#frugalliving

Lazy weekend. Still got a to-do list!

I totally did A LOT of nothing these last few days. Over the last two weeks I’ve been set on go go go mode that doing actually anything is so nice! I’ve been sticking to my low carb meal plan however the money part… not so much. I spent $17 on lunch Friday, $9 on a birthday gift for Corey’s mom, and $11 for 3 months of Spotify.  I previously cancelled it but it is something I totallllly use and have been missing. They sent me an email offering 3 months for the price of one. If in three months I don’t use it (every day I promise I do) at least 3-4 times a week I’ll cancel it again.

These past few days have included binge watching Master of None on Netflix with my cat, naps, and front porch sitting.
With that said, vacation is over, being a bum is over, and back to work tomorrow!

I did spend time working a budget and realizing  I need to convert to cash instead of a debit card. It’s hard with me to part with dollars but when I swipe my card it’s no second thought. Example: If I go into the store it a sole amount I CANNOT go over, I focus on the budget, and stay within it because there is nothing more. If I use a card with a set amount…. if I go over, it’ll be okay… I don’t watch it as closely. I’ve been re-reading my Dave Ramsey books and assigning every dollar as well. We have to expenses coming up. We’re investing in a $400 air conditioning unit probably… our house unit (depsite having it looked at) will not keep up. Our house is so hot, it’s constantly blowing, not cooling down and our electric bill is going sky high. June-August are our highest bills. If we convert 3 rooms to window units during those months and isolate the air we can keep it cooler and cheaper. We hope. Also, my dog is going to the vet tomorrow. She’s having a skin condition and it’s looking realllllly bad. I don’t yet know what it will cost. I don’t care at this point she needs help and relief.

 

 

debts

This is my current amount of debt. I’ve listed them from smallest to largest. If you follow Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, you pay the minimum on each and knock out the smallest to largest gaining momentum.

Not only am I an idiot and spending so much in “payments” I have to allot for my monthly expenses:

  • Home Bills $850
  • Phone $211
  • Insurance $115
  • Gas $260
  • Car Maintenance $30
  • Pets $200
  • School expenses (Eli isn’t home but not I’m setting aside money for new uniforms, shoes, supplies, and lunch money when he is home!) $180
  • Unnecessary but oh so necessary bills: Netflix, Hulu, Spotify $35
  • Groceries $600-700 including eating out.

GROSS. I am out of control to be honest. The lack of planning and being lazy reflects in that. Summer shape up is in demand. I need to get everything in order before a life event happens and puts me under. That is the absolute truth.

New Budget:

Home Bills $650
Phone $211
Insurance $115
Gas $260
Car Maintenance $30
Pets $100
School expenses (Eli isn’t home but not I’m setting aside money for new uniforms, shoes, supplies, and lunch money when he is home!) $125
Unnecessary but oh so necessary bills: Netflix, Hulu, Spotify $35
Groceries $425 (Eliminating eating out. We average this past month & half 2-4 times a week)

Remember, I’m kinda new at budgeting.

I felt like crap after looking at my banking account.

I messed up and spent unintentionally and spent $110.89 on junk.

  • $24 Amazon for a video game for my son
  • $1.50 Redbull
  • S2.50 Redbull
  • $13.17 Subway
  • $5.29 Ruler Foods
  • $37.22 Kroger
  • $13.30 Walmart
  • $2.91 Dollar General
  • $11.00 Paypal

The game for my son I didn’t even blink and ordered it. It was relatively cheap and I wanted to please him instantly when he asked. I did it to feel good.

The Redbull’s because I was working 2 twelve hour firsts back to back on third shift and it was an easy fix. I could have just brought a thermos of coffee or tea.  And the Subway too…. on the way to work yesterday it was easier to pick up two lunches for Corey and I than pull something out/plan/and cook it really quick before work. Instead I justified the money spent in my head.

Two quick trips to the grocery stores for one or two items I got crap I didn’t need and it wasn’t a utilization of my money. My last trip to Kroger I spent $80 and got 57 items! This time I got two bags and can only remember one item I bought now. That’s not good!

The DG trip was for shipping envelopes and I had no choice they were the cheapest though.

Now, the $11 purchase it what made me very upset. It made me sick and reminded me of all my bad habits. How easily I spend on things I don’t need. I purchased makeup. I didn’t need, and worst of all ALREADY have. I have so much stuff I didn’t realize until 2 days later. I just bought it because it was a great product at a great deal.

 

Ahhh so I’m picking up two shifts this week to make up for what I spent, and then some to save to learn from what I’ve done. I can be upset but I choose to fix it and learn from it!

 

The little things that keep me in check.

The Ways I am Changing my life— starting Financially.

1.) Dave Ramsey.
It started with listening to him on talk radio on my way to work during second shift. Then picking up the Total Money Makeover at a booksale. Then IGNORING everything forever. However, like a chisel, his words little by little hammered the brain fog I was living in. Consumer debt, credit debt, and buying things I couldn’t afford started to get to me. What am I doing? I’ve implemented his steps to help me change my habits and evaluate what have I been doing and Why! I may not follow his steps to a “T” but he’s got me on the right track with solid advice. The best thing I’ve learned from him I never did before: “Tell your money where to go, instead of wondering where did it go?” Assigning every penny to something changed the game for me! As well as implementing the cash only envelope system. Swiping a card is easy, watching the dollars get smaller stinks!

2.) Habits.
My fiance and I are two opposites. I use money 90% of the time for an emotional balance. Whatever effects me I go and buy to lift my emotions. It works, for a very short period of time. Then the guilt of the purchase sets in. Why do I buy? Why do I excessively buy? Do I need 45 lotions? 50 pairs of underwear? Growing up poor I didn’t have items. We literally scrounged for basic living needs! The older I got and started making money it felt good to have “nice stuff” and if my bank account was under $500 but I had a Coach purse and new shoes, I was doing good. There’s no wealth in STUFF it’s all in my head! These hoarding tendencies of my buying made me feel like I had worth for only a moment. This is something that took me a very long time to realize. I still fight certain days or feelings without going into a store and buying stuff I think I “need” to get that high I got from shopping. Or just go pick up dinner instead of cooking because it’s short, easy, and INSTANT. It will probably always be a struggle but I am glad I am aware.

3.) Budget.
I have to budget and see on paper/screen everything. I look at it 100 times. Making one keeps things in focus. When I get up after sleeping 6 hours, having to go work 12 hours, and NOT wanting to cook… I just bip in on the budget on paper and remember it’s the short term “pain” for such long term “gain.” If I don’t set a budget and fight to stay on it the little things will add up. I live across the street from a grocery store. It’s a mom & pop shop with high prices (oh the convenience) and a trip there for one or two things always end up costing me $10-30. That’s a big chunk of my every two week $150 budget! A Starbucks macchiato runs me $5! Soooooo delicious for 5 minutes. A new notebook for motivation around $11. All these things I don’t need. They’re little here or there add up. You know that saying a whole ocean can’t sink a ship unless water gets in. Getting off the budget is putting a slow leak in my ship.

4.) Saving money means getting creative.
I wanted…not needed… a mini shelving unit greenhouse, grow lights, and a seed heat pad. I have every single seed for vegetables & flowers I could want. I want to grow my own from seeds and decided to invest in the products I wanted–not needed. Last year I dropped around $300 at nurseries for plants, flowers, and mulch. This year I intend to grow my own (I have the dirt, worm castings, and saved toilet paper rolls for starters no pennies spent there!) and use pine needles from a local park instead of mulch. The initial $125 for these items was not in the budget. I decided to sell items on Ebay, roll change, and cut back $10 from every envelope in my system. I had to get creative to get what I wanted. In the way I was able to than swipe a credit card and just pay it off little by little.
5.) Learning to love what you have and not what you don’t!!!!
We live in such a consumer driven society. When it you want something new because new is better, throw the old out. I’m no better. Two months ago I was in love with a $35,000 SUV because I want(ed) a new car!!!! My car has 175k miles, a little noise here or there, and isn’t “that” nice anymore. NO! It runs. Seats all I need. ACTUALLY is still nice. STILL DRIVES. It isn’t going to be owned by a bank for 5 to 10 years. I do no need a new car! I definitely cannot pay cash for it either. Instead of being upset at the fact my passenger window won’t roll up on my driver side, or the floor carpet is dirty, or the buttons still work but chipped the paint off, I’m thankful it’s driving me to work every single day! I can fit my whole family on it for a trip. It’s perfect for me right now. It’s allowing me to save money.

6.) REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE DOING THIS. Goals are dreams with plans.
When I got engaged everything kind of switched up there. What have I been doing all along? Why am I just day to day consumer driven without goals? Instead of feeling like a mope and guilty I decided to get right with a plan and start making my goals happen.
I will be debt free by June.
Set up a plan of savings for building a home–debt free.
Save 15% in my 401k, as well start a Roth IRA.’
Make no new debt. If I cannot pay cash for it. I cannot afford it.

Week of bust!

Working swing shift means I work a week of each 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shift every month. The fourth week I’m off. Honestly I like it, except, second shift. I HATE THIS WEEK. It ends up being a week of no sleep, not seeing my son, eating crap, and working over time. And where I spend the most money (bill week too). This being my money saving year this happened to be my first second shift on this plan. We usually catch lunch before work at some fast food restaurants as well as AFTER work. It isn’t healthy let alone cheap. (We work the same schedule at the same plant, so we are hour to hour the same and carpool!–& we work no where near each other, so it works)

Monday I made lunch and we brought lunch to carry to work. Tuesday I slept in, and we had food from the freezer which was freezer burnt. I felt awful and we made quick salads with fried chicken strips. Not healthy but it fed us. That awful guilt of bad food I made this big batch up taco soup and sausage casserole. We ate on it for two days while I worked 12 hour shifts. I don’t think I can eat taco soup for a long long time. It wasn’t a good week. Life got ahead of me and it made me feel out of control when I wanted to be. That was the lesson I’ve learned this week. 2nd shift will be the hardest week even if it’s my only 40 hour week (I work over 60 on the others).

It’s the weekend! I’ve got the chance to catch up, inventory, and meal plan what I need to do. My 16 year old brother comes over sometimes and he stayed the night last night. I live directly across the street from a grocery store that has a pizza/hotplate/fried food deli in it. Usually when he stays I send him across the street for two pizzas and two liter of coke. It’s mediocre frozen crust pizza they slap some jarred stuff on very over priced. Which before I didn’t think twice shoving it into my mouth out of the convenience and everyone happy with no cooking or clean up. It’s a convenience that cost me around $25 a pop.

Today I wanted that pizza but again with convenience. Instead I sucked it up and made some from scratch!

It tasted great! I didn’t spend a dime we had everything in the house.

It excited me to plan more items to bake for our week: white sandwich bread, bagels, extra pizza dough, and biscuits.

 

 

 

 

Laundry Soap

Last night I was sitting around playing around on the internet. Booking a random trip to this beautiful Florida island, dreaming of wading, shelling, and eating seafood. Would we fly or drive? Around the $4,000 mark I realized I’m only self torturing myself! The dreary rainy January day outside and the messy house inside….my motivation to do anything was at zero. After hitting the exit button on the booking website I decided to do something that keeps me on the plan! Avoiding the laundry I decided to make laundry soap! Patience is not my best feature, so liquid laundry soap isn’t my go to. I love making the powder laundry soap. When I first started making it I wasn’t getting that “clean laundry” smell and got discouraged. As well as grating soap took forever and I was leaving big chunks out of fustration (again, I lack patience).

 

homemadesoap

1 Box of Super Laundry Soap Booster 3 lb. 7 oz. ($3.24)
1 Box of Borax 4 lbs 12 oz. size ($3.38)
1 Box of Baking Soda 4 lb. ($1.87)
1 bag of preshredded Zote (whoo hoo!) ($2.00)
1 container of Oxy-Clean 1.3 lb ($3.86)
*optional: Purex Crystals28 oz. for scent ($2 -with coupon!)

I bought that new container too at Dollar tree ($1)

My total cost: $17.35  (around 200 loads)!!!

*I use my food processor to grind it all down into a fine powder. Mix it all in a large container. I also use the whole bottle of purex crystals… it keeps the clothes smelling so very good!