My Spending Diet: Week 12

The hardest thing about freelancing is waiting for the checks to arrive … and this was one of those waiting weeks where it felt like they would never, ever come. Fortunately, thanks to My Spending Diet, I have money set aside in the bank for when the finances get challenging.

Aside from this, this was an okay week for spending.

What Happened: Last week, I started using a mostly cash-only spending plan. This week I continued that. We did our grocery shopping as planned last weekend. I ended up breaking it into two days, with one day being a Target (dum da dum dum!) day. We needed some bigger supplies, so it cost more than other weeks. I’d share exact numbers, but I just can’t remember right now. After groceries, we had about $80 left.

Of course, my grocery shopping was majorly flawed this week. For one thing, I forgot to actually buy everything on the list, which meant I had to make a midweek stop at the store. Even with that stop, I still forgot to buy some things. SIGH.

On a good note though, I made a smart choice this week — passing up take out on a busy night for a trip to the grocery store for what we needed. Honestly, I wanted the homecooked meal more anyway!

Also, I used my Amex card this week once or twice for clothes, since it’s summertime and I have finally lost enough weight that I need clothes to fit. As Cate always tells me, it’s a good problem to have. I also used my debit card to pay for tickets to see Shrek Forever After with Shawn and the kids. It was a really cute movie that we all enjoyed — and totally worth seeing. We went to the matinee, which was $6/ticket … a big savings over the normal $8.50/ticket.

It wasn’t a perfect spending week — but then, what week is?

Another thing that happened? I found a big snafu on a bank statement. A few months back, I opened a savings account for Paige to save for her tuition for school. Under the Uniform Trust to Minor Act (a Connecticut law, though other states have their own versions – either called the Uniform Trust to Minors Act or the Uniform Gift to Minors Act), a parent can save for a child for any expenses whatsoever and usually with no penalties for having low balances, etc. However, Paige’s account was getting hit with service fees for having a low-balance. Knowing that this shouldn’t be, I immediately phoned the bank this morning and after a bit of discussion, got it resolved. It just goes to show that you really need to pay attention to your bank statements … mistakes happen (in this case, the account wasn’t properly labeled as a custodial account), and with a little effort you can get them fixed.

What’s Next: I adore being on a mostly cash-only spending plan. It really makes me pay attention more to how I spend and what I spend on. So, that is continuing. This week, I upped my withdrawal to $220 due to the extra supplies needed, but for the upcoming week I am going back to $200. Also, I am continuing to squirrel away my extra change for our upcoming vacation. Some readers suggested not spending any change at all … as much as I love paying with exact change, I love the idea of saving more by using whole bills so I am going to try that.

Changed Saved for Vacay This Week: $2.13 (ALL WEEKS TOTAL: $4.16)

Photo credit: cohdra from


  1. says

    One of Suze Orman’s tips was to never spend change. Even if something is only 50 cents, pay with a dollar bill and immediately put away the change. We’ve been doing that here for years, and it’s usually good for about $50 a month when we schlep it down to the bank coin machine for tallying. Love that!
    .-= Cate O’Malley´s last blog ..Chicken Parmesan Burgers =-.

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