Saturday, January 31

1 month down! ...11 to go.

So, here's how we did for the month:
Rule #1 - nothing new - not broken! Kasen did get a pair of new shoes, but I looked for used first & got them suuuuper cheap. He's allowed new shoes if I look for used first, so that wasn't breaking any rules. He also got new socks, but those are allowed. :)
Rule #2 - no frivolous spending - not broken! We didn't buy ANYTHING.
Rule #3 - less eating out - broken. *sigh* The rule was we could each eat out ONCE per week, and we could have 2 family meals out during the month. We did great didn't eat out at all until this last week. Luke had a guy's night out, which he spent a bit more than he should on, but that was okay. BUT, Luke also went out at lunch one day the same week. That broke the rules. (I was so sure it would be ME that broke the rules, not him!)
Rule #4 - outings - not broken! We didn't take advantage of our one family outing this month.
So, while rule #3 was broken, we still did great. We spent just under $35 on meals out (which is a drastic change from what we spent monthly in 2008!), and I spent about $15 on 2 pairs of shoes & a pack of socks for Kasen. The only other money we spent was grocery related.
27 transactions: 11 gas, 2 restaurant, 9 grocery (which includes trips just to buy milk & keep in mind I buy some things at Kroger, some a Sprouts, so it gets funky...) 5 other (my tire, oil filters, 2 CVS trips, Kasen socks/shoes, & doctor) Plus $10 in cash spent.
versus 53 transactions in December! (A few were Christmas related, but not that many...) Plus, who knows how much cash was blown in December. We've really made a change in our lives & it's totally gonna pay off! Yay!

I forgot day 30.

Day 30 - Friday.
I finally bought my mascara, which is expensive, but what can you do? Sucks being a girl, huh?
Luke broke a rule. He went out to eat. He didn't realize we had some stuff in the freezer he could take (this is big grocery trip weekend, so we're about out of everything), so he just bought some Wendy's. He already went out this week, so he broke that rule. :( Oh well, we'll just pick back up & carry on. Lesson learned.

Thursday, January 29

Day 29

You know, once next month comes it's gonna be harder to number the days...
Today was boring money-wise, which is always good. :) I did see the damage from Luke's night of fun though. $25. sigh It's really not that bad seeing as how he hardly goes out for a guy's night. It's really not that bad compared to what it COULD have been either (at least the tickets to the basketball game were given to him & parking was free), but $25 for one person to eat & drink is a big number in our house. Oh well, he hasn't used his weekly meal allowance all month & we haven't used a family meal out all month, so I guess that more than evens out the damage. :)

Wednesday, January 28

...and on the 28th day, they ate.

So, Kasen & I were stuck at home all day. He was a pretty good boy, but he drove me insane asking for juice. It was finally time for dinner & I told him we'd have burritos. Silly mama told him we were out of cheese. (Lesson learned... maybe.) So he suddenly really wanted cheese. Of course. He was nice enough to start back up on begging for the juice too. I needed out of the house, RIGHT THEN.
So, we got in the car with no idea where we'd go. (Kasen's vote was for Mimi's house. lol) I decided I really didn't want to drive far. Nothing here in town sounded good (nor did anything not in town...), but I knew I didn't want to get out of the car to go in the grocery store (Kasen had no shoes on & I didn't want to look that cruel). Somehow we ended up at CFA. Kasen got chicken nuggets (this is such a rare thing, me giving him fast food, and it was actually hard to do), and JUICE (which I watered down, I am so mean!), I got fries & a side salad. I ended up just eating the fries, so I did get 2 meals out of the deal at least.
I'm proud of myself for going so long without restaurant food. It wasn't a rule, but I challenged myself & I did well. Of course we have to add in the fact that Luke also ate out tonight (I have no idea what kind of damage he did yet), but it was the first time (well, paying) all month for him too.

Tuesday, January 27

More sites to check out.

I'm sitting here searching for more ways to save money & have found a few fun sites, so I thought I'd share. :)
Tip Hero (My fav tip is about freezing eggs. I have a freaking culinary degree & never thought of doing that. Sheesh!)
Pay Less for Food
Southern Savers Great help for you coupon users! (Look for the drop-down menu towards the right & find they store you shop at.)
Deal Seeking Mom
Babies & Kids' Freebies This one's not an easy read, but you might find something good hidden in there.
I have now wasted about an hour searching through a bunch of frugal websites... There are A LOT out there!

I had food from McDonald's!

Well, I can't say I haven't eaten anything from a restaurant now. (If you want to call McDonald's a restaurant...) However, I can still say I haven't spent money at a restaurant all month.
My boss was hungry. So he left & grabbed McDonald's. He brought me back a Fruit & Yogurt Parfait. Yummmm! He did say he'd have to figure out something I could trade him for that. lol
Somehow, a little TREAT like that tastes much better when it's not a typical thing. Really, it does. I promise.

Monday, January 26

Another boring day.

I do have to stop on the way home & get a few things. Nothing frivolous though. (Oh how I wish...) Luke is going to the Mavericks' game on Wednesday night. Lucky dog! He was given the ticket, so I'll just have to make sure he doesn't go blow a bunch of money while he's there. They're going out to dinner before they go, I'm not sure if he's suppose to pay for that or not... It's making it awfully tempting for me to go out to dinner that night too. I'm really trying to make it through the whole month without going out to eat though, so we'll see what I decide. :)

Sunday, January 25

Day 24 & 25

Oops, I didn't get around to posting yesterday. Oh well, you didn't miss anything at all.
Saturday we celebrated my dad's birthday. His gift was a package of sugar free cookies from the bakery outlet (which actually was breaking our rules, but I couldn't help myself, sigh). We had a nice night, and we didn't spend a dime all day or night! Today we didn't leave the house, so we obviously didn't spend any money. I can't believe we're almost a month into this & we've done so well. It really, truly, is getting easier every day. A lot of CRAP I used to buy without thinking isn't even on my radar anymore. Eating out sounds like a nice treat (mostly 'cause I'd love to have a meal that didn't create a dirty kitchen/dirty dishes), but it's getting to a point that it sounds like a TREAT. That's a good thing. :)

Friday, January 23

I went to Target.

I had to walk by the "Dollar Spot"...
I had to see all those pretty purses...
I had to avoid the clothes...
I went in to buy 2.5 things. I know, seems impossible, huh? Kasen needed socks (and let's face it - you ain't gonna find used toddler socks & ewwww anyway! Our rules allow for NEW socks anyway.), and I needed powder (yes, I have CVS Bucks to spend on that, but I needed it now & didn't want to make a 2nd stop. I still need mascara soon, so there you go). I figured, while I was there, if I happened to spot a pair of shoes in Kasen's size at a really great price I'd go ahead and get them. The rules are that I'm suppose to look for used shoes for him first, but I CAN buy new. (Remember - yesterday I looked for used.)
So, I did it. I walked STRAIGHT to the socks & debated - crew or ankle, crew or ankle (I picked crew), and headed to the shoe aisle. You wouldn't believe my luck! $3.47 for a brand new pair of tennis shoes. SCORE! I didn't really like them much. I mean, there's nothing ugly about them, they just aren't super cool. I walked around a bit, almost got tempted by a pair for $9.99, then decided it was obviously meant to be. Those were the only shoes in the clearance aisle that were his size & one of 2 pairs for boys & one of 2 pairs that were tennis shoes. So, I headed over to the make-up aisle, grabbed my powder, walked past all the other clearance stuff (cleaner, diapers, food...) and paid. Go me! I went to my most favorite store in the world & only bought the things I intended. I am so incredibly proud of myself.
The damage? $16.10 (Socks are expensive.)

Maybe I'll celebrate buy having dinner out tonight. hahaha, I'm kidding. We're on day #23 without eating out. Go us!

Thursday, January 22

Kasen got new shoes.

I spent money. For the first time this year - I went shopping. Woohoo! I was so good too. I went in for SHOES, I came out with SHOES. $5 in damage - not too bad, huh? Of course they aren't the size he needs right now (I think he needs 7/7.5 & these are 9), but they're in good shape & they were cheap. I'd rather get them in advance if I come across a good deal, than try to hunt them down when I need them. Finding used toddler shoes in good condition, at a good price, is a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. I'll have to hit up a few other stores & hopefully find what I need. I really hate to go buy new now, if I can find used ones for $5, why do I need to go spend $20+?

Wednesday, January 21

Day 21

That is all.
(and that is good)
Carry on. :)

Tuesday, January 20

I bought stuff, that didn't cost me, but I spent money to get money I didn't need.

So I bought 2 things today, but neither of them cost me a dime. :) Yet I still spent money & didn't need money.
Have I lost you yet?
Well, I went to the hospital to check in on Susie & to meet Sabrina's baby boy, Brandon. I wanted to take something sugary to Susie to help with her low blood sugar (and 'cause I'm sure hospital food gets boring quick!), and I just HAD to take Sabrina some lemonade, 'cause that's the after-birth treat she chose with Trey. I know the rules, so I know I'm not "suppose" to do anything. But this is a rare circumstance - Susie is in a tough position & Sabrina didn't have an easy birth. It just so happens that I have a Starbucks gift card from Christmas, so I decided I'd use it under these special circumstances & call it good. Seems fair, right? So, Susie got a blueberry muffin & Sabrina got some lemonade, and I didn't spend a penny. I realize this is the 2nd time I've stretched the rules, but come on - I didn't even buy myself anything at Starbucks.
Now, pick your jaw up off the floor so I can continue...
No, seriously, pick it up...
Okay. So, I grabbed the goodies & headed to the hospital. As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a note. Due to some kind of upgrade they weren't accepting credit/debit cards as payment. Well, what am I gonna do? I wasn't turning around at that point. So, I decided I'd hunt down the ATM machine & get cash, and just deal with it. Once I found the ATM & attempted to get the money it told me there would be a $1.50 service fee. OF COURSE! That plus the $1.50 my bank is gonna charge has now made my $10 cost me $13. Nice. sigh
I finished up visiting & got to the car. When I went to pull out the attendant was gone. AND THE FLIPPING GATE WAS UP. Yes, I should be happy. I got to park for free. But it wasn't free 'cause it cost me $3. grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Still not too shabby though, I got 2 treats for the girls & parked at the hospital, and it only cost me $3. I'll take it. Nothing would've been the optimum expenditure, but it's all good.

Monday, January 19

Bakery Outlet Outing

It was time to hit up the Mrs Baird's Outlet today. They were kinda low on stuff, which somehow caused me to buy more snacks for Luke thank usual. Odd. Anyway, I got 4 loaves of bread (2 Oroweat & 2 Mrs Baird's), a bag of tortilla chips, a big stack of corn tortillas, a bag of chips & big box of peanut butter crackers to stash in my desk, 3 chocolate pies (you know, those little, fried, oh-so-bad-for-you kind), 1 cherry pie, 3 packages of cupcakes, & some sugar-free chocolate-covered peanut butter sticks for my dad's bday this weekend. I spent a whopping $14. I still can't believe I bought that much CRAP food. Can you tell I was having a stressful day? ;)

Sunday, January 18

We had pizza.

But we didn't buy it! :) Woohoo! 18 days with NO eating out for me & no spending on food out for either of us!
About 30 minutes after I blogged yesterday Luke decided he wanted pizza. I found that oh-so funny. I went to bed knowing we'd be having pizza today. When I woke up I immediately thought about the pizza & decided there was NO logical reason to spend $30 on a pizza someone else made when I could make my own. duh! Of course it takes longer 'cause even though pizza dough is simple, it takes a while to make. (I made a modified version of this dough, I bloomed the yeast, water & sugar, and I added Italian seasoning to the dough. I also baked it 10 minutes with garlic butter, then added the topping & baked it another 15 minutes.) I was able to put some veggies in it that we wouldn't have had otherwise. I hid shredded, blanched carrots under the cheese (you seriously couldn't even taste them & I put A LOT of carrot on there), and used broccoli as a topping. It wasn't quite the same as Mr Jim's, but it was pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I'm just happy to have given it a second thought & NOT hand over my money to someone else when I had all I needed here to satisfy the craving.
I've also become a bit obsessed with bike riding I think. I rode almost an hour today & the only reason I stopped is that I decided I might need to go check on the boys. (Who were both still asleep when I got home.) It's so weird, I hit this point where I'm tired & ready to go home. Home is not close though, and by the time I get closer to it I don't want to stop. It's truly becoming a "hobby" for me. Time to MYSELF. Time to clear my head, work out problems, and time to just appreciate nature. I love it. But, again, that's not what this blog is about. So I should hush now. ;)

Saturday, January 17

Another day but not another dollar. ha!

It was a beautiful day here! I went out for my ride a bit too early - I had to wear 2 pairs of pants & 3 shirts. It's all good though, we enjoyed the nice weather at the park later in the day. :)
I did have to go back to the grocery store today 'cause I forgot a few things, but no biggie. That's all the money I spent. So, another day but not another dollar spent!
I have decided to ATTEMPT a price book for groceries. I'm still not real sure I'll enjoy the process. Maybe if I didn't work I'd have the time to hit multiple stores to get my shopping done... Oh well, I'll at least know what I should get at Sprouts & what I should get at Kroger. (By the way southern ladies, Sprouts will be opening a store in Cedar Hill! I emailed them about opening one to the east, but all I got was "we're looking into several locations in the area but we do not have a lease signed that way yet". sigh You eastern ladies - go email them! Their produce pricing & quality ROCKS!)
I'm considering spending money tomorrow... I just might order pizza. How good does that sound? That would be #1 of our 2 allowed family meals. We'll see...

Friday, January 16

Day 16

Nothing exciting... no spending. Luke did go out to lunch yesterday. (gasp) BUT, he didn't pay for it. His co-worker traded him! He got a free lunch & his co-worker is getting a DVD. As for me, I haven't gone out to eat (AT ALL) in 16 days now. After a while it kinda becomes not a big deal. (Says the girl who grew up eating out almost every day...) I just don't really have the urge. There are things that sound really good (I'd still love a burrito!), but the idea of going & spending money for them isn't very appealing right now. Especially when I know that the nutritional content of a fast food (or restaurant) burrito, compared to that of a homemade one, is insane. I don't need all the extra crap w/out any good stuff. Even if it does taste good. ;)
I didn't exercise today. I could still get up & do something, but I'd rather be lazy tonight. Tomorrow I'll jump back on that horse.

Thursday, January 15

A few deals for ya!

I've been searching for a few money savers for myself, so I thought I'd pass a few on to you guys too. Maybe you'll learn about a few new ones. :)

Cellfire - ladies needing oil changes, I see $7 off at Jiffy Lube! There's Taco Bueno, Subway, & Kroger coupons listed here... - you can tie this one to your Kroger card.
CouponSurfer - there are all kinds of coupons here (grocery ones too), you have to register first though.
Procter & Gamble - get samples & coupons for P&G products. Site tells you when to look for coupons in the paper. There's also a link for "online coupons", you can tie that to your Kroger card & not worry about taking an actual coupon in with you.
Lysol - if you buy 2 Lysol products & you take a kiddo in for a check-up between now & 3/31 you can get $5 back.
Unilever - there are a few coupons for Unilever products here.
Aearo E-A-R - Need some quiet time? Get a free sample of earplugs.
Airborne - Get a free sample!
Betty Crocker - You have to register with the site, but you get coupons out of it!
Yogi Tea - free samples.

I really could do this for days. I suggest that before you go ANYWHERE or buy ANYTHING you look for coupons. Heck, even Chuck E Cheese's does coupons! If you have a few minutes before you spend money, invest it in looking for a coupon. Don't' waste your day if you can't find it easily, but at least do a quick look!

Wednesday, January 14

I broke the rules... sorta.

In black & white, plain & simple, I broke the rules.
Before you go jumping to conclusions - "Helen can't even make it 14 days!"... Let me explain myself.
If we allow a gray area, I didn't break any rules.
I am the keeper of the candy here at work. I have 3 jars on my desk - the chocolate jar, the misc candy jar, and the money jar. As of today there were 2 empty jars & $20. So, off I went to the dollar store. (Oh boy, is that place tempting! You know you're hard up for a shopping trip when you want to go waste money there! lol) No success with candy though. So, I headed across the street to CVS. They had Mars candy as the Extra Bucks special - 2 bags = $3 in Extra Bucks. So, I picked out 2 bags (@ $6.99/ea), a bag of something else @ $3.99/ea (which I swore was $2.99, and that $1 created the whole problem), and a last thing at $1.99/ea.
$6.99 + $6.99 + $3.99 + $1.99 = $19.96 plus 8.25% tax = $21.61 ACK!
I had two options. 1) Put something back (like the $1.99 candy). 2) Use my own money to cover the extra. I had to think fast 'cause there was a long line behind me (of course). So, I decided to just spend the $1.61. Of course I didn't have cash of my own, so I put the $1.61 on the check card.
Now, remember - I got $3.00 in Extra Bucks. I really need some powder (yes, I COULD live without it, but I didn't say I was giving up make up this year), so I'll be able to get it $1.39 cheaper now. (Anyone have a coupon? I'm not picky on brands, just want to save more money!)
So, there you have it, I broke the rules, but I earned $1.39. I'll just count that $1.61 as my meal out for the week. I wasn't planning on using it this week, but $1.61 ain't bad really, now is it?

Tuesday, January 13

Day 13

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Kasen had his 18 mth well child visit & it cost me nothing. (Well, I could still get a bill, but it cost me nothing today.) No shots, yay! (He agrees with that thought, ha!)

No, I didn't forget yesterday.

I was just lazy. I didn't get on the computer last night at all, so that made it hard to blog. ;)
It was another uneventful day. Luke spent (well, he borrowed the money) $1 at the vending machine at work. We kinda discussed that (since he also spent $1 at the vending machine on Friday), and my thoughts were that that should count as his one meal out per week. Which seems a bit unfair really, since it's "only" $1.00. BUT, if he did that every day, plus he had one meal out every week, that would be $10/week, which is too much on a regular basis. I think I'll find him something to keep in his desk so he won't be tempted to borrow money to use the vending machine. A rare occasion is understandable, sometimes you just get hungry, but a regular basis is a waste of money & that crap is bad for you anyway!
This week is the "extras" grocery trip. I have to restock the produce, milk, & eggs & I'll buy anything else we need to make it the rest of the month. I'm trying to put it off, but my gosh, Kasen is going through his milk like crazy this week!
I think Kasen has a check-up today (Tuesday), so that'll cost something. (Yes, I said think, I didn't get a reminder call so maybe I wrote it down wrong...) Luckily they bill the insurance company then send us a bill, and I think our insurance covers the first $300 100%, so that should cover this visit. I will owe them for his shots today since we get the "county" shots & they make us pay up front for them, but that's not too bad.
I hope everyone is off to a successful start this week!

Sunday, January 11

Good thing groceries don't count!

I didn't make any groceries rules. Why? Well, for one I don't buy "typical" groceries, so it's too hard. I buy lots of produce, organic this & that, & I don't buy the normal soaps & such 'cause I don't want all those chemicals in us. Also, I don't buy lots of extras at the store usually. I do need to get better about not wasting the stuff I do buy, but right now I don't want to tackle the bill. I am trying to cook dried beans instead of buying cans (that's about the only canned product I do buy) & I'm working on cooking lots of meat & packing lunches so we won't buy frozen prepared stuff that costs much more.
Anyway, all that to say - I went to the grocery store because we were out of cheese (one of Kasen's favorite snacks) & because ice cream sounded good. The only thing I bought that I didn't go in to buy was bananas. I won't call that a bad thing - we love our bananas!
Other than the trip to the grocery store, I didn't spend any money today. (Plus, I did get 45 minutes of riding in!)
Off to a good start for this week too. Yay!

Saturday, January 10

Day 10

We didn't leave the house today, so we didn't spend money. Eventually I'll get tired of not leaving the house, and that's when the real challenge will begin I'm sure. For now though, I'm doing good!
I went to bed at 8pm last night. After the craptastic day at work & the stressing I did over the tire (which was pointless in the end, thank goodness!), I was totally exhausted. Of course since I got home after 6, had to feed & bathe Kasen & clean up a few things, it's kinda obvious that I didn't exercise, huh? Phooey! I think I made up for it today though. I went out - in the cooooold & strong winds, and rode my bike for an hour. By the time I got home I was drenched with sweat, so I'd say I worked hard enough to make up for yesterday.
Let me say, this exercise thing is totally working. I haven't taken my blood pressure pills all week (no, neither of my doctors would approve, but so what?) & when I took my bp this morning it was 121/88. Woohoo!!!

Update on day 9

Well, after a long wait (and the realization that I left my cell phone at work - ack! I have to survive a whole weekend w/out it. gasp.), I got my new tire. AND It was only $18!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo-hoo! (Which is weird 'cause I really though, with the certs, I had been paying like $24/tire - but I wasn't gonna argue!)
Then, I went to Whole Foods to grab milk & orange juice. That place, for me, is like a candy store for kids. There were sooooo many things I would've loved to get. The produce looked divine, the prepared foods smelled yummy, the miscellaneous goodies called my name... But, I went straight to the back, grabbed Kasen's milk, Luke's milk, and orange juice & got the heck outta there!
When I finally got home (after 6, as predicted) we had leftovers for dinner.
I was a very good girl. Go me! ;)

Friday, January 9

A realization

It just occurred to me. I am a "snowball" spender.
I'm having a craptastic day. To top it off, I skipped my lunch so I could go get my tire at 2, when it was suppose to be in. Well, it's in, but they're currently on a one hour wait. I don't have that long. By the time I leave work & drive over there (and we must add in the time to drive back) I can only spare 30-45 minutes before I need to be back. Urgh! No offer to put my name down now & allow my wait to start dwindling down. No "hey, you ordered this yesterday so we can bump you up" (not to mention how much $ I spend on tires with them - I am the queen of the flat tire)... Just - it's an hour now & might not get better. sigh
So, how does that make me a "snowball" spender? Well, as I sat here thinking "even if I leave at 4, I'm looking at not being home until past 6 most likely...", I added - we should just order pizza for dinner!


So, I'm gonna spend an undetermined amount on my tire. Then I'm gonna go get milk, orange juice, and eggs (actually I might not need eggs, why did I forget to look & see how many we have?). Then I want to spend MORE money? Even though I have a fridge full of food? Even though plenty of that food is already cooked? Even though by the time I get home Kasen will have to have eaten (at this rate he could even be in bed). Why do I need to spend more money?
Why? Because I'm a "snowball" spender... Once I start I just want to spend more & more & more & more... There's no stopping me!
Actually, there is some stopping me. I'm smarter than that now. I won't waste money on stuff just 'cause. Especially when we really don't have the money to spend. (Luke sent all the extra money in to pay down his car note, we just have "enough", which is a totally new concept to me.)
So. my day may be craptastic & I may be preparing to sit for who-knows-how-long waiting on a tire & spending who-knows-what for it, BUT, I will not blow money on pizza. Who needs that crap anyway? (That yummy, yummy crap. sigh)

Thursday, January 8

Tomorrow I must spend.

Well, poo! At least we made it past week 1 before we have to buy something (and used isn't an option for safety's sake).
I picked up Kasen & headed towards the park. We were both excited to go play. My car was acting strange though. I drove over something & thought "hmmm, that's a weird feeling, almost like my tire is flat". BUT, it didn't really seem like it was flat, so I kept driving. Wouldn't you know it - just as I get to a part of town I REALLY wouldn't want to stop, it occurred to me - my tire WAS flat. Crapola! I did manage to drive. one. more. exit. further. Still not an "ideal" location, but better than it could've been, and at least it was the middle of the day. I was trying to figure out how I was gonna change a tire while keeping Kasen entertained in the car & while watching my back to make sure no-one was approaching us. LUCKILY, there was a good samaritan at the right place at the right time. Just as I was starting to take stuff out of the car to attempt to fix the flat (my dad was on his way to help, but I just really wanted to get it done & get out of there, so I wasn't gonna wait for him), a nice guy pulled up & asked if I wanted help. I admit it, I hesitated. It's just so hard to know who to trust, ya know? I'm glad I agreed though, he was totally done in less than 5 minutes. I was able to stand there watching him AND talk to Kasen (who just kept telling the man "hi"), and of course I felt a bit more secure with a man being there with us. After he finished I called my dad (hey, I had to make sure he wasn't a loon, so I still wanted my dad on his way - just in case!) & Kasen & I headed on to the park.
Meanwhile, I called Discount Tire (yes, I know, driving while on the phone, with a spare... but I needed to get it done right then & I wanted to get the heck outta dodge) & got my tire ordered. They'll have it after 2pm tomorrow. Happy Friday to me. (Plus, I have to go buy milk tomorrow or Kasen won't have any tomorrow night. Woohoo.)
I'm not sure if I'll be able to just buy the certificates on the tire, or if I'll have to buy a new one. It was a road hazard, I think (there's slit in my tire), but the inside is worn pretty badly, so it might not be road hazard. We'll see... Keep your fingers crossed, I really don't want to fork over $140 for a tire right now. Ugh, I should've replaced all 4 instead of just 2 a few months ago. sigh
On a positive note, we did get to the park & had fun with Amber & Denya & their kiddos! AND as much I wanted to make excuses, I got in 45 min of exercise, via the Wii.

Wednesday, January 7

Day 7

I really, really, really wanted to go grab some kind of yummy lunch today. There wasn't anything in particular that sounded good, but I really wanted SOMETHING. I think I actually just wanted to spend money. Perhaps after one week I am having spending withdrawals. ;) I know I am "allowed" one meal out every week, per the rules, but I am trying to be good & not use it. It's a personal challenge I've got going, to see if I can make it at least every other week w/out using that breakfast/lunch pass. (As if I don't have enough of a challenge going. lol) Anyway, I stuck to it - I went to the break room & had my salad. Exciting, huh?
Since I've been holding myself accountable to exercising on here too, I'll say that once again I did it! After getting home late (thanks to 30 being shut down), I was able to get a 30 minute bike ride in before it was too dark to keep going.
I'd say today was a very successful day! :)

Tuesday, January 6

No money spend, day 6.

Nothing much to say. Another successful day for not spending AND another successful day of exercise for me. Kasen is 18 months old today, and we had a fun afternoon together. A free, fun afternoon. ;)

Monday, January 5

Day 5

Another successful day. I did have to get gas (yes, in the cold rain... yes, it sucked), but that's all the money I spent. I need to buy some milk tomorrow or Wednesday, that will be a test! Buy milk & nothing else (well, maybe some juice, which is okay too)... I can do it, right?

Sunday, January 4

Another successful day!

One more down, yay! We didn't go anywhere, so no money was spent. That always makes it easy, right?
On a non-budget related note, I did get my butt out & go for a bike ride. It was hard, I DO NOT do cold. Period. I HATE cold. But, I knew I needed to do it. sigh So, I put on plenty of warm clothes & headed out. I spent about 50 minutes riding. That's 3 days in a row. Woohoo! I know I won't do it tomorrow, it's gonna be colder & it may rain, so it's just not likely. Perhaps we'll have a Wii marathon after work. At least it's something, right?
I'm back to work tomorrow & I am NOT looking forward to it for a million reasons, but without a job I won't be able to pay off the debt, right? So, off I go...

Saturday, January 3

Working hard = no spending, right?

Sheesh, I'm tired! It's 12:40 & I have already cooked a meatloaf, spaghetti bolognese, bbq chicken, chicken taco meat, and the chili's in the crock pot. Of course I also made yummy eggs, bacon, & toast for breakfast. That's a freaking lot of cooking, huh? Luke is now set for at least 3 weeks worth of lunches & dinners. Woohoo! That will save time for me in the evenings, and money for us at lunch (tv dinners and/or eating out get $$$). I have some more meat that's frozen & I'm contemplating cooking up a few more things... I may wait until he gets this supply dwindled down some.
Now, since the weather is AMAZING, once the boys wake up from their naps we may go play at the park. We also have to get a good bike ride in still. Too bad it's gonna be COOOLD tomorrow. That's extra temptation to spend money. Maybe tomorrow will be pajama day - we'll stay in our PJs & be lazy, that will help prevent spending, huh?

Friday, January 2

Just 363 to go now!

Another successful day. Yay! I did have to head to the store for a few things I forgot to get with the groceries, BUT, I had a gift card. Not only did that make the groceries "free", but I avoided buying anything else I saw. (That can be a difficult thing, really, it can).
We also paid a big chunk towards Luke's car. It'll be paid off in 3 months or less. Woohoo! That will mean it took us 2.5 years to pay it off instead of 5 or 6 (I forget what the note was).
That's about it today. I'll call it a VERY successful day!

Thursday, January 1

Here we go... Day 1!

Luke & I brought in the New Year by having a nice Dexter marathon. I glanced at the clock as it hit midnight & said "hey Luke!" and pointed to it. He paused the show & said "NO MORE SPENDING!". (Then babbled on & on about what the 'no spending' entailed, as if I didn't already know.) ACCCCCCK! It hit me really hard, this is real! Gulp.
I guess we're really gonna do this. It's gonna be hard, but man!, will it be worth it. This time next year the only debt we will have will be our home. Now, if that's not the American dream for someone who isn't even 30 yet... I don't know what is!
Already the idea that I CAN'T spend money makes me want to go do it. I feel so badly - I didn't even wish Target well last night as I graced her presence one last time. (I was only getting necessities, you know - milk, gum, beer...) Perhaps I should go by today to bid my love farewell... Ah, but how difficult it would be to walk the aisles without spending, spending, spending. sigh