Getting Back on Financial Track

It’s been about ten days since I made my confessional about overspending. I’ve been diligently tracking my daily expenses in a little paper notebook, and I can honestly say that it’s made me much more aware of my spending. I went online to double check, but overall I kept a pretty good tab. It feels really good to be getting back on financial track.

I also managed to leave my credit card at home. I cringed a bit when I paid for gas with my debit card, knowing that I wasn’t earning miles. Yet, it felt great when I just went online to check our account, and realized that I didn’t need to log on to two other credit cards in order to get an accurate view of our current finances.

Aside from my overspending, we had also realized that one of our cash flow problems was that I had fallen behind on getting reimbursed for pre-K tuition. When I was earning a salary, our reimbursements went into our vacation fund. So it didn’t matter that we weren’t caught up on submitting claims (unless we had a trip coming up!) But now that the flexible spending is taken out of Hubby’s paycheck for the $535 monthly tuition, it matters that we get paid back. It turned out that I hadn’t submitted a reimbursement since the new year, so we had $1500 ready to be paid out. It’s almost like an extra pay check!

So here’s my list of expenses for the past eleven days. It’s obviously not a perfectly balanced ledger, and doesn’t include regular household bills. But it is a glimpse at my spending habits/priorities.

$9.35 – Post office – ship to Miel and Kelly

$10.00 – Rotary (breakfast, brag, cookie from exchange student)
$2.00 – Coffee for two hour work session
+ $32 – Exchanged Hubby’s broken watch for a cheaper one
$0.00 – New glasses bought entirely with my REI rebate (normally $49.95)

+$100.00 – Sold Hubby’s unused beer making kit
$47.00 – Shandong family dinner out
$47.00 – Ace – Lock box, key copies

$175 – Ace – Chair patio set and Welcome mat (Staging photos for AirBnB/Kid & Coe)
$6 – Washman car wash
$38.11 – Costco (Pizza, salad and snacks for beach trip)
$66.66 – Gas to drive to the beach cabins

$13.50 – Swirl frozen yogurt

+553.00 – AirBnB weekend reservation
$49.95 – IKEA high chair & blanket
$10.98 – IKEA meatballs

$5 – Rotary meeting
$10.35 – SCRAP (A crafty reuse non-profit for mosaic supplies)

$58.03 New Seasons (Pdx local grocery store)
$3.79 New Seasons – coffee & muffin

$29 – Oregon Children’s Theater, Fancy Nancy Tickets

While in my mind, I was very thoughtful about my spending, it’s obviously not a strict cut back (Hubby would prefer that I leave my wallet at home entirely…but that’s not going to happen!). I had several things I had already decided to buy, and felt were still priorities. Like tickets to see Fancy Nancy with Girly for earning 100 chore points or a cheap high chair for the patio. And I bought a chair set for the patio and extra blanket for hosting through AirBnB/Kid & Coe (more on this very soon!). Like I’ve said before, I’m VERY good at justifying my expenses.

So, the next step is to continue to make sure we have the income to pay for all of the wants in life.

How do you prioritize your spending?
How do you balance your “wants” with your income?


Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

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