Posts tagged ‘goals-2008-september’

September Goals Redux

So, updates.

I finally turned in  the cable box.  My monthly bill will now go from about $110 to $45.  Still higher than I’d like, but at this point it is a necessary expense.  If I stay in Astoria after Dec I will definitely shop around for a lower price.  In the meeantime, I can certainly use that extra $55 a month.

As for my goals:

1. Stick to a weekly budget. The weekly budge thing did not go so well.  I am trying to compensate this week because I don’t have a lot of expenses, but I am almost an entire week’s budget over budget for the month.  Well, I tried.  Next month, I am trying a variable week system as suggested by Ali.  If that doesn’t work, I will try something else.

To be fair, when I say it didn’t work I mean I couldn’t stick to it.  I still think it was pretty effective in helping keep my costs down overall.  It just made me feel too down on myself, and that’s not fun or healthy, so I won’t budget that way in the future.  Also, I know I’m not going to stick to something long-term that makes me unhappy.

2. Update on a regular schedule. I feel pretty content with this. I wrote here a lot more, even if I didn’t do it on a strict schedule. I also feel like I only wrote where I actually had something to say.

3. Find some extra income. I did some freelance work, although it went less well than I could have hoped at least I worked on that. So that was some. And while reducing a bill is not exactly income, it helps, and I am going to count that. Still, I think this a goal I could definitely continue to work on harder.

4. Use what I have. This went great! Through swapping things I already had for new things, reading books I’d been meaning to read, watching movies I’d been meaning to watch, and using my computer for tv I got tons of use out of things I had and did not feel sad in not having new things. I also saved a lot of money on food by being much better than I’ve been in the past about using up both leftover meals in news and using ingredients I already have.

So that was September. Next up, October, and a new year for us Jews. New goals should go up Wed. I think you guys should also post goals! Consider yourself tagged, Adiel, Ali, Cris, and Bluemilker

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September 29, 2008 at 3:03 pm 5 comments

Not that kind of money blog

There’s a lot of financial stuff going on right now. I’m not going to talk about any of it. This isn’t that kind of money blog. Sure, the big stuff relates to the little stuff, and that may come up a bit. I am not an economics person, though, and I don’t pretend to be. I am just a gal trying to save some money.

*

I’m having some trouble on that saving money bit right now. I think the weekly budget I gave myself was overly ambitious. It works fine for a standard week-it gives me money to spend on food and necessities and leaves room for a little fun. It does not work well for anythign else. For example, this weekend I went to New Hampshire, and at the end of the weekend I am left with $2 for the rest of the week. There were a couple places I could have saved a few dollars-I get nervous about getting hungry on buses and didn’t plan and ended up wasting about $4 on food. Also, it was colder than I expected on Friday because I am an idiot who doesn’t check weather reports, so I had to spend a couple dollars on some stockings so I wouldn’t freeze my legs off.

The point of the budget was to push myself, so I am going to see how close I can keep it to $2 for the rest of the week. I have leftover quiche for dinner for a couple nights, and some fruit and ice cream and such to go with it, as well as some pasta and broccoli in the house so I should be fine there. I am planning on playing Dance Dance Revolution this week and don’t want to skimp on that, so that’s $5. I am learning to make bread tonight and will want to pay for ingredients for that, no idea how much that will be. And I don’t want to skimp on either of those things.

I’ve run the numbers, and it looks like I could still be saving a lot if I upped my weekly budget a bit. I was about $20 over last week, and it looks like it will be about $15 this week. Since I committed to it, I am going to keep this weekly budget for the rest of September, but I think next month I will up it a bit. After all, there’s nothing saying I can’t go under budget on slower weeks.

I also want to cut more though, to have a bit more breathing room and maybe be able to save a bit more. Buying snack food is definitely hurting my trip budgets. I also could try and get cheaper bus tickets. I already have my tickets for my next two trips, and the second bus I take always costs the same amount. On the first bus though, I could definitely spend less (and in fact have, some of my later trips cost about half as much as this one did.) I know Lucky Star, Megabus, and Bolt Bus are all offering $1 fares these days if you can snag one. But I still need other little places to cut money. It’s hard, because for the most part I’ve cut almost everything. I am not willing to never eat out, never travel (and thus never see my boyfriend), or not play DDR with my friends.

The home gameLast week we played DDR at home, but it’s a long trip for 2/3rds of us and the pads and music selection aren’t as good. If I got metal DDR pads, it might be worth it, but then I wouldn’t be saving money.

I guess eating out is the easiest place to cut though. I should work more on cooking with friends (Jesse and Ali have been very helpful by coming over and eating with me, because they are awesome.) I could plan my eating out better, and have it work better with my budget. I have nothing expensive planned for next week, so maybe I can make up some of my going over then, and work more on cutting extras. Suggestions welcome, as always.

September 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm 5 comments

Tool

I have been planning on getting rid of cable TV. Most of the shows I watch are available online, I have a ton of new DVD’s thanks to swaptree (stuff I’ve already seen, but bonus features! commentary tracks! re-watching!) and new books to read thanks to the book swap and work. It’s too expensive to justify right now.

I say planning to, because I haven’t. First it took me a while to call them. then I called and they said I am going to have to bring it in. Then I tried to unhook and, um, I can’t. I think it requires tools, which I don’t have. The only tools I own are allen wrenches. SO it’s now been about two weeks, and at this rate I am going to have to pay for another month of service that I can’t afford and don’t need. As soon as I get back from being away for the weekend, I have to tackle this.

Made it through the wrest of the week without spending much more money, but I also didn’t get anywhere on most of my other goals. Still updating regularly-I bet you’re thrilled 😉

September 19, 2008 at 4:01 pm 1 comment

Goals Update

Well, last week was fantastic for my goals! I stayed so far under budget that I managed to “replace”* the $11 I’d gone over the week before. I made M/W/F updates and I felt like I actually had things to say each time. For goal #3, I didn’t get any extra income but I did update a resume and it’s almost ready to send out, so I accomplished something. For goal #4, I got ready for a book swap, and in doing so I enjoyed what I already had. I realized in sorting through books how many books I had that I hadn’t actually read yet. I piled them up and started getting through as many as I could, and managed to get almost the whole way through the stack before the swap.

This week I am already over budget and it’s only Tuesday-I still have two days to get through, and I know I need to buy food in there. Actually, in writing that now I just figured out a way to put off buying food-go me.

I have a freelance job to do this week, so I just have to find the time to do it. Fortunately, it’s one I am actually kind of looking forward to doing.

The book swap was great-I got about six books and managed to get rid of about two suitcases worth of books. It was also a really good time, with great company and food. We went out to dinner after, and that was also fine for my budget. The only problem was the amount of money I spent on things to make a cake for the gathering. Lately I seem to spend a lot more when I cook something then when I buy something pre-made. This is partially because I’ve run out of a lot of ingredients, so it should balance out again soon, but it is kind of silly.

I also failed to post an update on my goals on Friday, but I’m not that stressed about that.

How did your week go?

*apologies to my old writing prof for the use of the quotation marks.

September 16, 2008 at 8:58 pm 1 comment

Where Does It Go?

I am meeting up with a friend for dinner today, and I am going to bring food from home since we are just meeting in the park. This will help me save some money and help me with my goal of using up what I have. If I don’t eat these leftovers tonight they will probably go bad, and I still have Thai food leftovers from last week to finish as well.

I need to save money, because I’ve already almost completely spent my money for the week. If I am subtracting the $11 I went over budget last week then I have only $3 to make it through the rest of this week. Therefore, I think I am probably just going to consider the budget to reset every week so that I don’t get too discouraged. I could make it on only three dollars. I have food in the house and at work. I’m hoping to play DDR with my friends on Wednesday though, and I usually spend at least $5 on that. I don’t want to cut out all fun or be too hard on myself, or I won’t stick with this.

Where did all the money go already? As I predicted, going away was expensive. I messed up and failed to bring a sandwich with me for the road, so that made it worse. It really ended up being a fairly cheap weekend though, and it was worth every penny. The predicted terrible weather stayed away most of Friday and I got to go out on the lake in a boat, and swim a teensy bit (really just hung out in the lake. I did not kayak or water ski like my friends did, because I am a wimp. Still, as I mentioned, I think the weekend was worth it, especially if I keep my spending in check for the rest of the week to make up for it.

Where does your money tend to go? Do you spend more on the weekends or throughout the week? I think before I ate sandwiches all the time and brought lunch I would end up spending more during the week even if I didn’t have any big single expenses.

September 8, 2008 at 6:35 pm 3 comments

Goal#1 Update

So I am getting to the end of the first week with a weekly budget. How did I do? Poorly.

Counting Friday, when I did not yet know what my budget was going to be, I am $11 over. I’m supposed to go out for drinks with people from work today and I am debating the merits of just drinking water (keeping myself down to $1) or not. I think I will end up with not. I’d skip it, but it’s my friend’s last week here. If I had planned better it would be okay.

For anyone curious, I am not counting monthly bills or transportation or savings deposits or anythign in this budget.

Now I need to figure out if I should subtract whatever I am over from next week’s budget or start with a clean slate and see how it works out at the end of the month. I think I should be able to subtract some from my budget for next week, because the biggest thing that put me over was buying food (and ingredients for ice cream), and I now have enough food for most or all of next week. On the other hand, I am going away this weekend.

Maybe I should average the extra over the remaining weeks of the month.

I hate messing up the first week! Hopefully this will just motivate me for next week.

September 4, 2008 at 3:39 pm 1 comment


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