Spending Challenge: February Ends, March Begins

Wi$e-Guy  Money Roll

“Wi$e- Guy Money Roll” by Gnerk on Flickr

Holy Monday! I woke up today tired to the middles of my bones. I really could’ve used one more day off with nothing to do but relax. Oh well. Being in the office brings its own set of perks so I won’t try and dwell on it much. I tried drinking some coffee but it’s so yucky here I only managed to swallow down half a cup. It was a hectic, trying weekend with a birthday party on Saturday that was lots of fun, a BBQ at my parents’ house that was delicious, two days in a row with no naps, MutantDaughter with an ear infection that is clearing and MutantEldest seemingly coming down with his own “thing” even though I told him he’d better not even think about getting sick and he’d better have a serious talk with his throat and tell it to knock it off with the whole hurting every time he swallows thing. I also worked my booty off in the play room all weekend (forgot before pictures), hauling three bags of toys to my grandmother’s house (her best friend lives in a very poor part of town and likes to give the kids in her complex toys because the other families look after her) and setting one more aside for the Vietnam Veterans. It’s looking much better but I still have work to do. The kids like it though and that’s a good thing. Just have to teach them where to find their toys and to put them back when they’re done (repeat to infinity).

I was also fighting with a wave of gloom that just wouldn’t leave me alone, always sort of lurking right beneath the surface. It drives me crazy when I get like this and can’t shake it off. It is this complete feeling of resignation in a way and it can get overwhelming. Basically, I get so exhausted and frustrated and have no one to really share my troubles with (difference between this and burdening someone else) and I just feel like this is it, this is my life, and it’s freaking hard, but it’s not going to change—not any time soon, not in any real way. Everything under my roof, good and bad, relies on me and no one else. One person responsible for four lives. And like I’ve mentioned many times, I have an excellent support system in my family. Don’t get me wrong. MutantWino is the one who pays for MutantEldest to go to Karate and keeps him motivated (he goes too so they share this amazing thing together). MutantPirate has come to my rescue with one child or another’s pick-up or drop-off more times than I can count. And there are my MutantAbuelas—one who cares for my kids when they’re sick so I can go to work, cooks an occasional meal for us, and pays the lawn guy (she refuses to let me take over this even though I bring it up constantly. I’m never home when they go since it’s on a weekday and she’s basically told them to never ever bill me). My other grandmother drops in every once in a while with some snack or small meal she bought somewhere. She also slips me a ten or twenty every once in a while “to help out”. And of course, there are my parents. If it wasn’t for them and their own modest financial security, I honestly have no idea what my life would be like.  

But there’s a big difference in having support and having a team. I don’t know if this makes sense to you, but it’s the best way to describe it. I think of it like a basketball team. First of all, right off the bat, I’m short one player and it’s likely that fifth player spot will never be filled. Second of all, three of the four remaining players are rookies and so green they can often be more than a handicap than contributors. So that leaves one player in a game that requires five. And even if that player is a star player, a star player can only play at top quality for so long. Of course as my fellow teammates get older and stronger, they’ll be bigger and better contributors. But, the fact remains I’ll always remain one man short and the co-captain slot will always be empty. Of course, no co-captain is better than a harmful co-captain but it’s still a gloomy predicament either way and sometimes, like this weekend, it all gets to be a bit too much and I’m prone to headaches, lots of sleep, and small, sudden weeps I manage to hide from the kids with expert skill.

But, I know what you really want to know is—how’d my month go? Today is technically the last day of February but I get paid once a month on the last day of the month and that is my first day of my fiscal month. So, my February is over financially speaking and I ended with about $5 left in my spending budget. I counted all of the money I have in cash, and all of the money I have in my ING checking, and all of the money I have in my credit union checking and I have managed to accumulate…

$876.34!

This is actually $31.51 more than my calculations predicted I would have so I must’ve missed some sort of income by accident or incorrectly entered an expense or something like that. Either way, I have almost $900 to start March with! This is super duper exciting for me, you have no idea. I haven’t heard from Ex yet about what to expect income-wise this month so I still don’t know if I’ll have to borrow from my parents again this month or if I’ll actually be able to begin paying them back. I’m of course hoping for the latter because the former totally sucks. So on that note, I’m going to go ahead and give myself $650 for a spending budget this month as I’d originally planned for February but will scale back to $500 again if Ex falls below the amount I need. If the amount is even lower than I would need after scaling back, I’ll have to go to my parents again. It’s all about buffers, baby. Budgets make buffers.

Every month I try and figure out what the big challenges could be for me, financially, in the coming month. This month, I think it’s going to be food. I’ve pretty much used up all of the meat that was in my freezer with the exception of the pork that’s currently in my crock pot and a couple of grouper filets. I also did a pretty good job of raiding the pantry, freezer, and fridge so it’s definitely time to stock up on food in general. I’m completely out of milk, eggs,  juice, tortillas, fruits and fresh veggies, and the aforementioned meats (also, ice cream but we all know where that lands on the whole need/want spectrum). I’m down to the last scrapes of coffee, bread, sugar, and rice. I still have lots of frozen veggies, pasta, beans, shredded cheese, tuna, ham, peanut butter, jelly, and canned tomatoes. SouthernSavers and coupons, prepare yourselves! The other worrier for me is Gas. Prices have skyrocketed and even though the least expensive gas station in the entire city is around the corner from my house, it’s at $3.38 a gallon and that was yesterday. Who knows where it’s at today? I am on Empty of course and have to fill up tonight.  Last month, I put gas in twice—the first was a fill up and lasted 15 days. The second was a bit over half and lasted 8 days. We’ll see how it all unfolds one way or another. I feel like there’s dramatic music in the background and someone saying “These are the days of our lives…”

In crafty news, the hooks are sleeping and I’m still tracking yarn costs. The prices have been pretty steady with no major sale the past few weeks I’ve been tracking which means a really good sale must be right around the corner right? I’m really hoping to find a Buy One Get One Free deal on Red Heart Super Saver or Caron Simply Soft. Those are the most affordable options and I know the material’s not the most luxurious thing in the world but my Mom made it clear she wants this thing for heavy duty wear.

Lastly, in book news: I am still hacking through The Passage. So far, I love/hate it. It’s one tragedy after another but it’s crazy and cool too. It’s LONG as hell (766 pages) and I’m just itching to know if humans stand a chance or what because it looks pretty horrible right now (page 501). It’s also not helping my super gloomy mood with all of this death and destruction and humans acting crazy. It’s sort of depressing in an inevitable apocalyptic sort of way kind of like my love life. The Lonely Polygamist is waiting in the wings and I’m kind of extra excited to read Outlander after Molly mentioned it’s super spicy in the comments. Oooh a sexy book? I haven’t read anything sexy in ages! AND I just found out I won a book on Goodreads! How exciting is that? I won something! And it’s a book! There’s also Soulless which I’m really intrigued by and can’t wait to read it. MutantEldest finished The Lost Hero this weekend and started on The Red Pyramid so there’s that to read too. Too many books? Never! By the way, what say you? Should I actually give myself a new reading goal this year or do I just keep going and see how many I can take down this year?

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11 thoughts on “Spending Challenge: February Ends, March Begins

      • I feel you girlfriend. Up until last year, I was a single mom from the moment my angel was born (he’ll be 8 this year). I wish I had a grasp of financial reality back then, maybe I’d be better off now haha!

      • For me, it was reverse. I wasn’t a single mom until about two years ago. And even though I had a grasp on financial reality, ex didn’t. He’d screw up all of my hard work over and over again. So, now that I’m on my own, armed with knowledge, and support I KNOW we’ll be fine.

  1. Pingback: Ten Challenges to Stimulate Your Savings « MutantSupermodel

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