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Archive for March, 2011

Last Day of March, Thus No Spending!!

March 31st, 2011 at 09:00 am

Today will be a no spend day. I know I can do this!!

However, yesterday I ran to the store, again. I picked up a few grocery items and a hair product. I spent $12.20.

Balance Forward: $508.41
Gift Purchase: (9.53)
Cash Gift (50.00)
Prescription (22.00)
Grocery Purchase (69.00)
Birthday Eats (30.86)
Grocery Purchases (6.66)
Grocery Purchase: (3.47)
Fuel Purchase: (56.99)
Grocery Purchase: (40.33)
Grocery Purchase: (6.29)
Previous Balance: $213.28

Grocery Purchase: (12.20)
New Balance: $201.08

Geez, I'm cutting it close to my $200! But I'm still in the game. It looks like most of us are unable to do a no spend month for April, but LittleMsMom is going to spend as little as possible in April with a few exceptions. Rememeber I made an exception for my daughter's birthday in March. I guess I would have saved more if I picked a non birthday month! Oh well.

Tomorrow I'll reflect back on the month with a wrap up post about my March No Spend Month. Stay tune.

Who's Up for A No Spend April?

March 30th, 2011 at 08:10 am

My no spend month is almost over as the month of March draws to a close. Anyone want to do a no spend month in April? Pay your bills and only spend on necessities. At the end of the month we can see if you saved some cash. I'll cheer you on.

I had a no spend day yesterday. I noticed that we are very low on butter and I have no soda in the house. I might cave and go buy those things. Otherwise things are looking very good to close the month with at least $200 in saved cash.

I realized that $200 divided by 31 days is $6.45 per day saved. One could simply save $6.45 per day by transferring it to a savings account and have $200 by the end of the month. And who couldn't use an extra $200?

Walmart Took My Money!

March 29th, 2011 at 06:12 am

Well, I guess I gave it to them in exchange for grocery products. My daughters wanted juice and when I shopped on Sunday I failed to get any. Boo. There are only a few days left, but I'm not going to deny them juice!! I hit Walmart for two types of juice and spent $6.29. Seems high. I need to do better about looking for these things on sale and stocking up.

Balance Forward: $508.41
Gift Purchase: (9.53)
Cash Gift (50.00)
Prescription (22.00)
Grocery Purchase (69.00)
Birthday Eats (30.86)
Grocery Purchases (6.66)
Grocery Purchase: (3.47)
Fuel Purchase: (56.99)
Grocery Purchase: (40.33)
Previous Balance: $219.57

Grocery Purchase: (6.29)
New Balance: $213.28

My balance is still above $200. Yipee!!


Decluttered A Kitchen Cabinet

March 28th, 2011 at 10:46 am

Yesterday, I went through my kitchen cabinet where I keep my baking supplies. I tossed out at least 10 expired spices. I had no idea I had that many!! I also moved the cookie cutters and two cookbooks to other cabinets. It is still a full cabinet, but it looks so much better. I am not replacing the spices, until I see a need to replace. I rarely use paprika or cardamon. Smile

I found I had many slips of paper with recipes on them. I recycled the ones I won't use or didn't like. I typed the ones I still use into my Evernote account for future reference. I did this while watching a movie with my daughter, so it was painless.

I also found some expired vitamins in another cabinet. Those were tossed, too. Do you think you have any expired items? If so, toss them today!! It only takes a few moments of your time.

The Last of March Spending?

March 27th, 2011 at 03:39 pm

I wonder. Was the money I spent today the last of my spending for March? It seems like it could be!!

Balance Forward: $508.41
Gift Purchase: (9.53)
Cash Gift (50.00)
Prescription (22.00)
Grocery Purchase (69.00)
Birthday Eats (30.86)
Grocery Purchases (6.66)
Grocery Purchase: (3.47)
New Balance: $316.89

Fuel Purchase: (56.99) !!!
Grocery Purchase: (40.33)
New Balance: $219.57

I would really like to end the month with an extra $200 in the account. It would make the effort very well worth it!

No Spend Saturday

March 27th, 2011 at 06:17 am

It was a no spend Saturday. Yipee!!

We stayed home, entertained ourselves with things around the house, ate from the cupboards and wanted for nothing.

Today. I have to get fuel and a few groceries to make it through Thursday. Only a five days to go in the no spend month.

Checking account balance to date: $316.89

No Spend Month

March 26th, 2011 at 08:00 am

As I said earlier in the month, the no spend month still has spending. It seems that it has primarily been food. I intended to only buy food we need at the moment. However, yesterday I made an exception and stocked up on pizza crusts that were on sale for 4 for $1. I thought I would buy 12 but ended up with only 8 since I needed another item and wanted to use the cash I had in my wallet rather than my debit card.

Balance Forward: $508.41
Gift Purchase: (9.53)
Cash Gift (50.00)
Prescription (22.00)
Grocery Purchase (69.00)
Birthday Eats (30.86)
Grocery Purchases (6.66)
Previous Balance: $320.36

Grocery Purchase: (3.47)
New Balance: $316.89

Is anyone else getting tired of my spending posts? I am!! At least the month is almost over. And even better it seems I will have saved some cash.

Really...The Last of the Birthday Spending

March 25th, 2011 at 08:42 am

The birthday is over. We had Subway for dinner, and Cold Stone Creamery cupcakes for dessert. All very yummy. I spent $30.86. My sister was here, so that was dinner for four and there are two cupcakes left over.

I also had to run to the store for a card (not necessary) and coffee (necessary). I thought I needed mayo, too. When I went to put away the new mayo jar I opened I found another one in the fridge nearly full. Darn!

Balance Forward: $508.41
Gift Purchase: (9.53)
Cash Gift (50.00)
Prescription (22.00)
Grocery Purchase (69.00)
Previous Balance: $357.88

Birthday Eats (30.86)
Grocery Purchases (6.66)
New Balance: $320.36

I expect I'll need fuel either today or sometime this weekend. I also saw a very good deal on Betty Crocker pizza crusts (4 for $1). We use these quite often, so I think I'll buy 12. Super Target charges over $1 for each one, so you can see why I'm drawn to this deal.

More than a Few Groceries

March 23rd, 2011 at 04:58 am

I guess I stocked up a bit at the grocery store yesterday. All items were needed and should get us through the weekend. I also picked up my prescription.

Balance Forward: $$508.41
Gift Purchase: (9.53)
Cash Gift (50.00)
Previous Balance: $448.88

Prescription (22.00)
Grocery Purchase (69.00)
New Balance: $357.88

I feel really good with our balance this far. There are only 9 more days of the month! Right now I'm hoping for about $200 by the end of the month. That would mean cutting our spending this month by about 20%. Obviously, it all remains to be seen what the true results are. Can't wait!

(I always find it a bit amusing when my purchases come out even, like my grocery purchase did yesterday. Do you?)

Wrapped Up the Birthday Gifts

March 22nd, 2011 at 04:55 am

Actually, I haven't literally wrapped the gifts yet, but I wrapped up the shopping! I got some pretty good deals on things she wanted and she is getting $50 in cash for her own spending fun.

I have promised her Subway for dinner and cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery. Two favorites of hers! I expect those to cost about $35 later in the week.

Today I need to pick up a prescription as well as a few grocery items. It's a spending day for sure, but all necessities!

Balance Forward: $$508.41

Gift Purchase: (9.53)
Cash Gift (50.00)
New Balance: $448.88

Paid for Cat Sitting

March 21st, 2011 at 05:34 pm

The girls and I took care of two of our neighbor's cats for 10 days. We live just down the block and had to feed them twice a day, play with them and clean out their litter box. We received payment tonight of $50!

Even though March is a no spend month, I think we will plan to do something together this weekend with the money. A movie, a restaurant meal? Maybe we'll wait until the weekend following so it won't be March. What do you think? Should we wait? Or go for it?

Sunday was No Spend

March 21st, 2011 at 06:03 am

As it turns out Sunday was a no spend day. We did shop and I did use my $10 Kohl's coupon for a set of socks that were on sale for $9. Free socks!!

The jeans shopping didn't work out. I will need to order online. Boo.

I'm not sure how the spending will be today. I'm going to try to delay going to the grocery store for one more day. I might finish up the birthday shopping. I guess I'll let you know tomorrow!

Spring and any other change of season can make for more spending. Do any of you feel like you are spending less this month? Or is it much more than usual?

Bought Another Birthday Gift

March 20th, 2011 at 10:12 am

While we were at the museum yesterday, I bought my daughter a book about the artist exhibit we saw. She wanted it and I said it could be a birthday gift...so another purchase! I need to wrap up the birthday spending in the next couple days...it's almost time for the big day.

Today, we are going to run by Old Navy for a pair of jeans for the youngest daughter and possibly Kohl's to use a $10 coupon that expires today. It is hard to pass up free money!!

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Ebay Birthday Purchase: (3.65)
Toaster Purchase: (26.37)
Grocery Purchase: (19.37)
iHerb Purchase: (1.68)
Grocery Purchase: (4.62)
Gift Purchases (19.36)
Grocery Purchase (34.93)
Account Interest $0.07
Cat Food Purchase: (28.61)
Fuel Purchase: (52.21)
Coffee Purchase: (4.99)
Addition of Funds: $500.00
Grocery Purchase: (83.55)
Ebay Purchase: (0.94)
Health Purchase: (5.06)
Previous Balance: $533.41

Gift Purchase: (25.00)
New Balance: $508.41

A Small Expense

March 18th, 2011 at 02:10 pm

I did end up with one expense yesterday. A health item I decided I needed before the end of the month. Cost $5.06.

My parents are visiting for the weekend. My mom is bringing some food. I'm making us homemade pizza for dinner tonight with items already on hand. We will probably eat out for lunch tomorrow to celebrate my oldest daughter's upcoming birthday. It will be their treat. We are visiting a free museum, too. I think I might get away without spending any money until Sunday. It's been a good spring break with minimal expenses. I noticed I still have quite a bit of fuel left in the van that I hope can make it through most of next week. Yipee!!

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Ebay Birthday Purchase: (3.65)
Toaster Purchase: (26.37)
Grocery Purchase: (19.37)
iHerb Purchase: (1.68)
Grocery Purchase: (4.62)
Gift Purchases (19.36)
Grocery Purchase (34.93)
Account Interest $0.07
Cat Food Purchase: (28.61)
Fuel Purchase: (52.21)
Coffee Purchase: (4.99)
Addition of Funds: $500.00
Grocery Purchase: (83.55)
Ebay Purchase: (0.94)
Previous Balance: $538.47

Health Purchase: (5.06)
New Balance: $533.41

May God Give You...

March 17th, 2011 at 08:05 am

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from our Irish family to you!

Yesterday was a no spend day. I expect today to be the same. It is warm here and we will head out for a bike ride before the rain arrives tomorrow.

I played around with my online bank account and was able to add visibility to accounts at other banks. I also realized I can catagorize transactions, thus showing me exactly where our money goes each month. It must be similar to mint.com. I like the simplicity of it! Very exciting for me as a math nerd. Smile I'm curious. Does your bank offer this? Do you use it? Has it helped you?

NSM Update

March 16th, 2011 at 07:30 am

Tuesday I bought a book for the birthday girl on Ebay for $3.94, but had a $3 balance in my paypal account, so only $0.94 came from the checking account. I also made it to the grocery store. I will admit, I bought some wanted, but not needed, snacks. Part of the grocery purchase included conditioner and dish washer detergent.

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Ebay Birthday Purchase: (3.65)
Toaster Purchase: (26.37)
Grocery Purchase: (19.37)
iHerb Purchase: (1.68)
Grocery Purchase: (4.62)
Gift Purchases (19.36)
Grocery Purchase (34.93)
Account Interest $0.07
Cat Food Purchase: (28.61)
Fuel Purchase: (52.21)
Coffee Purchase: (4.99)
Addition of Funds: $500.00
Previous Balance: $622.96

Grocery Purchase: (83.55)
Ebay Purchase: (0.94)
New Balance: $538.47

I think today just might be a NSM day. I'll let you know tomorrow!

Truck Fund Gets a Boost, Too!!

March 15th, 2011 at 10:49 am

I have added $1496 to our truck fund this pay period. That brings the fund to $7,356. We are more than half way to the goal!!

I'm hoping for at least three more pay periods before we make our purchase. We will also be seeing more interest from our SDP account, as well, as a payment for per diem for the last year.

The Spending Fund Gets a Boost

March 15th, 2011 at 06:02 am

It's payday. I'm adding $500 to our spending account for the month. This is the usual amount we set aside for spending at this time of the month. We ended the first half of the month with just over $122. I'm very pleased with how we did so far. I'm looking forward to seeing how we do by the end of the month.

On another spending note, my husband mentioned that he actually still had $50 of his spending money left. I don't think he was trying too hard, probably just too busy to spend!

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Ebay Birthday Purchase: (3.65)
Toaster Purchase: (26.37)
Grocery Purchase: (19.37)
iHerb Purchase: (1.68)
Grocery Purchase: (4.62)
Gift Purchases (19.36)
Grocery Purchase (34.93)
Account Interest $0.07
Cat Food Purchase: (28.61)
Fuel Purchase: (52.21)
Coffee Purchase: (4.99)
Previous Balance: $122.96

Addition of Funds: $500.00
New Balance: $622.96

Fourteen days down, only 17 left to go!!

Another No Spend Day in the No Spend Month

March 14th, 2011 at 06:36 am

Sunday. Zero spending!

We ate from the cupboards and refrigerator. The snacks are near zero. But not quite.

We watched a movie on netflix. Played with our cats. Visted the neighbor cats twice. The girls played wii. I did some organizing in the basement: broke down boxes for recycling, and put away pictures.

It's spring break week here, so I expect today to be more of the same. It is a bit warmer, so maybe a walk on the trails later.

Tomorrow is payday and we will venture out for groceries. Might hit a free museum exhibit.

NSM - More Necessities

March 13th, 2011 at 09:03 am

Saturday was a day of spending for necessities. I did find out that coffee is a necessity for me. Or at least one thing I'm not willing to forgo at this time!

We bought our regular three month supply of Science Diet cat food, filled up the van with fuel, and bought coffee. One daughter wanted a candy bar while we were getting coffee. She thought ahead and brought her gift card to pay for it. Smile

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Ebay Birthday Purchase: (3.65)
Toaster Purchase: (26.37)
Grocery Purchase: (19.37)
iHerb Purchase: (1.68)
Grocery Purchase: (4.62)
Gift Purchases (19.36)
Grocery Purchase (34.93)
Account Interest $0.07
Previous Balance: $208.77

Cat Food Purchase: (28.61)
Fuel Purchase: (52.21)
Coffee Purchase: (4.99)
New Balance: $122.96

Payday is just two days away. I think we are doing very well. I definitely have food to last through Tuesday.

It's my blogoversary!

March 12th, 2011 at 09:39 am

I've been blogging on Saving Advice for exactly three years. It's been great. I think it has helped me stick to our goals. And make goals for that matter.

The Spending of the No Spend Month

March 11th, 2011 at 07:26 pm

I didn't spend any money on Wednesday or Thursday this week. Today, was another matter. I went birthday shopping and drove around way too much looking for things. I also picked up some groceries for the next few days. Here are the results:

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Ebay Purchase: (3.65)
Toaster Purchase: (26.37)
Grocery Purchase: (19.37)
iHerb Purchase: (1.68)
Grocery Purchase: (4.62)
Previous Balance: $262.99

Gift Purchases (19.36)
Grocery Purchase (34.93)
Account Interest $0.07
New Balance: $208.77

There will be spending this weekend. Right now, it appears to be only cat food and fuel for the van. That is probably $80 between the two items. Payday is Tuesday and things look good so far.

No Spend Month - Another Update

March 9th, 2011 at 04:22 pm

In the last two days we have spent $4.62 for a few fill in groceries. I can be a little bad at planning the right amount. For example pasta sauce, would have been fine, but I did have two extra mouths to feed this past weekend. One of the girls really liked the sauce...thus it is now gone.

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Ebay Purchase: (3.65)
Toaster Purchase: (26.37)
Grocery Purchase: (19.37)
iHerb Purchase: (1.68)
Previous Balance: $267.61

Grocery Purchase: (4.62)
New Balance: $262.99

I'm very pleased with this week so far. It is going to be a very nice day Friday, and I think I will use that day to be out birthday shopping for my daughter. I'm hoping to be able to use some coupons to reduce the cost of the gifts she wants.

My Best Advice

March 8th, 2011 at 02:24 pm

I was looking back over some blogs I've written in the past. I noticed that there are several that I would consider my best advice. I'll have to keep digging to see if there are more, but for now I've narrowed it down to five!

I have them all on my sidebar, but I will add some links to this post:

How We Budget Our Paychecks

How We Started Our Emergency Fund

10 Ways to Fund Your Emergency Fund

What I Learned From A Cheapskate

Large Refund: Check Your Withholding

No Spend Month Week One

March 8th, 2011 at 09:32 am

One week has passed since I began the no spend, less spend month. I'm pretty happy with the results so far.

We began the month with $457.89. I have spent $190.28. Does that seem like a lot for one week? I did buy $55 worth of gas and a new toaster. Almost all the other expenditures were food.

Right now the checking account has $267.61. I will add more to the checking account balance at payday next week since that is our usual routine. At the end of the month, if there is a balance of $50 or more, I will consider this challenge a success. It is very possible the balance will be far more than $50.

During a No Spend Month

March 7th, 2011 at 07:48 pm

During a no spend month:

When your clipping coupons, you don't bother to clip the ones that will expire before the end of the month, especially if you know you won't need that item.

It takes about two seconds to look at a department store or furniture ad, because you aren't buying those things this month.

There are fewer transactions to record in the checking account register.

I'm sure I'll notice a few more things as the month marches on.

iHerb = Spending

March 7th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Ugh. I really have trouble not spending, don't I? Today's expense really isn't too bad. I actually got a good deal.

I went to iHerb to purchase a supplement that was $12. Shipping was $1.68. I have ordered from them before and apparently I have earned rewards!! More than $20 in rewards. The $12 purchase became zero. I only paid for the shipping. Yipee!!

FIN012 for $5 off your first purchase.

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Ebay Purchase: (3.65)
Toaster Purchase: (26.37)
Grocery Purchase: (19.37)
Previous Balance: $269.29

iHerb Purchase: (1.68)
New Balance: $267.61

No Spend Month - Toaster

March 6th, 2011 at 02:41 pm

Our toaster stopped working. It tried to die on me two weeks ago, but I got it to work again. That fix didn't work this time. And I think after 15 years it has done a very good job. In our house, a toaster is a necessity. Sure, I could have used the oven, but really it's just not efficient or convenient. I could have bought a cheaper toaster, but I didn't want to spend differently on a long term purchase, just because it is a no spend month.

I made a grocery run to pick up a few more essentials for the week: bananas, apples, more bread, bagels, parmesean cheese, vanilla, grahm crackers and 12 pack of pop. The pop isn't really a necessity...but I'm addicted. I also had to pay the deposit on those cans. The new checking account balance is below.

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Ebay Purchase: (3.65)
Previous Balance: $315.03

Toaster Purchase: (26.37)
Grocery Purchase: (19.37)
New Balance: $269.29

We'll see how we do through the week, but overall I'm pretty pleased with the spending or lack of. Is a toaster a necessity in your house?

No Spend Month - Free Pizza

March 5th, 2011 at 11:04 am

There is no spending to deduct from our checking account. And I've even been to the mall!!

We had the sleepover and one of the mother's gave me a gift card for Papa Murphy's pizza. I think she felt bad since her daughter kind of invited herself to spend the night. There is more to the story, but I'll leave it at that.

Last night we ate pasta that I already had at the house. The girls picked that over pizza! Today, I took them to the mall where a couple of them spent their own money. Since, it was lunch time, we picked up a pizza with the gift card. I used a coupon to keep the pizza under the gift card amount, so I even have a gift card with a balance to return to the mother.

The plan is to stay home the rest of the day, which should result in zero spending!

NSM - Great Deal on Birthday Gift

March 4th, 2011 at 06:07 am

I'm here to write to you about more spending during my no spend month. Smile Odd isn't it.

I bought my daughter a used copy of Wii Music on ebay and used my $9 paypal balance, which was from Pinecone surveys, to pay for most of it. The remainder, $3.65, was deducted from the checking account.

Beginning Balance: 457.89
Groupon Purchase: (15.00)
Grocery Purchase: (45.59)
Fuel Purchase: (54.49)
Grocery Purchase: (24.13)
Previous Balance: $318.68

Ebay Purchase: (3.65)
New Balance: $315.03

My youngest daughter needed a new folder for school. It turns out I had two in the house she could choose from. No money spent there. She is also having a friend (maybe 2) spend the night tonight. We'll have the pasta we already planned for dinner. And we have several options for breakfast. I'm not buying anything extra because we have company. Smile

Here's looking forward to a no spend weekend!!


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