I'm also not sure how I want to calculate the gift cards I purchased. Basically, our gym offers a one time a year offer - buy $500 in gift cards, get $100 free. Our gym has several restaurants, child care for our occasional date nights or when my husband is traveling, and also a salon/spa where I get pedicures, etc. The deal was fantastic, so I got two $500 gift cards. However, I'd prefer to track these per use, vs all at once. I'm trying to plan ahead & predict how much we spend, in total, for the year & buy that many gift cards. How do you track gift cards?
- Monday (11/28)
- $319.40 - Alaska Airlines. I bought a spur of the moment ticket to Las Vegas. :-) I'll be joining M there in a couple of weeks (he already had plans to attend an event) & my parents wanted to watch the kids. Win/win!
- $51.29 - Costco for groceries
- $9.71 - Chevron. Car wash.
- Tuesday (11/29) - no spend day
- Wednesday (11/30) - went shopping with a girlfriend to finish up Christmas. So spendy!
- $16.41 - Costco, to get our Christmas cards printed
- $36.37 - Nordstrom cafe. Took a friend to dinner for her birthday
- $56.94 - Christmas gift (M's stocking)
- $82.13 - Christmas gift (M's stocking)
- $2.19 - Victoria's Secret. Used a $10 coupon & bought two lip glosses.
- $13.49 - Gymboree. Couple of shirts for the kids. Unnecessary, because I ended up finding two shirts in their closets (I need 2 more in each size to take to the beach house) & might return these.
- Thursday (12/1)
- $4.09 - Christmas gift (M's stocking). Finally done!
- $9.49 - Rite Aid for OTC medicine, recommended by my foot doctor.
- $40.44 - Christmas gifts for the kids (for another family member). Will be getting reimbursed.
- $3.47 - Bath & Body Works for bubble bath.
- Friday (12/2)
- $1.15 - Protein smoothie at the gym
- $500 - gift cards at the gym.
- Saturday (12/3)
- $1975 - Refinance of our vacation house. We're moving to a 15 year loan with a better rate. Signing the papers this afternoon!
- $132.82 - Costco for groceries.
- $10.5 - stamps for Christmas cards
- $33.25 - stamps for the house. We buy these once/year, and they tend to last for 12ish months.
- $11.57 - Fred Meyer for groceries
- Sunday (12/4)
- $15.92 - back to Fred Meyer for groceries. Can you tell I wasn't very organized this week?
- $51.98 - Fred Meyer for a gift (M's mother lives out of the country, and we send her an OTC eye drop that she can't buy where she lives)
- $76.75 - new shoes for my youngest child
- $135.32 - a new top, sweater, and a dress for me. The dress will definitely be going back. Top is still TBD.
- $500 - in gift cards at the gym.
-I'm attempting to get our grocery spending more organized, and save us time by shopping once/week. However, I'm finding the inventory management side of this to be very challenging. I'm typically okay with recipe ingredients, but M & I cover different meals. He does the kids breakfasts + a bowl of fruit for each of them as an evening snack. I make adult breakfasts + pack lunches + plan dinners. We are always making assumptions about who's using which ingredients, and then we run out. :-) Solving this is one of my top goals for the week ahead. I'm tired of shopping multiple times/week!
-I'm finally done with all of the Christmas shopping! And, I stuck to my budget. First year ever! Basically, I assigned $710 to specific gifts, but used a budget of $1000, knowing that I would forget things or go over in certain categories. And, I came in at $969.93, so just under! I've actually spent more than that, as I buy gifts for other people (per their request) to give to the kids, but I'll be getting reimbursed. Yeah!!
-I'm super excited about my unplanned trip to Las Vegas - our opportunities to getaway without the kids are pretty rare, so I don't pass up a chance to do it. However, this wasn't in the budget for December, which is already an expensive month.
-The money for the refinance was allocated, but still painful to part with.
-Too much shopping for myself. This is something I've struggled with before. I'm already in the mall to do Christmas shopping, and the temptation is too much. Sales are great, I'm going to Las Vegas in a few weeks, & find it so easy to say "oh, this new top would look fabulous for the trip", etc, etc.
Total spend for the week = $4089.18! Holy smokes.
Questions for you: how do you efficiently plan what you'll need at the grocery store? How often do you shop? How do you predict what you'll run out of, and when? What went well for you this week? Challenges?