Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mid-March Goal check

I can't believe it's been over a week since I last posted. Things have been crazy with my work, M's work, the kids, my running schedule (doing a 15K race this weekend!), & life in general.

Here's a quick look at my March goals, since the month is about half way over!

  1. Lose four pounds in March, bringing me to 143 pounds. - I've lost 1.5 pounds so far. Finally seeing the number on the scale move a bit.
  2. Complete 1100 minutes of cardio. I've been crushing this goal, so I'm bumping up the number. - On track. I've completed 575 minutes of cardio, & have a bunch of longer workouts in my training plan to even things out.
  3. Complete all training runs for my half marathon, and complete my 15K race on 3/19! - On track.
  4. Spend $0 on clothes, makeup, shoes, etc for myself/kids. *Caveat - I may need a new pair of running shoes* - Fail. Bought a new pair of running shoes (a must have - my toenails were falling off from the others) & also bought a few spring tops. Both kids needed baseball gear as well.
  5. Complete 11 strength workouts. Bumping this up by one workout, as I still feel like I need to devote more time to my strength training. - Pretty much on track, as I have a strength workout planned for tonight, & I've done 5 so far this month.  
  6. Find an "extra" $650 in the budget to purchase two tuition credits for each child. - Likely not going to hit this in March. M's work is completely up in the air, he may be switching jobs, and we'll likely not fund the college accounts until this is all resolved.
  7. Track all spending, stick to budget, and prepare month end spending report. - So far, we're doing okay. Lots of summer travel expenses are coming through (hotels, car rental, flights), but it's part of the larger year long budget. Need to keep things tight in March to stick to the rest of the budget.
  8. Complete taxes, & fund what we owe. - Taxes are done - now we need to file & shell out the $11K. Good times.
  9. Have one date night with M. - Done!
  10. Get together with two friends. - Meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow, & have tentative plans with another friend later this month.
  11. Create a master list of accounts/passwords to store in our safety deposit box. - Not done.
  12. Investigate & create new budget based on a few options we're considering. (Selling our vacation house, buying a rental property, etc). This is very much a first stage of a long process. - This is very much up in the air, & will be dependent on M's work situation, my work situation, the housing market, etc. Lots more that I should cover in a full post.

And with that, how are all of you doing with your March goals? Hope the month is going well!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Menu Plan Wednesday

I really need to get organized with my menu! To make my life easier, I'm planning for the next week and a half.

What's on your menu this week? Any fun new recipes? We tried the chicken marsala casserole last week, and it was both easy and yummy. It's definitely getting on the rotation.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekly Spending Wrap Up (2/27/12-3/4/12)

Hope everyone had a great weekend! We took the kids skiing on Sunday, & it was the perfect day. Great weather, everyone listened, & both kids are finally up to doing intermediate runs. (We've spent the entire season on the bunny slopes). It made all of the time & effort that we've put into skiing feel worthwhile. :-)

I also took Friday off to complete our taxes (more on that later. We owe. A lot), and rewarded myself with my last free massage coupon. SO nice. We had a date night on Saturday, & skied on Sunday. Fun weekend!

Here's how we did this week:

  • Monday
    • $10.49 - Lowes. Not sure what M bought for the house.
  • Tuesday
    • $47.71 - Trader Joe's for snacks for my office. I've been buying much more food at work, since I ran out of snacks, & this is much healthier & cheaper.
  • Wednesday
    • No spend day
  • Thursday
    • $30 - replenishment of my toll pass
    • $723.84 - deposit for our hotel stay over Memorial Day weekend.
  • Friday
    • $106.31 - groceries
    • $60.93 - house stuff (mostly for the lawn))
    • $43.92 - gas
    • $49.24 - quarterly gift payment for a music subscription (for my father)
    • $6.01 - lunch at World Wrapps
    • $-59.66 - returned a sweater to Jcrew
    • Massage & pedicure -free with a coupon & on a gift card
  • Saturday
    • $29 - items for N's birthday party
    • $3.99 - groceries
    • $15.12 - gift. I'll be getting reimbursed for this.
    • $.41 - poster board for a school project. Apparently, I forgot to take this out of the cart, because I can't find it at home.
    • $8.99 - beer
    • $149.45 - running shoes. My current shoes (that were only 6 weeks old) were causing terrible bruising & swelling on my toes when running more than a few miles. I finally went to a running store & got fitted - I needed a bigger size. My toes are KILLING ME.
    • $2.37 - frozen yogurt after our date night
    • $58.28 - dinner & drinks on date night
  • Sunday:
    • $16.41 - ski lunch at Subway
    • $47 - ski passes
Total spend for the week = $1349.95. Pretty typical for a week, minus the running shoes & hotel deposit. I have $500 budgeted for clothing/shoe spending this year, so that's a huge chunk of my money. :-(

How did you do with your spending last week?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Financial Wrap Up

Rather than posting every last nitty gritty category, I thought I would try out a hopefully more visually compelling/easily digestible version of our February financial wrap up. :-)

Here goes! (The first number listed is the budgeted amount, followed by actual spend).

Categories where we were on track, or under budget for our monthly spending:

  • Groceries!!! Finally. :-) I increased our budget for the month, knowing that we would be entertaining family one weekend. We were right at goal, for the first time ever! Budget $650/spent $648
  • Boys lessons. I predicted that we would spend $0, and we did.
  • Gas. $400/335.
  • Utilities. $875/555
  • Personal. $50/30
  • Boys. $50/5
  • Primary mortgage. $4850/$4669. I think my budget number is off - need to adjust this for March.
  • Insurance. $320/320.
  • Vacation mortgage. $2600/$2600.
  • Boys birthdays. $400/337.
Categories where we were over:

  • Dining out. We came very close, & I'm pretty pleased, given that it was my birthday, Valentine's Day, my son's birthday, & we had company in town over a weekend. $400/$421.
  • Boys clothes. Already described, but needed to replace two winter coats. $0/76.
  • Clothes for me. $0/37 (minusing the $100 of gift money I received).
  • Gifts. $0/$191. I was reimbursed for some of this, but lost track. Maybe $100?
  • Travel. We have a yearly fund, but I didn't anticipate paying for anything this month. We bought tickets for our trip to San Diego in May. $0/735.
  • Childcare. We cancelled a vacation due to a work conflict, and ended up having to enroll the boys in a winter break camp. $1675/1915.
  • Health. $0/120. Registered for a couple of runs.
  • House. $25/136. We were out of a bunch of stuff for the house (laundry soap, etc).
  • Car. $25/860. This was the category where we were the most off track. Mostly unexpected expenses for my car.
  • Liquor. $0/60. Bought extra beer & wine for the family gathering we had.
  • College fund. $0/326. Half of this was funded via birthday gifts.
  • Cleaning. $400/560. Switched to a new cleaning service, & did a one-time deep clean.
  • Skiing. $320/327.
Total spend for the month = $14,615.

Total income for the month = $13,225*. (*Note that I put 15% of my net salary into an investment account that returns a fixed quarterly amount, and save that for the bigger expenses like travel, etc. Since I only get the money quarterly, I count in the month received.)

Sources of income:
  • $20 - sold a pair of kids ski boots my youngest grew out of.
  • $100 - birthday money for me. I went shopping & bought a few sweaters & a dress.
  • $170 - birthday money for my oldest. Used to fund college account.
  • $1645 - FSA (preschool/after care reimbursement).
  • $11,268 - standard monthly paychecks
  • $22 - Ebates

My goal for March is to be under $13,000! Assuming we have no major car expenses, or other random expenses, I think we might be able to pull it off. Fingers crossed.

How did you do with you budget in February?