Sunday, December 28, 2008

January Week1

So technically it's not 2009 yet, but since the 1st falls in this week and David gets paid on Tuesday it's really more like week 1 for us. So here we go! I didn't blog much the last couple weeks, but I did coupon and budget, just didn't have time to blog. David and I were talking today about how much we notice a change since we decided to really start budgeting. I'm excited to see what 2009 can be when we really try.

So, the weekly plan:
Regular Bills $440
Gas $ 50
Groceries $95 (I bought those today, it's high but I was low on meats and went to the commissary to stock up. Next few weeks should be lox because I'm pretty well stocked now.)
Cash $40 (We each get $20 a week for drinks, papers, misc.)
Misc/Entertainment $ 50

Sunday: Tacos
Monday: Frozen Pizza
Tuesday: Shrimp Scampi and garlic bread
Wednesday: Porks chops, potatoes, peas, and bread.
Thursday: Meatball Soup
Friday: Jumbolya
Saturday: Tacos

My goal for this week is to not eat out. I'll check back in next Monday on that!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting with the program!

I have just not been with it the last few days. I went to my parents house over the weekend, and since coming home on Monday I haven't really been planning, which means I haven't been sticking to the plan. I haven't stuck to the menu either. And wasn't I just saying I was going to have to be super organized this pay period to stick with the plan? So, there-I laid it all out. Now I just have to get back with the program before I really screw it up!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Menu Monday (on Tuesday)

We spent the weekend at my parents house, so I'm a day off, but here goes:

Tuesday: Leftover Pizza
Wednesday: Baked Chicken, AuGratin Potatoes, Peas, Garlic Bread
Thursday: Frozen Pizzza and Wings
Friday: Surf and Turf, Rice, Carrots
Saturday: lunch-soup and sandwiches, supper-Steamfresh Meal, Garlic Bread

And hopefully the week will go as planned and I won't even need to buy groceries until next Monday when I do all my Christmas grocery shopping.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Putting my Budgetting to the Test

I did well the last 2 weeks on my new budget, and I really feel like following a weekly plan has been better for us. But we have a challenge coming up. I've mentioned before that David is a Marine, and so he gets paid on the 1st and 15th. Each payday is the exact same amount, and that makes it very easy to plan a budget. However, our bank releases the funds a day early, and weekends affect that. So instead of getting paid on Monday, Dec 15th we get paid on Friday, Dec 12. Sounds great, right? Except that means that this pay period will be 18 days!!! That is a long time, especially the week before and of Christmas. I get paid weekly, every Thursday and we've been blessed to be able to use 100% of my income to paid debts, add to savings, or use for special occasions. So I'll have to be extra mindful of the budget the next 3 weeks and really make it work. We'll have my income if we need it, but I would really rather not even think of mine as income. I don't consider my job a "career" and I don't plan on working here long-term since we move so often. I don't want to get stuck working because we use my income, I'd rather it be a nice booster for savings. So bare with me the next 3 weeks, I'll probably be posting a lot in order to keep things in check, and to keep me busy and not out shopping! LOL

Less is More

I am learning that less really is more. And that sometimes in order to save money you DO have to pass up a great deal. The camera I have been lusting after is on sale at Wal-Mart for $250, plus you get a $20 Wal-Mart gift card with the purchase, making it basically $230. My grandma just gave me $50 for Christmas, and DH got a gift card for $100 from work. Making my OOP $80 for something I've been wanted ALL YEAR. But, I have a camera that works just fine, and I didn't budget $80 for a camera I don't NEED, so I'll pass it up. I want to cry, but I know that this is what being responsible is, and that even though it's a great deal, it's still spending almost $100, which means I didn't save that $100. A sliver lining is that I can add that $50 from Granny to an account and save up for that camera and buy it knowing I saved and planned and worked for it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Menu Monday


Monday: Crockpot Soup, garlic bread
Tuesday: Shrimp, rice, steamed veggies
Wednesday: Chicken Cordon Bleu, mashes potatoes, peas
Thursday: David's work Christmas Party, no cooking for me!
Friday: My Granny's Brithday party, once again no cooking for me!
Saturday: Spending the weekend at my parents house, so we'll be eating there.
Sunday: I'll still be at my parents house.

With all the festivities this week, I won't need to buy any groceries, so I "transfered" my grocery budget into the Chirstmas Budget. I did keep $20 for bread, eggs, and snacks for the week.

My Coke Rewards

Do you know about this? I guess I had heard about it, but never really thought too much on it. Let me say, I am a HUGE coke drinker. I easily buy 2-12 packs a week just for myself. I just within the last 2 weeks registered with and have been racking up points. So far, I have 50 points and am saving for more coupons. Wags is having a sale on 12 pack Cokes 3/$10, plus $2 RR and I have a $1/1 MC.That makes the final price about $0.20 a can, which is a good deal itself. Add in the 30 extra Coke points, which can get me another MC and it's quite a deal. I never paid attention to points or store "clubs" before, but I've found recently that they do offer great deals, so check it out!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Good Saturday Morning!

I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend, mine has started out wonderfully because I am off today! I woke up extremely motivated and have already cleaned the master bath, done 2 loads of laundry, made breakfast, and tidied up my closet.
Which reminds me of something I wanted to ask. Have you, do you take clothes to consignment stores? With David being in the military, we move every 3 years and clutter is never a problem because when we move, if we don't NEED it, I toss it. I generally take everything to Goodwill, or local organizations. I don't' consider this a loss because I know I am helping others, but I am wondering if I should try a consignment store for some of our nicer clothes? I have several ball gowns from past years that I'll never wear again, and such. So, what do you think?

I also wanted to share my totals from my first week really trying to stay on budget.


  • Grocery/HBA: $50
  • Automotive: $40 (Gas, $10 to Auto Maint. Savings Acct.) This is much lower the normal, but David's truck was full starting out, so this was mainly for my car and some extra for him.
  • Entertainment/Misc: ($50, $20 for gift, $15 for David's hair cut)=$85

Actual Totals:

  • Grocery/HBA: $57
  • Automotive: $45 (Both vehicles are still half full, so next weeks budget can be smaller!)
  • Entertainment/Misc: $135, (GASP! I know, but we have gone over it and found where the money went, and how to correct the problem. David stops by the gas stations every morning and buys an energy drink and snacks. Now, we'll factor drinks and snacks into the Grocery budget, hopefully solving this problem!)

So total overage was $62. I'm ok with that. However, it does mean that if I'm $62 over every week this month, that's almost $250 that could go somewhere more productive. BUT this was the first week, and we'll be able to fine tune it and rework it more. Hopefully by January 1st, we'll have a solid budget to use. I'll post in the morning with my budget for next week.

I also wanted to add that budgeting weekly is REALLY helping us. If you're having trouble sticking to one, you might want to try it.

Take care, and y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Budget Blockers

So I've been thinking about what it is that keeps my budget from working. I have gone over and over it and it seems to be a nice, well thought out budget. But I have 3 things that stop me every month.

  1. Dining Out. We are so bad about doing this, and it's 90% my fault. I am forever forgetting to lay out dinner before I leave for work, then coming home and thinking "Oh forget it, lets just grab some pizza." NOT good, and something I am really working on.
  2. Not sticking to my list. Seems like I just can't go into a store and buy what's on my list. I get other crap because I "need" it. Yeah...right. What I NEED is to learn needs from wants.
  3. Shopping at work. I work in retail and when I find a really good deal, I must buy it. As proof, I have a closet full of dirt cheap clothes with tags still on them. Yeah, all great deals, but wasteful if I don't ever wear them.

So there you have it, my Budget Blockers. What are yours?

Thursday Check-up

Just checking back in on my "No Spend Week". Yesterday I spent $9 on the ornament, and shipping supplies for the gift I'm mailing out. I budgeted $10, so I was pleased with that. I also budgeted $10 for shipping, but hope it will be much less then that. Other then those budgeted items, I didn't spend any money! It's not been nearly as hard as I thought it was. I think that the reason it's been so easy is because I planned well for it, but I also took out $20 from the ATM on Monday to use for random things I might need. For example, I need to run out later and get some cream of mushroom soup from the store. While some might see that as "cheating" for me it's all about planning. I know there will be things that come up during the week, so by having $20 just in case, I avoid swiping my card. I'm all or nothing, and I know that once I mess up, I will cave. I am trying avoid caving in at all cost.
David did ask me to go pick him up some drinks later, and while it's not what I budgeted, it's either me spend $10 at the store, or him stop by the gas station every morning and spending twice that much in a week. Again, I think it all goes back to planning.
And now I'm off to run errands, but I'll check back in later. Y'all have a great afternoon!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


David called me today to say he had a $600 check for me to deposit. Just out of the blue, it was a reimbursment from the military for moving last month. I was pleasantly shocked. I also did really well out shopping today. My goal for groceries was $30, and I spent $35, but got a lot of things to stockpile. I also filled up my car for $26!!! Gotta love gas for $1.60 a gallon! Tonight, when David gets home I think we are going out to find that ornament I was talking about. Tonight is Date Night In, we are having homemade pizza and wings, and watching our favorite show-NCIS.

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Spend Week 1

With today being Monday I thought it's be a good time to start a "No Spend Week". There are a few things I'm going to have to buy this week, but I'm going to list them and try to stick with the list for the rest of week and limit "extra" spending. Tomorrow I'm working a couple hours in the morning, and since I work in the town with a commissary I'm planning on going there to buy what few groceries I need for the week, and to gather more coupons. The commissary is a wonderful place to get coupons. They have P&G, and Military Money, as well as blinkies on tons of items. I've budgeted $30 for that. It won't take that much because my list is extra short this week since we are still having leftovers from Thanksgiving, but I have some Commissary coupons I need to use before the expire, and I could use a few things I know will be much cheaper at the Com. like frozen meals for work. I also have to buy an Ornament for an Exchange I'm having with some friends, and mail that out. I'm budgeting $10 for the ornament and have a coupon for $2 off a $10 purchase at Hallmark. I also budgeted $10 for shipping, so $20 should cover that. I also need to fill up my car, that should be $25.

$30 grocery

$20 Gift, plus shipping

$25 gas

Total: $75

Now, this isn't counting what David might spend, but he generally doesn't spend as much as me because he doesn't by grocery or household needs. This is just my personal challenge, to spend only the $75 or less, and only on the items posted above. I do have a $20 bill in my purse that I'll use for random trips to CVS, and to have in case I really do need something. But NO swiping of the debit card, unless it's as budgeted above. I'll be checking back in nightly.

Monday Madness

Good Monday morning!!!

I am such an organizing geek, I LOVE when new months start on Monday. It makes everything easy to plan. I am all about routines and Monday starts off a new week of them. I try to follow She has some great ideas. I don't really have problems with clutter because it's just David and I, no kids, and we move every 3 years to a new duty stations. But Marla (the FlyLady) has some great ideas about setting up routines so that you can spend 15 minutes each morning, and never have to "crisis clean". Mondays are "Weekly Home Blessing Hour" where you spend 60 minutes cleaning your house for the week. I love getting up and cleaning first thing Monday morning, and washing away the weekend. It really puts me in the mood to plan for the week.
And speaking of planning-I work what is technically a part time job for a major women clothing store. I say technically because my title is part time, but I average 20-40 hours. Mostly around 30, except with the Holidays right around the corner it has been more. I have always planned our menu 2 weeks at a time, around David's checks. (I need to add, I just started working about a year ago for the first time in our marriage.) So now, I don't know 2 weeks in advance if I'll be home at night to cook or not. This week I am trying something new and planning our menu only 1 week in advance. I have split out monthly food/household budget of $150 every 2 weeks, to $75 a week. I'm going to try this for the next month and re-evaluate on January 1st to see if it works better for us. I am hoping that I can emiminate grabbing fast food because I didn't plan on working and now I won't be home to cook dinner, and wasting food that I bought and has gone bad in the 2 weeks since I bought it. So we shall see. Any ideas? Has this worked for y'all?

Hi, I'm Jodie

And this is my first Blog...EVER! I am excited and ready to get started. I've been reading blogs for a few months now and I have decided this is something I should do. I need a place to write down and organize my goals, plans, deals I've found and just to arrange my thoughts and ideas. I'm really new to the frugal lifestyle and while I'm impressed with what I've saved, I am no where near as amazing as some of you ladies. But that's the journey, to be better today then you were yesterday and to learn something new to use tomorrow. And that is my goal, to learn, grow, and better myself. So I'm getting started.

Here are a few things you should know about me:

  • I'm 23, and I've been married to my husband, David, for almost 5 years. Yep, your math is correct, I got married when I was 18. We were highschool sweethearts.
  • We don't have any kids yet, and are still on the fence about that. But time is on our side.
  • David is a Marine, so we live a Military lifestyle. We love it, and though we miss our familyand home town, we feel blessed to have this life.
  • Both David and I are LDS. I grew up in an LDS family and David converted when he was 18. It's a huge part of our lives.

So that's me. I'm excited to get started and learn more.