Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Well I am halfway through March and my first month of knowing what my monthly income will be for 2011 and budgeting. I will say, I am almost over budget already for the month. Actually, I will be for sure today when I pay the fee for my taxes.

My observations are that I need to increase a few budget categories and cut my food & dining budget. I just have to bring my lunch 2-3 times a week. My budget just won't allow for me to eat out that much...period. I hoped that my increase would net a $300 monthly increase but it was just ~$180. With the monthly accruals I set up, I will just have to bite the bullet.

Also, I should have realized that this monthly pay period had 5 instead of 4 weeks. Since I only get paid once a month, I should have changed the weekly challenge to $160/week instead of $200/week. Last but not least, I had to max out my prescription deductible, go to the doctor and go to the dentist this month. I am still waiting to be reimbursed from the insurance company for my teeth cleaning and exam. This is precisely why I like to keep a little extra cash in my bill account.

I went to bed around 11:00 last night and woke up this morning around 5:00. Since I was up, I took the opportunity to straighten my hair which I haven't done since December. Wowza....my hair is long and I can tell it could use a trim which my hair dresser suggested every 8-12 weeks. I am right at ~ 10 weeks now since my last appointment. Maybe I will go the first week in April.

My Mom started talking to me last night about working out which probably means my cheeks are a little too puffy. I really need to get back to working out but I don't feel like doing anything it seems these days. I had to drag my butt off the couch this weekend just to finally fold the clean clothes I let build up in baskets from the past 2 weeks. Spring needs to come quick so I can get outside and run.

Last note...Did anyone watch the Bachelor last night? I did not follow all season but I was over visiting my parents and my Dad does watch the show. So, I got sucked into the final show and finale and felt kind of bad for Brad. You can tell he's not perfect but he looked like he loved Emily a lot so I hope they can pull together. The lesson that I got from last night and it's one we can all learn is that we cannot worry about what other people think of us. What matters is what we think of ourselves.

Have a great day!!!


Aideen said...

Great post, and a great reminder for the necessity of running the numbers, like realizing 5 weeks is $160 not $200. Now that you know what you are working with, I think your budget will get easier and you may find spots to free up cash in the next few months. For the lunch thing - try to bring your lunch 2 times a week for a week, then bump it up to 3 times a week, then (if possible) bump it up to 4 times a week leaving one day per week for you to enjoy a lunch out – guiltfree!

Chitown said...

Great idea Aideen!!! Thanks a lot. =)

DreamChaser57 said...

I know you're doing the zero-based budgeting per Dave Ramsey - after you pay everything you HAVE to pay, how much do you have left toward the "Snowball", were you able to send anything to Group D?

Be patient with the process, you're coming along fine.

Chitown said...

@ DreamChaser -- I didn't put anything extra this month towards debt. Next month, I am aiming to begin some kind of snowball but it's tight...really. I may also reduce some of my monthly accruals.

DreamChaser57 said...

What are monthly accruals? I'm assuming that's the total amount you anticipate paying to a particular creditor. I have heard of the accrual method of accounting but I cannot readily recall what that means. Please clarify - thanks! Maybe that could be a post topic.

Just a word of encouragement, DH and I are working very hard to pay off our car. Sometimes we can throw large chunks at it due to a unexpected windfalls, tax refunds, or non-rent pay periods - it's fun because those huge payments pack a punch. Other times I'm satisfied with just sending $25. My point being whatever you send will help, your goal is to get out of debt, owning a $1 or $10K is still debt. Don't lose momentum - only you can scour your budget and find little ways to send a little more cash.

Good Luck.

As if this post was not long enough -I wanted to share a Chinese proverb I read, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Think about the path and the journey and before you know it you will be at the mountaintop.

Love your blog & spunk, best of luck!