Thursday, February 5, 2009

Budget woes

I have Friday off since I worked last weekend.  I have lots of things on my to do list. Here are a few:
Laundry- I washed only enough on Sunday to get us through the week so I have LOTS to do.
Poop Patrol- The snow pack is melting in the backyard and has revealed too many presents deposited by the dog. EEW!!  We had enough snow often enough that it was out of sight, out of mind for a while- but no more.
BUDGET REVIEW!!!  I have a checking account account, V has an account and we have a joint account.  Yeah, I know- kind of crazy but this is a result of our marriage woes of a few years ago.  My lawyer advised me to have my own account and keep all my money separate.  (OOSH! I'm glad we're through all that mess)  But it has worked for us.  My paycheck is directly deposited into my account, V and I both feed money into the joint account and most bills are paid from that. I do most of the grocery shopping, pay the boy's tuition for their before/after school program, pay lunch money to schools, etc.  The problem is that last month $250 more went OUT of my account than IN.  While there is a cushion so this wasn't a problem, this is something that can't continue.  I realize that last month was exceptional in lots of ways.  We had bigger credit card bills than usual due to Christmas (we always pay in full every month), we purchased our side of beef and it was incredibly cold, leading to a gas/electric bill of $307!!!  But still!  V and I need to sit down and run through things so we can both get on the same page here.  I don't anticipate it being difficult, just annoying.
But, with things looking the way they are, we can't afford to keep hemorrhaging money every month.  I do need a few things from the store.  I need at least one new pair of pants for work since one of my favorite pair got ripped yesterday and I need to look "professional" (yes, we have a dress code).  I  also need to get something to use for trellising my peas when I plant them in a few weeks.  I'm going to look in the local thrift stores for pants and will keep an eye out for trellis material.  I'm hoping for something on Craigslist.
But at least it is supposed to be warm this weekend.  Highs into the 40s!! Time to break out the swimsuit.


  1. We too are feeling the budget woes - I ended up making a bunch of snacks tonight just so I didn't have to go grocery shopping and spend money on junk.......I just keep saying spring will be here shortly and Todd will start raking in the overtime (and repeat:)) Have a great evening!

  2. We're with you on the budget woes! Boy, it's hard...

  3. We're going to get that thaw, too, which means the U of I South Farms will be perfuming the whole town...

  4. I guess I should stop complaining about my utility bill, it wasn't that high but it was sure a lot higher than we are used to.

    I sure hope the weather warms up soon to help us all out in the budget department. It is so hard.

  5. A daunting list! I agree with Stephany, here's hoping that this is a short winter to get some relief from the utility heat bills. A budget review is a good idea.... I don't formally keep track of my budget, but I do have a general sense of my spending each month and know that it'll be a bit of adjustment if I go out of that.

    I think that sometimes spending goes in cycles: I buy quite a bit more in the winter in the way of seeds, garden equipment, etc. and then the spring/summer is very spars when I eat/use the rewards of the investment. The utility bill is higher in the winter, but then in the summer it goes down to practically nothing (I don't use air conditioning etc). Yours sounds a bit the same: the side of beef was a huge investment, but then it'll feed your family for a long time.

    Good luck on the review and plan - it is something I need to plan out better I think....

  6. We have budget on the list of to do this weekend! I have planned for us to go over january with a fine tooth comb and try to get DH to work WITH me! we make plenty of money but feel like my checking account is a giant sieve. Kris

  7. I suspect many/most of us are with you on the budget problems.

    Our power bill for the last two months has been over $400! Of course, we have an all electric house. I have set back the thermostat, put up curtains, and made draft stoppers for the doors. Still too high!

    The money keeps going out, and it's not coming in nearly fast enough!!

    For trellising beans and peas, I just stick poles in the ground every 4 feet or so and tie thick twine or clothesline to it as the plants grow. Never had a problem and it packs up nicely when I'm done with it.

  8. Saving and lowering the outgoing is an ongoing thing with me since I'm trying to get used to the idea of retirement soon and the lowered income. Good Luck and I hope your discussion is very productive!

    If you figure out a nice budget friendly way to get those trellises, let us know. Trellising is such a huge outlay and it would be nice to have another option in the back pocket.

  9. Kris- I think I'm going to try to make my own granola bars today as well. We're gone most of tomorrow for my Father's birthday (He will be 85!) so at least I have today to get stuff done.
    LisaZ- I know I'm not the only one.
    Joyce- YUCK
    Stephany- One problem with our house is that it was built in the early 1920's. We've done a lot to weatherize it but short of replacing the windows with energy efficient ones (which would destroy it's charm) we've done about all we can do. Another problem is that with children home for winter break and now V home all the time, the furnace has been cranked up much higher than it usually is. GRRR
    LocalZone- I think you're right- it does go in cycles. I already know that we have spent much less on 'stuff' in January than in December (hence with much lower credit card bills) but it still takes me back that we went into deficit spending!
    Kris- Good luck getting your DH to work with you. I sometimes think mine is just thick headed.
    Lisa- Hope you can get your heat bills under control as well. We have been doing the stick and twine trellis for a while but we tend to have too much wind and it falls over at least once a year. I'm hoping for something sturdier that won't break the bank.
    Christy- Welcome- I'll keep you posted if I find anything good. I saw a great trellis system in my Seed Starter's Handbook that I think we may use for our pole beans but it's kind of labor intensive. I'm hoping for something quicker to assemble for my peas.

  10. A reminder to go on poop patrol early in the morning before the thaw hits. EWWWWWW. I wish I'd have reminded MYSELF about that. YUCK.

    What kind of pants? What size? If you're looking dockers, I might be able to hook you up. I only wear jeans to work. Every single blissful day. Is this too personal a question? I just thought that you're surrounded by people who believe in reduce/reuse/recycle and we might have a fix for your pants woes. Just a thought.

  11. We handle our accounts that way too so not strange to me at all. I'm trying really hard to rein in the leaky money too.

    Good luck with the search for pants and trellis material (I bet you find both!)

  12. Thanks for the warning Meadowlark. I was aware of that but I was still too late. It warmed up faster than I thought and by the time I got out there. EWWW. I gave up and will try again tomorrow morning before it warms up too much.
    Gina- Our finance arrangements work well for us too. We had a fairly productive discussion then went shopping ;) I did find one pair of work pants and a pair of jeans (not for work) for $4 each. Not too bad. No luck on the trellis though. We're tossing over ideas though. We need something sturdy enough that it doesn't get blown over in the wind again.


Glad you stopped in. I would love to hear from you.