Monthly Archives: June 2017

What I Spend My Money On (And what I don’t)

If you’ve read this blog even just a few times you’ll know that we live on a fairly limited budget. One salary doesn’t stretch as far as it did in years past and as a result, choices have to be made as to what I choose to spend our money on and where I choose to save. So today I thought I’d share what I spend money on and also some things I specifically decide not to spend my money on.

Let’s start with what I don’t spend money on:

  • Tobacco products-pretty easy choice here considering my husband died of a heart attack at age 35. Suffice to say I also don’t spend money on illegal drugs.
  • Alcohol-very, very occasionally I will purchase a bottle of Malibu rum and some pineapple juice or a cheap bottle of wine. I almost never buy drinks out since they are so overpriced and I’m just as happy with a non-alcoholic beverage
  • Manicures and having my hair professionally colored-I color my hair with a box of Miss Clairol at home (using a coupon of course) and although I might get one pedicure a year since my feet are especially ugly, I don’t bother with manicures
  • Expensive shoes-I just don’t have a shoe fetish like most women. One pair of tennis shoes (which I really should replace more often then I do), one pair of canvas-type shoes, a couple pair of sandals, and two pairs of work shoes
  • The newest and shiniest IPhone/Apple products-I can appreciate these but it’s just not in the budget so I will use my current model of IPhone until it dies (literally-just replaced my iPhone battery in an effort to not have to purchase a new phone). I am using my son’s old Surface Pro for my writing since he decided a laptop better served his needs for school

So what do I spend money on?

  • Internet-we have to have a fairly good internet connection since there are three of us streaming or using the internet almost constantly
  • Netflix and Sling subscription-We’ve had Netflix since the days when it was just a service where they sent you a couple DVD’s in the mail each month. We recently added a Sling subscription when we moved to our new place and I decided to try and “cut the cord” on cable. We were previously paying $134 for internet, cable and Netflix. Now we’re paying about $87 and honestly I’ll probable drop that down a little further once Nick leaves for school.
  • Occasional drinks at Barnes & Noble when I’m writing but I try to use gift cards I’ve either received as gifts, earned through survey sites or I’ve bought via discount sites or when Kroger has fuel promotions
  • Eating out-I’ve tried to do better with this but honestly I don’t mind an occasional meal out with my kids or other family or friends. I do try to save costs when possible though
  • Lottery-but usually only $2 a week through our work lottery group. Hey, somebody’s going to win, might as well be us
  • Health insurance-one of our largest line items but with a kiddo with a chronic illness, this is a non-negotiable
  • Annual trip to Holiday World-a nearby theme park that is reasonably priced and clean. We go with friends every year and spend a full day at the park and then we hang out at our friend’s campsite for an evening and considering this will probably be my only vacation of the year, it’s a reasonable splurge. I know the time is quickly approaching that the boys will no longer have the desire and/or time off to spend vacation time with me so I’ll continue this tradition as long as I can

So there you go. Stay tuned, maybe next time I’ll tell you everything I want to buy once I get in a better/more secure financial place.

June’s Goals

The month of May and Graduation is officially a wrap. Both my boys have officially joined me as Eastern High School alumni. I won’t lie, I did shed a few tears but Graduation was nice, Nick had fun at Project Graduation and even won a microwave, and I think his graduation party was a success as well. Now the boy has to figure out his summer job plans. I have several things on my to-do list as well.

I am feeling a hint of freedom in my life. I still have a bit of wrap-up work to do with our Lacrosse Booster Club duties but I don’t think that will be too time-consuming or difficult. I loved every minute of watching my boy play lacrosse over the last 6 years and I treasure the relationships I’ve formed with many of the parents and players but I have to be honest, I will not miss the busyness that came with acting as treasurer over the last two years.

Crusade for Children is a charity drive that occurs over the first weekend of June that our family has been volunteering/working over the last 7 or 8 years probably. The  local fire departments collect donations from the communities/districts they serve over the course of several days and the money goes to various Children’s charities throughout the area. This generally takes up the first weekend of June so this weekend will be busy with that.

Getting my house finally put together is the main goal of June. I’ve got to get my bed put together, the last few boxes unpacked, and figure out some space-saving measures for our new, smaller home. I’ve given away a few items to friends and family members but I have a few more pieces I will need to purge as well and I’m hoping to be able to sell those and make a little money. I’ve also got to put a maintenance request in for a couple of plumbing issues and I need to talk to my contractor friend to see what ideas he has to close off Michael’s room. Praying he will have some low-cost ideas.

I’m also hoping to squeeze in a few days at Holiday World this month. It’s been a tradition of ours to go with friends for a few days the week of Father’s Day and although I feel a bit guilty spending the money I’d like to do that one more time if we possibly can.

Lastly my writing goals are to keep up with the blog and I’m also tempted to do my own NANOWRIMO during July this year since it’s a less busy time than November normally is for me. I will most likely have a second job by July again so that means this month I’ll need to get some prep work done if I want my NANO month to be successful.