<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Envelope System
 

Viewing the 'Envelope System' Category

How do I love thee, kitchen items? Let me count the ways!

April 12th, 2015 at 08:52 am

This morning I entered the amount for the few little groceries I bought yesterday into EveryDollar. I also checked balances in my envelopes. I'm doing very well with my spending. When I funded my envelopes last Friday I got $60 for groceries. I'd budgeted $75 for two weeks but wanted to come in under that if possible so $60 seemed like a good goal. I still have $40 of that so I feel as though I've accomplished something. However, there are a few things I need before Friday, the next pay day and I'll probably get those later today or tomorrow before work. I budgeted $25 for gas for two weeks and still have $15 of that and $10 of the $15 I'd budgeted for Sammy the cat. Yeah, all in all I'm doing great!

I posted some clothes and household goods on a local free stuff group. I hope someone wants it all because I very much want the stuff gone. Decluttering is pretty easy for me but I have a few emotional issues with some of it, especially kitchen items.

My apartment is about 540 square feet with a seemingly impossibly small kitchen. It has few cupboards, a tiny amount of countertop, two drawers and no pantry. But I love to cook and do it daily. Fortunately, most of my cooking is simple so all I really *need* are basic items. The problem, though, is that I'm so very attracted to kitchen gadgets and doodads! An all expenses paid trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond is my idea of a great contest prize! Ha ha!

Over the last few years I've managed to calm down that crazy side of myself but I still have things I rarely use. For example, I found a blender at Target three years ago for $6. It gets pulled out a few times a year, generally to make hummus. Keep it or let it go? And there's my KitchenAid mixer. I'd wanted one for many years and scrimped until I had enough to get the red one that made my heart sing. The problem is that I haven't used it for over a year and prior to that its main job was to make shortbread, my all time favorite treat, and that was done only between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The thought of getting rid of that beauty causes anxiety so I keep it. It sits on a counter and takes up space but I smile each time my eyes spy it. I think it needs to stay, at least for now. Maybe soon I'll feel ready to sell it but not yet.

And then there's the electric digital pressure cooker. Another tool I love and one I rarely use now. It produces the best tasting and most tender roast I've ever had but I don't eat much meat now. Of course, I could use it to make vegetable soup. Hmmm, maybe I should try that today. And what about the stovetop pressure cooker? One of my sisters gave it to me a couple of years ago. I've not used it but can't seem to part with it because it was a gift. And let's not even get started on the slow cookers and coffee cup collection!

See the problem?

That darn kitchen. I have so much affection for the inanimate objects contained within it and have saved that corner for the last of the big push to simplify. I thought I'd be ready by now but I don't feel ready. Yes, I know it's just stuff and I know that each item can be replaced easily, if not cheaply, if necessary. But it's still so hard to even consider letting some of those things go.

I think I'll list the kitchen items to which I have no attachment (like a few of the many whisks I have and the wine bottle opener thingamabopper I've used once..what are those even called?) and enjoy the freedom of that for awhile. Maybe then I'll feel ready to rid myself of the other stuff. We'll see. It's a process and for me it's been a long one.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying a day off work and am about to head into the kitchen to give vegetable soup in the pressure cooker a try!

Happy Sunday. :-)

Pay day and catching up a little

April 3rd, 2015 at 05:40 am

Thursday was another no spend day. I think that makes 4 this week. That's pretty exciting! I didn't go to Mom's house or the nursing home because I was just too flipping tired to do much at all.

I did make a delicious crustless broccoli quiche and between that and the soup I made Wednesday, I shouldn't need to buy any meals at work and there's no excuse to do the "I'm too tired to cook, let me just grab this on the way home" thing. I don't do that often but need to do it even less often. The quiche is also marvelous for a quick breakfast and it freezes, travels, and reheats very well.

I needed to do laundry yesterday but plumbers were working in the laundry room all day so I hand-washed two shirts, an apron, and some stockings and hung them to dry. I have clean pants so I'm good to go for today and tomorrow. Since Sunday is Easter and the store is closed, Mom and I are going to have dinner at her house. I'll take my laundry over there that morning and get it tended to. Yeah, I'm 52 and take my laundry to my mother's house but I go there several times a week and it was her idea years ago for me to do that. To wash and dry in my complex costs $1.25 a load. That doesn't sound like much but it really adds up so I'm thankful Mom doesn't mind me doing laundry at her place. I buy the detergent and usually wash, dry, and put away at least two loads of hers while I'm at it so it helps us both.

Today is pay day! Once I confirmed my pay was in my account, I paid the rent and water which came to $587.00, $21.32 to my Chase credit card bringing the balance to $100, and later today will pay $80 to Target. That's an account Mom and I both use and pay, though I generally use and pay more than she does. Once the $80 is paid, the balance will be $2,797.12. I really want that one gone but right now am doing well to make the minimum and a little more when I can so I suck it up and deal with it. I paid the electric bill of $54.87 Wednesday and paid my internet bill last week so after I make the Target payment this afternoon, I won't have any bills due until the end of the month. Wooohooo! I need to go to the bank on the way to work for cash to fund my grocery and gas envelopes.

After the funk I found myself in when the ex died, I didn't care about bills. I paid them but wasn't concerned if they were late and I indulged in a little too much retail therapy, eating out, and general irresponsibility. That put me behind and led to more stress, just deepening the funk. I'm so glad I'm back on track with logging income and expenses and using my envelope system. Doing those things doesn't give me more money but it ensures the bills are paid on time and the necessities are covered. I still run with just a small amount of money in my checking account but I have some money in savings, bill payments are timely, I have food to eat, and a job I love or least like a lot most of the time so I feel grateful! The stress level is decreased and that's a very, very good thing.

This site is so motivational and y'all just rock! It's difficult for me to read some of your blogs because I don't understand stocks, bonds, and having large sums of income or large sums of savings but each of you is inspirational, nonetheless, and I thank you.

Happy Friday!

Long time no blog!

March 28th, 2015 at 07:34 pm

Way too long! Umm, a little over three years too long. ;-)

I'm still alive, still working as a barista at the same place, and still keeping my head above water, though sometimes just barely on that last one.

So much has changed in my life in the last three years. The man person, the one from whom I was separated, passed away after a brief illness. That threw me into a tailspin for awhile.

My stepfather's dementia has escalated and he was recently moved into a nursing home after a short hospital stay. If he's going to be there long term, I'll move in with my mother. She can't handle the expenses alone and taking care of the house and acreage is physically too much for her. Fortunately, they moved closer to me last year so although my drive to work will be a little longer than the one I currently have, it won't be bad. Also, there will be plenty of space for a garden! We've already decided to do container gardening again and are both very excited about that.

On the PF front, I'm doing okay. I have a little bit of money saved, have honed my scrimping skills, drastically reduced food waste, still use Netflix for entertainment, and my love for Dave hasn't waned. I still use his envelope system and still listen to his show. His EveryDollar app is one of my favorites! Yeah, I finally upgraded to an iPhone from my decrepit, barely functioning Blackberry. I have my son to thank for that, though. He gave me his old iPhone and added my line to his account so I now have a better phone and no phone bill. Thank you, son!

I'm still plugging away at paying off a couple of older debts. Ugh, would they please just disappear? At least I have no new debt and I'm thankful for that.

Before I stopped blogging here, I'd quit smoking. Well, that quit was busted but on January 21 of 2014 I had my last cigarette. I started vaping and although I still vape I'm down to 3 mg nicotine most of the time and foresee giving it up before too long. I know it's not as good as *no* nicotine but even my physician approves as long as I have a doable plan for quitting.

I'm still on my journey to minimalism. It's been a long and very interesting one. I've been in this one bedroom apartment for almost five years (wow, has it been that long?) and had accumulated too much stuff. Dealing with it was a source of distress for me, though. I'm not sure why except that it had taken me so long to get what I had that getting rid of any of it just seemed not quite right. On the other hand, it really was just stuff. I've given away a lot of it, sold some, and put some in dumpsters. Having more space and fewer material possessions to care for is so very liberating. Having less is easier now because I just seem to want less. I see this as serious progress in my emotional and financial health.

Anyway, I decided I really need to blog here again and to read other blogs here. The motivation provided is so helpful and I need that.

Nothing says "Don't buy that blouse/book/coffee!" like some of the entries here.

So there you have it, folks. Howdy! Again. :-)

Payday - envelopes funded and $10 free money :)

December 16th, 2011 at 11:06 am

My pay hit my checking out last night so I went to the bank and took out $175. I put $125 in the food envelope, $30 in the gas envelope, and $20 in the entertainment envelope. Food includes eating out, something I rarely do, and I usually don't need $175 for two weeks of food but with the family get together next week I want to make sure I have enough cash to buy what I need to buy.

I paid for my mail order Novolog, $84, with my Target Visa and will go to Target today and pay that amount on the bill.

My serve.com account was credited with $10 so that's some free money. Smile I still haven't gotten the $10 for signing up but hope it shows up soon. My sisters have both signed up and I'm hoping to get others to sign up. Hey, $20 for a couple of minutes of time is pretty good and I don't mind making an extra $5 when someone else signs up. Smile

Anyway, so far so good. I still have some money in the checking account. After funding the envelopes and paying bills plus the $84 on the Target Visa there isn't much but it's all good.

Rock on, rock on. Smile

Really low spending today - yaaay!

December 12th, 2011 at 04:53 pm

I worked a long and very arduous in ways shift today. I ate the lunch I took but didn't get around to eating on breaks so the snacks I took will go back with me tomorrow.

I just made some scrumptious chicken salad to take for tomorrow's lunch. I'll have it with roasted asparagus and a low carb yogurt. I'm also taking an avocado in case I need something extra.

When I got off today I was exhausted and just wanted to come home. But I was also very thirsty so I bought a Trenta iced tea and headed home. No stops, no more money spent. Smile

I get paid Friday and will fund my envelopes, though there won't be a whole lot of funding going on since I have some medical bills I need to pay. Oh well, it's all good and I'm beginning to get that motivation back, thanks to y'all!!

The paycheck after that should be pretty good since I'll have two weeks at 40 hours on it. Woot! That will come in handy in January!

"What can you do for me?"

December 2nd, 2009 at 10:27 am

That's what my 19 year old stepdaughter asked the salesman of a furniture store recently. She'd told her dad she'd found a living room set she wanted and it cost $2000. He cautioned her about getting in over her head and she insisted she could pay for it. She gets a lot of overtime and makes very nice money for someone her age. We were concerned about this large expense since she's on her own, has a car payment, insurance, etc. but she's of age and will spend her money as she sees fit.

However, after her talk with him she got to thinking about his words (and presumably the wisdom of them, lol), went to another store and found a set she liked just as much that was $1600. She told the salesman she'd pay $1000 cash for it and he agreed! Then she said something to the effect of, "Okay, I'm giving you a thousand dollars of my money for this set. What can you do for me?" He apparently was a little surprised and hesitant but threw in an extended warranty and arranged for free delivery. A few days later she found out her overtime was cut way back and her paychecks are substantially smaller, though still very good.

I still think she spent too much but how wonderful that she considered her dad's words, rethought her plan, came up with a better one, and seems to be learning.

We're giving her Dave's Total Money Makeover book and an envelope system. Certainly that will be money well spent!

Thoughts on "kids" and money

November 29th, 2009 at 08:45 am

My "kids" are 26 and 25. The oldest is married and the youngest lives with the married couple in Austin, Tx. I've talked to them about Dave Ramsey and they seem interested so I ordered a copy of Your Total Money Makeover and 2 starter envelope systems, one for each son. I don't know that my daughter in love would use the envelopes but I figure if she falls in love with her husband's system I can get her one, too.

Both young men have had their share of financial problems in their young adult lives. The oldest put himself through college with just a little help now and then from Mom and Dad and now he has a job he likes for the most part and he makes good money. His wife also has a good job but they have money issues too often and admit they blow too much money. The youngest son has struggled with college and jobs but is doing well at the local community college there and is trying to find a decent job. He's gotten a little help from Mom and Dad, too, but has also taken the loan route to help finance his education.

They're both very intelligent, gifted (and handsome!) young men but they had lousy financial role models growing up. Truly. Their Dad and I didn't know how to save, accrued a lot of credit card debt, and just generally sucked at money matters. I so regret raising my sons in that manner and hope they each find a better way to live. I think my mother has had some of these same thoughts about me over the years. Maybe Your Total Money Makeover and the envelope system will get their feet set on the right path, maybe not. I should have done this many years ago but I didn't. Here's hoping it isn't too late but hey, it wasn't too late for me!

The envelope system revisited

November 28th, 2009 at 08:54 pm

DH and I talked (again) about going back to the envelope system we used a couple of years ago. He agreed that it really helped us rein in our spending and that carrying a debit card or wad of cash makes overspending just too easy. So tonight we decided to revisit that envelope system and to make it work for us. Honestly, I think we need to go back to revisiting our budget at the end of each month, too. We have a few new expenses (gym membership, a new medication for him, life insurance, etc) but the business is doing well and we need to get a handle on all of this so we save/invest money productively rather than blow it.

And we've decided to start saving/investing my pay, all of it! Gulp! Not that its that much but I'm just sayin'...I think we'll start with saving rather than trying to invest it so that if something happens we have that little cushion. Once we feel a little safer we'll probably feel comfortable investing it. We're both sure we can live off what the business brings in, probably somewhat less than the business brings in but we'll see.

As LuxLiving said in the comment to my previous entry, we've come a long way! But we really do have a long way to go. I hope we're up to meeting the challenge and I'm so excited about trying!

The last eighteen months in a nutshell & Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2009 at 07:29 am

I'm still working retail at the same place and the man person still has his business. It's grown quite a bit and although its a one man operation it pays the bills and then some. We left the envelope system behind some time ago but still have an emergency fund and some extra money saved. However, we still don't have any investments. Honestly, we don't know where or how to start and are afraid of making the wrong move so we've done nothing in that regard. Well, we did do something....

A Primerica rep visited with us last night and hopefully we'll have our financial needs analysis before too long. I've read good and bad about Primerica and although neither of us wants to be a rep/advisor/whatever they're called, their products might be good for us. I think we can do most of it on our own but again, we simply don't know where or how to start.

We need to change that but inertia seems to have us in its clutches. And I think we saved more and just felt better about money when we used the envelope system. Its simply too easy to overspend when we don't use it and we need to give serious consideration to going back to it. We've talked about it and agreed that we should do it but haven't actually done it.

We still don't have health insurance. DH had a heart procedure done recently and we got the bill last week. $47,000! Yep, $47,000 and that's just for the hospital. We haven't received the physician's bill yet. I haven't a clue what we're going to do about this new expense but we'll come up with something. I've already started putting pennies in a jar for it. Ha!

DH got a small life insurance policy on himself. It's only $15,000 but its a start and better than nothing. We're looking into larger policies but with his health history the premiums are outrageous. No insurance on me yet but that's coming soon, I think.

Last week I got a call to clean a house someone had bought and I earned some extra moolah. The job took a little longer than I'd expected but I did it on a day off the regular job and I made about $25 an hour which beats the $8 and 40 some odd cents an hour I make at my regular job. I really do need to concentrate on growing the house cleaning business. I don't know that I could do that only but two cleaning jobs a month would give me an extra $200 to $300 and that's nothing to sneeze at. Every little bit helps...

I'm still working on 2010 goals. I have a few cemented in my mind but most are still up in the air. I'll post about those when they're a little clearer.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and don't overeat. Oh heck, go ahead and overeat. But get to the gym tomorrow! Wink

Finally over the flu and catching up

March 9th, 2008 at 11:37 am

We're finally over the flu. Well, we still have horrible coughs and off and on headaches but that's it. I have to say that was the worst virus I recall ever having. It was horrible and it seemed to take forever just to feel human again!

I've missed reading all the blogs so today I'm trying to catch up on them. I'm off today and tomorrow and though I don't feel really chipper (I stayed up too late last night) I'm going to get some cooking done today for the coming week. We're eating out too much again and better meal planning is necessary to put an end to it.

Hey, guess what? Today is the 9th of March and our rent, electric and phone bills are paid already, two of them well ahead of their due dates! How is that for progress, sports fans? I say it sure does sound like progress! We have a storage bill due on Tuesday and my car insurance is due next week but that's it for this month, I think. Yep, the envelope system is definitely working for us. Except we do have one snafu. One day last week, DH needed change for a hundred dollar bill a customer gave him. He didn't have it in his money so he took the $80 from our food envelope and gave it to the customer. And he didn't replace that money yet. But that's okay as long as he pays for whatever food we buy for the next week, up to $80. But he agreed to get change from the bank and stop using the envelope money, which was good.

Anyway, I'm off to catch up with y'all. By the way, thanks for the well wishes and notes of concern while I was sick. I appreciate them! But for the most part, I was too sick to respond to them. Frown

Not a no spend day but a good day, nonetheless

February 18th, 2008 at 05:52 pm

Today and tomorrow I'm off work but I got called in this morning to cashier. No problem, that's five more hours of pay for me. Yippeee! I talked to my man person during my break and he reminded me that we needed bread, milk and a few other things. I had no cash with me but did have one check so I used the check and when we made the deposit tonight I took that same amount from the food envelope and deposited it into the checking account. I'm trying very hard to stay within the confines of the budgeted food amount so that was the best thing to do.

DH had a good day today so he gave me the cash for his Yellow Pages ad and I'll deposit it tomorrow and send the check for that payment. It isn't outrageous, just $63 and he's already getting a response from the ad so that's a good thing. The bill payment isn't due until the 26th but here we are paying it a little early. Yaaaaaaaay!

After years of struggling with not only not enough money but no knowledge on budgeting, bill paying and saving money, being able to pay the bills on time or early and have money in the bank is a real blessing. You're all great support and I want to thank you! Smile