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Archive for December, 2018

2018 Financial Wins and Fails

December 28th, 2018 at 06:57 am

Wins:

Cash flowed Christmas!

Have kept track of spending - excel spreadsheet of major bills and six months of grocery store spending. Who knew a family of four could spend $1000 per month on groceries alone.

Took lunch to work over 80% of the time, when working in the office.

Tracked travel expenses and transferred extra expense money to savings.

Saved ~$500 by borrowing digital books from the library. (Love my kindle!)

Reduced family eating out to once per week.

Started this blog!

Fails:

On average, spent over $1,000 in groceries each month.

Invested in the stock market and the market has been falling ever since. (Yes, you can blame me!)

Haven't paid anything extra on the mortgage.

Survived the holiday - Next!

December 28th, 2018 at 06:01 am

New user error! I had a great entry written and now it is lost. Frown

The blog was about the cost of Christmas. Adding up receipts and guesstimating for expenditures not recorded, we spent about $900 on Christmas. This does not include the big ticket family gift of a cruise in July 2019. I think $900 sounds modest for a family of four. We spent about $600 on our kids gifts, small gifts from kids to my husband and I and food and decorations. We had a simple meal, using freezer and pantry item and only purchased a roast from the grocery store.

Now I am faced with the kids home from school until January 7th. I am sure we will see a movie or two and attend a hockey game or two. I will try to keep costs down.

While adding up the cost of Christmas, I realize that this amount was "cash flowed" from extra December income sources (extra in the paycheck from no social security deduction and an extra paycheck). I have been watching budgeting videos on Youtube. I am curious about sinking funds. I don't do sinking funds per say but move any extra $ in the checking account to savings.

I have tried YNAB and EveryDollar (ED) previously but could never quite figure out how to start. We live on last month's income (meaning that I have already set up to pay January bills and we still have money left over) but I can't figure out how to start YNAB and ED. Do I start with $0 and allocate the next paycheck received?

Any advice on YNAB or ED and sinking funds would be appreciated....

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

December 24th, 2018 at 11:02 am

FYI, this is not a $$$ related post.

This morning, my kids and I were debating whether it was appropriate to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. My son told me that one of his public school teachers counseled a classmate for saying Merry Christmas. I thought the "counseling" was probably exaggerated but it prompted our talk.

I have always wished friends and others Merry Christmas. I say it and accept the wishes out of wanting to express general love and respect and share what gives me hope and purpose. I am not offended when friends wish me a Happy Hanukkah. I accept the Happy Hanukkah with the same.

So, new blog friends, please accept my Merry Christmas with the spirit and intent meant. I wish you all well.

Family COO - Let me introduce myself

December 22nd, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Hi all,
I've been lurking for sometime now, commenting when I felt I could add to the discussion. Otherwise, I was a silent member of the audience.

I'm hoping to use this blog to document my trials and tribulations. I am the primary breadwinner in the family, and I have a good job. My job does require me to travel, so the downside is I miss out on evenings home with the kids. But, my husband would say, on the upside, you miss out on evenings home with the kids. It's all perspective, I guess.


I make decent money, have great benefits and I still feel as if I'm struggling to make ends meet. I have a great retirement account and plenty of liquid funds. I just have the mindset that maybe it won't be enough. My financial adviser tells me that I will have more than enough money for retirement and that I'll likely leave money behind for my children. Yet somehow, I can't enjoy spending money.

I would love, love, love to have a LV Carry All bag but the thought of carrying a $1200 purse/tote chokes me. I would love to enjoy dinner out with my family (4 of us) and the thought of spending $80 - $100 on dinner (with tip), makes me choke.

I know that I am blessed. I just wish I could relax and enjoy what I have.

Does anyone else feel the same way?