I may or may not be completely budget obsessed right now because I may or may not have had an UNBELIEVABLE cell phone bill last month. Oops. I promise to try to do better and love as I should. Amen.
I was going through the credit card bill last night. Here is my version of fiscal responsibility...
Me, standing at the (cleared-off-completely-every-night-for-2-weeks-and-it-might-be-making-me-crazy-because-I-can-see-how-insanely-pepto-colored-it-is) kitchen counter eating chocolate chips out of a jar and reading off the various things we've spent money on this month.
*** I need to clarify something here.... most money-management gurus will tell you to cut up the cards to get a handle on your finances..... The Homestead (please-Lord-tell-me-I-dress-better-than-Suze-Orme) school of fiscal responsibility says to have one bonus-earning card and put EVERYTHING on it... then pay it off fully EVERY MONTH. Otherwise you have to try to remember what you spent cash on and run around looking for receipts under the seat of your car and in the lint-trap in the dryer and, well, that just isn't conducive to uninterupted chocolate chip eating.
Hot Stuff is drinking caffeine-free diet pepsi (can I get an "Ick" here??) and complaining I know every dollar he spends and he has no idea what I buy.... like the $8 he spends every day for lunch at Bob's Valley Market. I remind him I take my lunch to work and he doesn't want to know how much I spend at Costco keeping him stocked with caffeine-free diet Ick and ham.
This month I spent $54.89 at Target... a record low. A little bit of Easter clearance & a few important things like baby gifts, dish soap and m&m's. I made up for it by spending $319.99 at Costco.... which totally freaked me out until I remembered about $100 of that was stuff I got for my mom with coupons and she gave me cash for it and I stocked up on diapers & wipes & dog food to donate to the Humane Society. Whew. $127.19 at the local grocery store. Two trips to McDonald's and one night of Jade Garden take out. We were pretty frugal this month.... I was trying to skim the last little bit of money needed to do our IRA's out of the family budget. Of course, there are a bunch of charges for food & drink when Hot Stuff was out of town for training and the state only reimburses at $23/day so we ate it on those expenses and he spends way too much on sunflower seeds, diet pop & eating lunch out but he tries..... and next month I'm going to have to justify the $80 I spent on couch and chair slipcovers ($80 shipped... Pottery Barn.... totally worth it) and $12 (You pay $10 and get a $12 card) for coffee drinks (Buy 6 and the 7th is free) not because I need it but because I want it. And we had $35 this month in movie rentals... but that just provides fuel for my "Let's get NetFlix" plan. Although I did discover the library has the entire "Gilmore Girls" series on dvd so that could keep me occupied for a good chunk of re-run season.
I also finally got it together and switched Qwest & Northwestern Energy to checkfree so I can say "screw you and your 41 cent stamps too" to the post office... at least until I mail Christmas cards. And I've started paying all doctor's bills by phone with the credit card because, well, I might as well get some reward points for that ear infection, right?
Does anyone know of a fabulous FREE rewards credit card? Currently we have an American Express Delta card that costs $55/year (which is just stupid) and I'm switching to the free Costco American Express points card but is there a better deal out there??
So that's the boring budget report for last month....