I’m continuing with my Weight Watchers @ Work program and I’m pretty happy with my results this week. If I lost two pounds every week, then I’d be a happy camper.
- Starting Weight: 287 lbs.
- Previous Week’s Weight: 286 lbs.
- Current Weight: 284 lbs.
- Weight Loss Since Last Week: -2 lbs.
- Overall Weight Loss: -3 lbs.
- Pounds Left to Lose: 140.5 lbs.
August seems like the longest month – we’ve been on a bit of a spending spree this past week. I posted the budget earlier this month so you know we plan to spend a whopping $4,781 in August (and I’m afraid we’re going to be over budget for the first time since, um, since last August). So far we’ve burned through $4,747 of the bucks we budgeted leaving us only $33 for the rest of the month (yeah, right!)
Here’s the skinny on who/what/where/when/how we spent $1,813 in the past week.
You might remember that I signed up for a 17-week Weight Watchers @ Work program. That bill hit the checking account this week to the tune of $186.
Since I’m pretty sure we’re going to be over budget this month (sigh), I had to move some money from savings into the checking account.
This biggest chunk of money going out this week went to the car insurance company. We had budgeted the $603 bucks that it costs us to insure our two vehicles for six months, but you’ll also notice that we had to shell out $50 to a rental car company. What’s up with that? You might remember that our car was rear ended at the beginning of the month and we’re dealing with getting it fixed. Our insurance is covering the cost of the rental, but we had to put down a $50 deposit. It’s just a deposit so it should be refunded, but I’m classifying it as an insurance expense for the moment.
We ate food again this week and that means we dropped $151 at the grocery store. This is Orion’s last week of summer vacation, so I anticipate that we’ll drop back down to one or two trips to the grocery store a week instead of four or five (thank goodness). In his defense, Orion has been cooking up some yummy meals. I highly recommend this Shrimp Pad Thai recipe I found over at skinnytaste.com.
What else? The student loan bill came due and ate up $267. We fueled up two vehicles for $100 and we paid our electric bill of $192. Have I mentioned that I’m ready for this Texas summer to be over?
We did some eating out this past weekend and dropped $44 leaving us just $1 left in that budget item. There are a lot of days left in August so I feel like we’ve really blown it here.
The biggest area where we’ve spent money that I hadn’t accounted for was on closing/moving related expenses. I didn’t think those would start hitting until September, but I was mistaken. That has eaten up $233, but that money came from the savings account that we have set aside for all of our down payment, closing costs and moving expenses. I should have had more foresight, but at least the money is there and it’s going toward its intended purpose. Still, I should have planned better.
One final expenditure… I spent $2.25 to order a copy of graduate school transcript. I needed a copy to include with a scholarship application I submitted. For the first time ever, my employer is offering two $1,000 scholarships to staff members who are furthering their education. I have no idea how many people applied, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll score one of those thousand dollar awards. That money would cover most of the tuition bill I still have outstanding for this semester. Please send me some good scholarship vibes!
How are all of you doing? I hope you’re not as over budget as me.
I’m plugging away at losing weight this week following my Weight Watchers @ Work plan, but I’m also dealing with the financial and emotional aftermath of our car getting rear ended twice in two weeks. Yup, I said twice in two weeks (don’t worry, nobody got hurt).
During my mother’s visit at the end of July we were all packed into my little Kia on our way to the zoo. We were stopped at a red light when we got hit in the rear end. It wasn’t that hard of a hit and we were all fine. It turns out that a texting 17-year old in a brand new SUV hit the tiny hatchback behind us hard enough to smash him into our bumper (BTW: don’t text and drive – it can be deadly). The 17-year old was pretty shaken up so hopefully she learned a life lesson.
Lucky for us everyone was insured. Our little texting buddy’s insurance was all set to pay for all of our damages and to provide us with a rental car (no deductible out of pocket for us – Yay!). We had visited Texty McGee’s insurance adjustor on a Wednesday and we had an appointment to take our car to the body shop the following Monday. Yes getting crashed into was a pain in the rear (pun intended), but all told, things were being taken care of pretty smoothly.
Is there a bull’s-eye painted on my butt?
But then Thursday came around again. It had been exactly one week since the accident and Orion and I had just ventured out to take a look at the progress on our new house when, you guessed it, we got smashed into again. We had pulled off the freeway and were at a yield sign waiting to merge onto a busy street. Traffic wasn’t clear so we ended up having to come to a full stop at the yield sign. The lady behind us wasn’t paying attention and… WHAM! I shouldn’t repeat exactly what I said in the moment, but it was something along the lines of, “What the frack? Not again!”
Everybody was okay this time too, but my poor little Kia was way more banged up. Despite the lady who hit us having a valid insurance card from the same insurance company we use, we later found out her insurance had lapsed. Dealing with two different insurance companies responsible for two different accidents that caused damage to exactly the same area on our car has been stressful. Thankfully Orion has handled all of the details (he’s off work for the summer and he was driving both times so I feel like that’s fair). Because the second crasher driver was uninsured we’re likely going to have to shell out our $500 deductible after all. Nuts! I will say that our own insurance company hasn’t treated us as well as Miss Texter’s insurance company. We might be switching so we can be “in good hands” – customer service is important.
Orion is looking like a real Texan now.
On the upside our rental car is a giant truck. Giant trucks are helpful when you want to snag a bargain on patio furniture off of Craigslist or sneak out to IKEA to buy a desk. Those things are not in the budget for August, but they were going to be in September’s budget so I think I might cheat a little and get them this month. It’ll save us the hassle and expense of renting a truck next month.
Here’s hoping we make it through tomorrow without getting hit. I don’t want this to be a regular Thursday thing.
This week I’m rebooting my weight loss journey. I’m not starting over, but starting a new plan and just for the ease of tracking I’m going to reset my numbers. I started a Weight Watchers @ Work program last week and today was the first weigh in.
- Starting Weight: 287 lbs.
- Previous Week’s Weight: 287 lbs.
- Current Weight: 286 lbs.
- Weight Loss Since Last Week: -1 lbs.
- Overall Weight Loss: -1 lbs.
- Pounds Left to Lose: 142.5 lbs.
Another week gone and as usual we’ve spent some bucks. I posted the budget earlier this month so you know we plan to spend $4,781 in August (Ouch!). So far we’ve burned through $2,934 of those dollars (um, Ouch!) and we’ve got $1,847 left in the budget.
Here’s the skinny on who/what/where/when/how we spent $2,934 in the past ten days.
There were some regular expenditures and withdraws; rent, car payment, pocket money, utilities, gas and groceries. All of that ate up $1,798. Then came all of the irregular expenses…
First we had to pay tuition. I’m six credits into a 36 credit hour master’s degree. This semester I’m enrolled in another six hours. Good news: I’m working toward a degree that will allow me to advance in my industry and I’m paying cash for the degree. All told this should cost about $12,000 paid out between January 2012 and March 2014. At a minimum, my experience coupled with this degree should allow me to land a position making $60,000 instead of the $40,000 I make now. My university allows students to pay tuition each semester in four installments. I swear when I checked before writing the budget my first installment was supposed to be $447, but I must have made a mistake. The first payment was actually $493 so I’m $46 over budget in this category. I can hopefully make that up somewhere else in the budget.
Then we had to pay veterinary expenses. Kibbe doesn’t cost us money every month, but this month our pup needed some shots to the tune of $156. Thanks go out to Kibbe for coming in $23 under budget.
My mother, niece and nephew came for a visit at the end of July that spilled over a little into August. We covered $122 in expenses related to what was really a great “staycation” for Orion and I.
Orion and I continue to wage a losing battle with our eating out budget. We’ve already spent $75 of the $120 budgeted and it’s only the tenth day of the month. We better get used to eating at home for the rest of the month.
Orion is a high school teacher and like a lot of his colleagues he spends some of his own money outfitting his classroom. He’s picked up several computers on Craigslist to augment the classroom and this month he spent some cash to upgrade the software on some of those machines. That’s what the $90 spent so far in the “Professional Expense” category is all about.
In other getting ready for school to start news, Orion needed some new work clothes and so did I. We’re both fine on pants, but we each needed a few shirts. We budgeted $80 and we did come in $3 over budget, but we got a lot for our money (at least I think we did). We shopped the clearance racks at Kohl’s and managed to snag five short-sleeve button down shirts for Orion and three short-sleeve tops for me. Eight items for $83 is okay in my book (we did use $10 in Kohl’s Cash to get the total down).
Finally, you probably noticed the big red line at the bottom of our budget overview up there. $97 that wasn’t in the budget got spent and you’re probably wondering what that’s all about. In a moment of weakness I (with Orion’s consent) splurged on new Vera Wang bedding from Kohl’s for the new house and I bought a Living Social coupon for Overstock.com. Good news – the bedding was 80% off. Bad news – it wasn’t in the budget. I keep waffling about returning this stuff. I’m still undecided, but if I’m honest I’ll probably end up keeping it and try to find ways to come in under budget on some other categories. It was so exciting to buy something for the new house, but I can see that getting out of control fast. I need to nip this in the bud. I’m not saying I won’t buy anything for the house, but I do need to put those purchases in the budget ahead of time, not after the fact.
How are all of you doing? Is the budget on track for August? Are you coming in under budget anywhere?
Writing this blog I seem to deal with nothing but taboo topics. I tell you all about how much money I make, I fill you in on how much debt I’ve racked up, and for crying out loud you know how much I weigh. With all of that out there, I guess there is no sense in keeping my age a secret. I’m 32 years old and I’ll be the big three-three on September 30th.
Birthdays are milestones and I want to really make sure to mark this next one. It would be awesome if September 30th rolled around and I could say that I had lost 33 pounds before turning 33 years old. You know how I like having a goal…
33 pounds is a lot of weight – 33 pounds is basically an entire adorable cocker spaniel.
I’ll be 32 for eight more weeks. In order to reach this goal I would need to lose over 4 pounds a week. That’s kind of a tall order – too tall. I don’t think I can lose 33 by 33, but I can work toward half of that goal. I can lose 16.5 pounds between today and my 33rd birthday.
Of course I’ll keep you updated on my progress and I can’t wait to celebrate with you in September. What about you? Are there any upcoming events or milestones that are motivating you?
I’m making a change to my weight loss plan. Yesterday I joined a 17-week Weight Watchers @ Work program. I’m excited to add the support of four of my closest coworkers to the mix and I’m excited to meet 40+ other coworkers who will be sharing in this journey.
I’ll be weighing in on Mondays now since that’s when my group meetings go down. Yesterday I weighed in at 287 pounds (I’m trying to convince myself that the gain was just the result of stepping on the scale in the middle of the day, fully dressed and wearing shoes).
I’ve written a budget every single month since March 2010 – that makes this my 30th budget.
Here’s what we’ve got to work with…
$3,200 – Orion’s Net Pay
$2,582 – My Net Pay
Total Incoming: $5,782
Our take-home pay is after taxes, insurance and retirement savings (a mandatory 6.5% for both of us) are taken out. Orion’s salary varies anywhere from $3,050 to $3,350, but it averages $3,200 per month (he can get paid extra for taking on responsibilities like teaching special sessions on Saturdays). My pay is a straight salary and is the same every month.
Total Outgoing: $4,781
That leaves us just $1,001 (17%) to put toward our goals. We typically have closer to 45% leftover, but we have several irregular expenses hitting us this month.
I’m sure you’ve got some questions, so I’ll give you some answers.
$603 for Auto Insurance? Is that per month?
No, we don’t pay $603 for car insurance every month. This is a bill we only see once every six months. We could put aside $100 every month to deal with this bill, but we choose to just pay it during the months when it comes due since we’ve always had enough extra cash in any given month to make the payment. I know sinking funds work for a lot of people, but I’ve decided not to use them because we don’t need to and I want to keep budgeting as easy as possible. If the budget ever gets tighter and I need to introduce sinking funds I will, but for now I’m just keeping it simple.
Why are you paying $447 for tuition?
I’m working on a graduate degree and I’m registered for two classes this fall. Unfortunately school isn’t free. Fortunately my university allows me to pay my bill in installments. My total bill for this semester is $1,886 and I’ll be paying in installments from August through November. I’m proud to be paying out of pocket for school. No more student loans – ever!
Why have your utility bills jumped up so high?
It’s summer in Texas and our AC costs are out of control. We don’t keep the apartment super cold, but since Orion is home during the day (he’s a high school teacher on summer vacation) we are running the AC pretty much constantly. The high today is 108 – um yeah, it’s hot.
You usually pay $15 a month for Weight Watchers. Why have you budgeted $200 this month?
I’m joining a 17-week Weight Watcher @ Work group. I’ll fill you in on the details next week after my first meeting. I’m excited to add the support of my coworkers to my weight loss effort.
What’s up with the Vet bill?
Kibbe is due for some shots. We’ve got to keep our pup healthy so we can keep him around for as long as possible. He also needs a teeth cleaning that we’ll squeeze into the budget later this year. I’m not sure what the bill will be for Kibbe’s vaccinations so I hope I’ve estimated on the high side.
Visit splurge – what’s that?
My mother, niece and nephew visited during the end of July/beginning of August. This money was for things like meals out and trips to the zoo and children’s museum. Even through Orion and I didn’t travel anywhere, this was our summer vacation.
What is “Professional Expense?”
This is some money we’ve set aside for Orion to get his classroom up and running for the school year.
You’re buying new clothes?
We each need a couple of staples for work.
Who is getting a gift?
My best friend’s little guy is turning two this month and I want to send him a little something. Moving to Texas means we don’t spend as much time as we’d like with important people back in Michigan, but we still like to make sure they know we’re thinking of them.
So there you have it. For some reason August always ends up being a really expensive month for us. Two years ago we moved to Texas in August and had to pay all kinds of bills related to that cross-country trip. Last year Orion traveled to a family reunion in Hawaii – can you say expensive? I wonder what August 2013 will have in store? If I’ve missed any of your burning questions, just let me know in the comments.
Another month has come to an end so it’s time to tell you about “The Payoff”. I only get to do this once a month because Orion and I only get paychecks once a month.
- Starting Debt: $57,796
- Previous Month’s Total Debt: $57,165
- Current Total Debt: $56,585
- Debt Paid Off Since Last Month: $580
- Overall Paid Off: $1,211
We use a debt snowball and we’re paying off the loans in this order (see below) because we tend to think of the five loans with NelNet as one ginormous loan.
You’re probably thinking, “what the heck? You hardly paid off any debt. This is a blog about paying off debt, isn’t it?” You’re not wrong. We only made minimum debt payments because at the moment and for the next month or two we’re focusing on saving up money to put toward the down payment and closing costs on our first home. The house is really starting to come together and we’re totally excited.
She’s a brick house.
- Starting House Fund: $13,456
- Previous Month’s House Fund: $17,936
- Current House Fund: $19,398
- Total Saved Since Last Month: $1,462
We’ve surpassed the number our lender estimates we’ll need to cover our down payment and closing costs, but we’re going to continue to pile up money until we’ve actually moved in (in early September). Once we’re settled in we’ll need some money handy to cover things like a refrigerator, lawn mower and window coverings. Plus, I’ll have a tuition payment due in a few weeks (we’re paying cash for school this time). Once we’ve dealt with all of that we’ll start knocking out the debt again.
Between minimum debt payments and the money we moved into savings ($2,024) we used 35% of our take home pay toward meeting our goals. Not our best month ever, but not bad either.
Stay tuned for the August budget post coming up tomorrow. I’ll share with you how I boss around all of our dollars.
It’s Friday the 13th, but there is nothing weird going on here. The week has come to an end and as usual we’ve done some spending. I posted the budget earlier this month so you know we plan to spend $4,112 in July. So far we’ve burned through $2,421 of those dollars ($1,876 last week and $545 this week) and we’ve got $1,691 left in the budget.
Here’s the skinny on who/what/where/when/how we spent $545 in the past week.
We don’t have too many transactions to report this week. We hit up the grocery store twice to the tune of $145. That’s pretty high, but we did stock up on some items so I’m hopeful that we’ll spend less than average next week (I don’t know why I’m always hopeful that the grocery bill will go down – it never does). On top of groceries our eating out spree from last week continued to beat up the budget early on this week. There goes another $49. We’ve just got to stop eating altogether. We’d save so much money.
Two irregular expenses got paid for this week. $66 to renew the registration on one of our vehicles and $242 for contact lenses so that I can continue to see while I’m driving said vehicle. Unfortunately it takes more than just up-to-date tags to make a car move so we did have to shell out $34 for gas.
The last thing we spent money on was $5 worth of entertainment. We have a second-run movie theater near us where you can see a matinee for $1.25. Um, that’s cheap! Yes the movies are two or three months old, but who cares at this price. We took in a Saturday matinee and another on Sunday. Even when the movies suck, it’s still worth $5 just to enjoy the air conditioning. We saw What to Expect When You’re Expecting (it wasn’t great, but it was cute) and we saw Battleship (it was totally cheesy). You can probably guess who picked each movie. The cheap theater is our favorite frugal fun.
We are slightly over budget in two categories (I hate those red bars you see up there), but we can make up that $17 overage. I forgot to add in tax when I was estimating the cost of contacts and I splurged for the $2 processing fee on my vehicle registration so that I could just pay online. I know that cost me $1.59 more than using a stamp and writing a check, but it was worth it for the convenience. I think I’m going to come in under budget on my haircut so that’ll help make up for these little goofs.
Being pretty much on track for the month is a good feeling. How is your budget looking now that July is half over?