • Our son destroyed his shoes (he drags his toes), and the sole came completely away from the upper on his cheap Amazon shoes. The toes were showing through too. We went out and bought new better quality shoes for $55 on sale.
  • We finally bought our son a cub scout uniform. The used market is not great, and it was $100.

How is October looking?

  • My phone is circling the drain and any day I expect it to blow up in my face. I convinced my husband to try something other than an expensive phone and staying on our $100/month T-Mobile plan. I am getting a $249 Nexus 5X and trying Google Project Fi. I am signing up for 1 GB of data only, so a $20 base price and $10 of data per month. I am almost always home to use our wireless, and plan on getting reimbursed for that $10 of data as much as possible every month. I hope to save $25 or more every month.  If it works OK for me, my husband will switch too, as his phone is compatible. Paying $100/month for cell phones is just crazy.
  • Our roofer comes today and we find out how much we will be paying towards our roof. We have a problem over our morning room every winter with ice dams and leaking, even with heat cables. We will probably pay a little more for a leak-proof roof. Estimate: $1000-2000 out of pocket.
  • I picked up quite a few shifts, but they are starting to cancel some. I am keeping the sitter those days anyway, however, to work on things due for school as well as some writing work. I should have 8 shifts minimum.
  • I plan on putting $250 towards my Roth.
  • I filled my gas tank this past weekend and hope to milk it for a full month. It was $30.
  • My kindergartener has joined Girl Scouts and I am volunteering as one of three troop leaders. I have made a Pinterest board with frugal girl scout ideas. I will have to buy a uniform smock or vest (around $20) and pay about $30 in dues.
  • I anticipate $210 in office copays , $50 in medication copays, and $20 of OTC meds. I learned I have a hypothyroid this past week (thank you wayward immune system!), so it’s a new monthly medicine and a few extra visits/labs over the next few months.
  • Christmas: I am done with shopping for our kids/niece except for the big ticket item we are buying- an Xbox for the kids to share. We’ll also have cash gifts for the teens, my parents, a gift for my in-laws, and flowers for my best friend. I’m looking for a free photo calendar deal right now. I think I will be doing Vistaprint postcards this year for our cards.
  • I am buying food for the PTO’s staff appreciation this month and we may do Pizza for the PTO one day.
  • The mister and I have one date at a German/Hungarian restaurant- maybe $60?
  • I am making cupcakes from scratch for Halloween parties from ingredients we already have.
  • We are going to the local pumpkin patch that does not charge to get in, and spending $10 or less on pumpkins.
  • We are going to the local Renaissance Festival and have already bought half price tickets through a deal. We’ll have to pay for parking ($5?). We’ll probably pay for some kid games ($20), but will bring our food and water and say a big NO to purchasing anything.
  • This month is Halloween. We have leftover stickers we bought three years ago, and will be buying 360 Tootsie Rolls from Oriental Trading for $8.99.

What are you doing to meet your goals?