Alcohol

I went for a drink with coworkers after work today. I didn’t end up spending anything, which was awesome, but I was prepared to. Sometimes it’s worth it to take the $11* hit to do the business mingling. Yes, “business mingling” is a Pretty Woman quote, and no, I am neither in mergers and acquisitions nor “sales.”
I’m also planning on drinks and maybe an appetizer this weekend. So much for no spending, but there are definitely people I need to catch up with.

*$11 for a small glass of wine? You’ve gotta be kidding me, Boston.

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Cookies! (And Some Things That Are Harder to Swallow)*

One of my friend is having a spa party/cookie swap in three weeks, so I’m planning on doing some test baking today. I actually like cooking and baking, though I can say there’s a whole lot that I’m particularly good at (hence the testing).  I saw two really interesting sounding recipes — both of which used a box mix. That’s just cheating. I’m all about that when it comes to brownies and muffins — I guess I just have higher standards for online recipes.

I’m officially $200+ over budget for the month, with at least $50 more to spend in groceries (including our post-Thanksgiving turkey).  I feel like I’ve said this repeatedly, but I cannot WAIT for bonus/tax return time.

My inability to spend less than I earn (after designated savings) has been getting pretty disheartening, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where my monetary priorities are.  My mortgage is now the highest interest rate I’m paying (very high for a mortgage these days), so maybe that should be my priority to pay down, so I can refinance.  But will I be able to do this while rates are still low?  Would I be way more likely to accomplish that (or my debt payoff goals generally) if I just don’t have a wedding, or have just a small thing?  The way I see it, it ‘s going to be 25 people, or 125 people — I can cut it down to immediately family and best friends, not do a wedding party, just do a dinner, but then I’ll miss out on the dancing and sharing the time with a lot of my other friends. But if I do something larger, it’s really hard to make the determination of who I want to invite and who I don’t.  Or more accurately “If I invite X, I should also invite Y” and “Well she invited me to her wedding five years ago, but we don’t really talk much now…but I wish we did, and I want her to know that.”  My wonderful man, god bless him, says “I’ll just invite less people, so you can invite more.”  Which is incredibly sweet, but I know I should be making some cuts on the amorphous guest  list in my head.

There will be some decisions ahead to be made.  But for today at least I will limit my decision making to: Caramel Pecan Snickerdoodle OR Red Velvet Cheesecake?  OR Oatmeal Chocolate Chip OR S’mores Cookie Bars.  OR ALL OF THEM?

 

* I feel like a lot of my posts are negative lately.  So I figured I’d share something happy.  I’ve paid $735 in student loan principal this month!  And in 2015, I’m hopeful that we can put another $500 or so a month to either loans or the mortgage (or the wedding), depending on what we decide. Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 11.58.41 AM

Remember That Bit About Daily Posting…?

Yeah, that clearly hasn’t happened. But when I’m not spending, what is there really to write about?

I definitely needed a higher grocery budget this month, particularly if the man wants to make a bird next week (and I definitely hope that he does). I’ve also gone $102 over budget on my cable bill this month. I usually pay it with my first paycheck of the month, but for some reason (likely distraction from the loan refinance) didn’t. Then when the man logged in to set up some email, two months of bills were on there. That kinda made me panic, so I paid the whole bill, instead of just what I would normally pay in November. This just means one less bill next month, when I’ll inevitably need to do some Christmas spending.

All told, I’m currently about $100 over budget for the month, with about $100 left in bills and spending (maybe more with groceries). <But the final spending number will likely be under the amount put into my spending account from my paycheck–not dipping into 1) the overage from my last paycheck (because fewer deductions are taken out when it’s the third paycheck in a month) 2) the general padding in the account from having three paycheck, or 3) my savings account. I’ve been trying to put $500 a month into my separate savings account, and I try not to think of that as money I can spend…yet my budget is usually red each month.

So far, I think I’ve done pretty well on my first No Spend month (KNOCK ALL THE WOOD), and think I might try it again in January or February. Hopefully I can successfully get through these last ten days.

Breakfast?

My sister asked if I wanted to go for the ride with her to my dad’s this morning and possibly to breakfast. I of course said yes, because I was hoping to see my adorable nephew this morning, though internally I was a little hesitant about breaking my No-Spend progress, when I had been doing so well. Buuuut my dad offered to make breakfast, so the no spending continues! Tomorrow we’ll likely have to go to the grocery store for reinforcements, but hopefully it shouldn’t be much that we need.

Daily Posting Failure!

So I’m terrible at posting every day! But really, what do I have to post about when I’m not spending money? With the exception of yesterday, I haven’t spent anything this work week. Yesterday I had to stop at CVS but my purchase was 1) inexpensive ($3.99) and 2) a nonperishable need.

Our dog is officially not coming until next month. I really should get my car worked on this month, so I may have some spending on that, but so far, No Spend has been pretty successful.

Last item: I’m STILL waiting on the refund of my credit balance on my loan, but they said it should happen next week. Fingers crossed that it’s sooner rather than later.

Sunday Spending

Spent a whopping $85 on dinner last night.  That hurts.  One positive:  it was delicious.  Actually two positives:  I got to hang out with my best friend, who I don’t see nearly often enough.  I realize that hanging out itself doesn’t need to cost money, and hopefully I can see her more often for meals that involve cooking at home, but I wanted to do something nice to celebrate.

Anyway…also just spent $53.70 at Stop&Shop.  That place adds up.  $10 of that was buying five packages of turkey burgers to freeze.  These are normally $3.79 or so, and we have them for dinner at least once a week.  I picked up what I needed and a few sale items.  I went by myself this time, which is unusual.  I like to go down every aisle, but this wasn’t intended to be a full shopping, so I listened to the voice inside my head (which I attribute to the man) that said “you don’t need anything in this aisle.”  Aside from the turkey burgers, I also picked up hot chocolate, (for my desk at work) and cran-grape juice, as well as the purchases I went for: bananas, yogurt, frozen strawberries, orange juice (all for smoothies — don’t care that it’s winter), apple cider (while it’s still in season and relatively cheap), and saltines.  I also picked up some apples and raspberries on sale for bring-to-work snacks.  One gets sick of granola bars now and then (though I usually just rotate flavors).

Last money out of my account $9.99 on freecreditreport.com.  Obviously not free, but I loved seeing the changes to my credit score as I paid down balances, paid off loans, opened new cards and increased credit lines, and got a mortgage.  I’m debating dropping this for credit karma, because I really don’t have the same need to track that I used to–ALL of my negative history is sold old that it’s dropped off the report, so I don’t expect any real big moves.

Mobile Posts

Just posted two that were supposed to be posted earlier this week, but I was apparently in a no service area.

My only spending today was the dinner mentioned in of those two posts. We might buy a few things (namely bananas and yogurt) tomorrow to get us through the week.