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Mid-Month Check

February 13th, 2013 at 03:34 pm

Tomorrow is 1/2 way through the month so I did a check on some of our budget numbers. Some, like the car repair accounts I just throw an amount into that "bucket" every month and I let it accumulate until we need it. Some, like groceries, we try to stay under the budget amount and then I zero it out and move the money into savings or do something fun at the end of the month.

These are some of the check numbers

Grocery - we have 53% of our budget left
Auto Fuel - we have 53% of our budget left
Clothing - we've used all the budget up
Home Maint - we've used all the budget
Miscellaneous - I have a slush fund of $122 to cover anything unexpected

There's more but I'm feeling fairly solid for the month. I don't think we're going to end up with a surplus like last month but we should stay on budget overall, after moving some amounts from fund to fund.

More on the Mom situation. I have raided my cleaning supplies and put them in a box to take down there. I also bought her a new vacuum because I'm not sure she has a working one at her house. I'm pretty sure the carpets are toast but I have to get it to a point where we can at least get them pulled up and hauled out of there. I'm taking our shop vac the next time I go down there, but it will have to come back home with me.

After I had forced my way in there last week it was obvious nothing has been vacuumed or cleaned in a very long time. I was trying to remember the last time I'd been inside the door and I think it was last summer. I called around to other family members and a neighbor of hers and she's pretty much been keeping everybody out of the house. Whenever anybody goes over to meet her or pick her up for something she meets them on the front porch and carefully shuts and locks that door so nobody can see in. The psychiatrists classify her as a hoarder but I don't agree because she really doesn't "hoard" anything. She just lives in filth and then things start to break but she won't tell anybody because they'd have to come over and see the house for it to get it fixed for her. I'm going to start a list next time I'm down there of everything that needs repaired. After I start making in-roads on getting things cleaner and stabilized, my husband is going to start helping with some of the repair work.

I've been looking hard at some of our savings accounts and I found that I have enough in the Education funds to get son #1 graduated this spring and then pay for son #2 through next winter. That's more than enough to get us through until the next bonus, which should pay for the bulk of son #2's tuition bills for the year after. I've been saving $400 a month into that account and I think we're going to cut that down in order to pay for the increased Mom-care expenses.

I Had Such Big Plans

February 1st, 2013 at 03:59 pm

So earlier in the week I was looking at my Calendar and I noticed that February 1st happened to fall on Friday. Awesome! Because I had in the back of my mind this niggling thought that I should create a blog and what better time do accomplish that other than the first day of the month on a Friday --- which is typically the day when I have a good amount of free time.

Then Friday morning hit and my mind was a complete blank.

But here I am, and I had promised myself I would get this thing going, so let's all just push our way through.

My best piece of news for the week was that our family finished up the month of January $546.42 under budget. This was in categories such as Groceries, Entertainment, Clothing etc etc. Much discussion abounded amongst the household what to do with our windfall and the final decision was...

$100 to Emergency Savings
$100 to my Retirement Fund (separate from DH's 401k)
$300 to Our Big Adventure (vacations) and Gift Giving Savings Account

and the final $46.42 I gave to my older children to put onto their Student Loans. This was because they both spent a good amount of time here in January and I told them that if they would ~try~ not to eat me out of house and home and run us over budget in groceries I would split the "savings" with them.

So in other activity, I was recently watching a documentary from ESPN 30 for 30 titled "Broke." It has to deal with the enormous number of Professional athletes (over 70%) who find themselves bankrupt or in financial difficulties shortly after their careers ended.

I admit, I was fascinated as to how this could happen. These people make millions and millions of dollars and then it just ..... evaporates on them. My fascination is fueled a bit just by the sheer human nature of being attracted to other people's drama and failure as a means to make yourself feel better. I mean, sure I've made mistakes in my life but LOOK AT THEM, THEY'VE MADE MUCH BIGGER ONES!!! It is awfully judgmental of me.

Stepping back though I looked through that list of athletes and I realized they were all so young when they made their money and for the most part they went from relative poverty or at best middle class to enormous wealth. I tried to imagine what the results would be if somebody stuck a couple of million dollars into one of my 20-something children's bank account.

I have to tell you, it'd likely be a disaster. Just as it would have been a disaster if somebody had given me so much money in those early years of adulthood.

We talk much in this country about the lack of fiscal education. I think "Broke" shows this lack of such education at the most extreme level. It also shows our immaturity and failures personally (me included) and as a society. Most of us when we are young make financial mistakes, many of us (often me too) keep making them long after we are old enough to know better.

These athletes make them with lots of zeroes added onto the end as Dave Ramsey would say.

That's about all I can think of for now. I will try to get back in a couple of days to continue the blog. I do highly recommend the ESPN documentary Broke if you get the chance to see it.