Money gifts: what now?

Thanks to the long weekend (and because I’m a very good procrastinator), my Week 7 Review post is kind of being shoved into this post. Whoops!

What I’d Struggled With

Well, first off, I spent a lot of money very quickly early on in the week. By Tuesday, I only had shy of $17 remaining of my $60 weekly budget. After that, however, I didn’t really spend much for the rest of the week.

Where My Money Went

As mentioned in my last post, I spent the big chunk of money on things with which to make a yummy dinner. I had a knitting meet-up during the week, too, and spent $10 on a drink and the tip. I also spent a couple of buck on milk, candy, and chips on Friday for my parents visit. (Empty fridge isn’t exactly a good way to welcome guests to your home!)

Where My Money Didn’t Go

I had to pay for parking for the aforementioned knitting shin-dig.

Total Spent: $53.34
Added to Money Jar:
 $6.66 (eep!!)
Total in Money Jar:
 $86.49

So, what’s with the title of this post, eh? Well, here’s the deal.

I have a pretty awesome family. They’re legitimately insane sometime, but I continue to enjoy my life and it’s pretty much their fault. 🙂 That being said, my sister gave me a handful of money when we saw her on Sunday as a belated congratulations on my engagement. My mother gave me an “I love this much!” wad of dough, as she usually does. I was happy! I am happy! But… I had to ask myself: What does this do to my budget???

The old me would be like, “YES! SPEND IT! LET’S GOOOO!”

The new me had to weigh the pros and cons of two options:

  1. Use this money for my budget until it runs out, as opposed to going to the ATM.
  2. Put it all in my jar and pretend that it doesn’t exist.

I wish I could just deposit it into my savings account and ignore it, but as I’ve mentioned before, I am a member of an online bank and can’t deposit cash. I’m leaning more towards the 2nd option… but, we’ll see…

Anyway, currently…

Week 8 Allowance Status: $60.00 / $60.00

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Week 6 in review.

A day later than usual for my weekly update, but here we go!

What I’d Struggled With

The only real tricky part of this week was that I went through more of my allowance sooner than I’d done before. On Saturday when I wanted to buy some stuff at CVS for a party on Sunday, I had to make myself wait because I knew it’d be more than the $16 and change that I had on me. Same on Friday when I had to figure out if I wanted to spend money on something to bring to another party, or just use the stuff I had at home already.

Where My Money Went

Mainly, I spent the $40-something on snacks and a small grocery shopping trip.

Where My Money Didn’t Go

For the aforementioned party I went to on Friday, I ended up baking brownies with a raspberry-strawberry sauce on the side. (Frustratingly enough, nobody touched them at the party. Sigh…) I spent non-allowance money on a cab fare and on reloading my subway card on Saturday. I spent some of my Starbucks gold card money, too, but luckily there was a buy-one-get-one deal going on. Still, though, I only have $4.25 left on my gold card and the $15 gift card left. And it’s only February. Ugh. Old habits, right?

So, remembering that I had to spend some money from the jar on my fiance’s birthday dinner, my jar is still a bit under $100.

Total Spent: $43.15
Added to Money Jar:
 $16.85
Total in Money Jar:
 $79.83

On Sunday, I had to go to the grocery store to buy some things for making a dessert for yet another party I was attending. (Since when have I gotten popular enough to be invited out three times in a week? Eep!) I spent $21.43 on generic Chex-like cereal, powdered sugar, generic “funfetti”-like cake mix, generic white chocolate chips, generic sprinkles, granulated sugar, and cilantro. All but the last two were used to make some delicious funfetti-flavored “puppy chow”. As delicious as it was, I’m not so sure it was worth the money I’d spent on the ingredients.

So, starting off this week, I’m already down a bit…

Weekly Allowance: $60.00
Weekly Allowance Remaining: $38.57

J

January in Review

I know I’ve been kind of silent the past few days, but the day job has been slowly sucking the life out of me. Luckily, being so busy means that I don’t have time to be too impulsive with my purchases! Still, money was spent in the past two days on coffee and tipping a bartender (the drinks were free!).

Weekly Allowance: $60.00
Weekly Allowance Remaining: $46.84

Now, today is the last day of January, which means my first month of this challenge is done!

Total in Money Jar: $62.08

In my last post, I mentioned how I had to tap into my money jar and spend a good chunk of it on my fiance’s birthday dinner. Hopefully I’ll be back over the $100 mark by the end of this week so I can continue saving up for those rainy-day, surprising things that just happen to come up once in a while. (Stupid birthdays! Whose idea was this!? 😀 ) But, for the first month, I think I’ve done quite well; however, there are some things I really want to work on for February.

  • I want to explore couponing a bit more. This is tricky because my fiance is responsible for our grocery shopping trips, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help him, right?
  • I want to share with you guys the details of how I do things for free in Boston. (I’ve done this once or twice already, but I really ought to expand on this!) This is an expensive city and yet we have ways of getting free things: parking, drinks, food, etc.
  • I should talk more about my and my fiance’s goals a bit more. We’re not very knowledgeable in things like buying a home, getting a loan, etc. yet we’re going to have to learn in the upcoming months how to do so! As we learn, I hope that you’ll learn.
  • I want to start selling unwanted things so I can have more money in my jar while reducing the clutter in our apartment.

A couple of things that are going to be coming up in February that can affect me financially:

  • A few parties (Super Bowl, etc.) will be happening early in the month.
  • There’s a high chance I will be traveling to China for business in mid-February.
  • My father’s birthday is coming up and odds are I will have to pay for dinner and a gift.

That’s about it! Thanks for sticking around, and I hope you continue throughout February!

One month down, eleven to go…

J

Birthday success (and how it impacted my money jar)!

Before leaving for dinner, I grabbed $80 from the money jar. Dinner ended up totaling $83.89 after tax, before tip – two drinks, one appetizer, two entrees, and four mini-dessert “shots”. Not too shabby! I used the $25 pre-paid credit card I got for the holidays from my boss and used cash for the rest, including tip. In the end, I spent the gift card and $80, putting the remaining $5 in my money jar. It definitely could’ve been worse, and here’s how:

  • I could’ve gotten a second drink, but didn’t.
  • I could’ve done valet parking, but didn’t.
  • I could’ve gotten a cappucino, but instead I made coffee when we returned home.

I was definitely pleasantly surprised at my self-control, and – bonus! – we had a damn good time. So, because I didn’t touch my weekly money (just the jar)…

Weekly Allowance: $60.00
Weekly Allowance Remaining: $55.84

But…

Previous Total in Money Jar: $142.08
Spent from Money Jar: $80.00
Total in Money Jar: $62.08

And, we’re back! 3 week update.

So, my bad day is behind us, so let’s get back to it!

What I’d Struggled With
I didn’t really have too much of a hard time this week. I had to turn down lunch invitations from coworkers, but this week was so crazy that I didn’t really have time to go out and about much at all. At my knitting meetup I actually didn’t drink anything other than water, which was weird for me. Haha.

Where My Money Went
I spent allowance money on wine and snacks last Sunday, Dunkin Donuts during the week, and a quick trip to CVS for makeup during the week as well as yesterday for snacks.

Where My Money Didn’t Go
Some free lunches at work, subway and bus rides, and car maintenance and gas.

Total Spent: $21.64
Added to Money Jar: $38.36
Total in Money Jar: $142.08

As of writing this post, I spent shy of $5 on coffee for me and a milkshake for my fiancé. Let this new week be better than the last!

Weekly Allowance: $60.00
Weekly Allowance Remaining: $55.84

Sunday funday: second week in review.

This post is being posted at night instead of in the morning because I had a fantastic weekend that deserves a post of its own! However, I will mention how my spending went down very nicely in week two, even with an impromptu coffee run on Saturday night.

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What I’d Struggled With
I didn’t have as much anxiety as I did last week, but I did have a bit of a strange, pitiful moment on Amazon. Luckily I learned from it and moved on.

Where My Money Went
I spent allowance money on coffee (for me) and hot cocoa (for my fiancé) Saturday night, and coffee and a granola bar on Wednesday.

Where My Money Didn’t Go
As usual, I ate free food at the office on days that I forgot to bring my own lunch. I spent non-allowance money on my dentist appointment copay, prescription, electric toothbrush, wedding stuff, gas, and car maintenance.

Total Spent: $26.93
Added to Money Jar: $33.07
Total in Money Jar: $103.72

As of writing this post, I spent money on wine and snacks. Yum and yum. 🙂

Weekly Allowance: $60.00
Weekly Allowance Remaining: $51.74

First full week, in review.

I probably should have posted this yesterday… whoops! But, here’s how my first full week of living on this $60 allowance went.

What I’d Learned
I definitely discovered that I apparently don’t have much need to spend money during the work week. At my office, there’s so much free food that even if I forget to pack a lunch, there’s a 90% chance I’ll find something to eat. In fact, the only time I spent money on food was when out at a trivia night with friends on Thursday, and even then I only spent just over $5.

I also learned I have a really great fiancé. Okay… I guess I technically knew this already… but still! I learned that my guy is so on board with my little challenge that he automatically pays for things he knows are either his responsibility, or that he knows I deserve (for lack of a better term). So far, I haven’t had to ask him to pay for something – this while thing seems very instinctual.

What I’d Struggled With
I definitely had a bit of anxiety when grocery shopping. No longer can I just buy without looking at the prices of things. I also have to prioritize. Not deviating fun my shopping list is also a struggle, for sure.

Where My Money Went
I spent allowance money on dinner at trivia night and at the grocery store. I used my Starbucks gold card once. I also bought gas early in the week and paid for parking using my debit card, which doesn’t come out of the budget.

Where My Money Didn’t Go
I could’ve spent a lot more on groceries, and I had water instead of a second beer at trivia. I cooked on nights when I didn’t feel like it. I ate free food at work the day I’d forgotten to pack lunch.

Total Spent: $23.35
Added to Money Jar: $36.65
Total in Money Jar: $70.65

As of writing this post, I haven’t spent any of this new week’s budget, so…

Weekly Allowance: $60.00
Weekly Allowance Remaining: $60.00

J

I bring to you: the jar.

As I write this on my tablet, it’s Saturday night and I’ve spent zero dollars of my mini-allowance for this first, short week. No tricks… just a short work week and lots of snow, locking me in my apartment, well away from Starbucks.

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There it is! All $34 in my jar! This may be a simple mason jar, but I’ve decided to make it as focused on the big picture as I can.

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I’ve started writing goals on shiny duct tape and sticking them to the jar to remind me of the whole point of this thing.

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At any point, if I think of more goals, I’ll add them to the jar. But, for now, it’s pretty simple: house, baby, puppy, and a kick-ass kitchen. We need money for that stuff, and here’s to hoping I’m on my way!

Weekly Allowance: $60.00
Weekly Allowance Remaining: $60.00
Money Jar Status: $34.00

J