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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)

Pork Chops, Marinated and on the Grill
Greek Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Cate O'Malley

Saturday 5th of June 2010

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 =-.