Sometimes it feels like you rip a bandaid off your low-spend month, and a bleed starts, and it’s really difficult to stop that bleeding.
I’m still failing enormously at eating out! I’m not sure why it’s so difficult. I like to cook and I’m a decent cook. But meals out creep into our consciousness and at that point, saying “No, let’s not do that” seems like punishment. And I tend to hold back on buying what we need grocery-wise…and then there is a ton of food in the house but nothing goes together. Meal planning helps with that, and I need to start doing it again!
Yesterday was the kids’ first day back at their schoolwork, and D wasn’t having the best attitude. He said it’s unfair that we start our school year before his birthday in August, and that vacation should last till after his birthday. There were tears and lectures but he ended up pulling himself together and doing what he was supposed to do. (And this was with me giving them a very light load…about an hour’s worth of work…since we like to ease back into things.) I needed to run a couple errands and Tom noticed that I’d be near Waffle House (we don’t usually end up out that way) and he suggested I take the kids as a treat. Then he offered to come along. We had a lot of fun and ended the evening with ice cream. So we spent $43 at Waffle House and $13 at Baskin-Robbins. That’s $56 of unplanned, not-essential spending. I’m torn because yes, we can afford it. Grateful for that. But…this happens a minimum of twice a week and if you add that up, we’re blowing close to $500/month or $6000/year on this little expenditures, and that’s a LOT of money. We could do so many things we need to do to the house and yard with that kind of money. We need to repair sprinklers, have the exterior painted, fix up the landscaping in the front and back, repair that broken window, replace all our vent fans, the master shower is gross beyond repair and needs a new pan and enclosure, etc. And don’t even get me started with the $14k worth of AC work we’re planning for January/February. So that’s where I struggle…
Other spending…I bit the bullet and ordered a month’s worth of Thrive. I haven’t even mentioned Thrive yet, but I’ll share my experience here in another series. I am at a place where I feel like I can’t live without it. I am hoping that the fact that I no longer want soda or coffee, and that I’m eating so much less with it, and that it contains all the supplements I buy but forget to take, will offset its cost in the long run. So I spent $150 on my order and $25 on a small supply of shakes and patches to get me through till my order arrives. I did sell $40 worth of decor items that went toward the cost. And I sold that $50 desk and an $80 rehabbed doll, so I’ve covered it technically.
I bought $200 worth of electricity…which is about 10-12 days’ worth. Gosh, I cannot WAIT till we can update this system and experience the estimated 30-40% that it should save us. I had $200 cash from selling the fridge, so I just put it all toward power so I wouldn’t spend it on something else. At least we haven’t bought any clothing or shoes or makeup or ?? I do need to buy a couple things at Sally to tone K’s hair again. She went blonde and it needs another toning. That should not cost more than $10 or so.
We ended up canceling our 2-day hotel stay for D’s birthday. The waterpark turned out to not be open the days we set aside to go…so we decided to drive down and make it a day trip this coming Sunday. It’s only a 90 minute drive, so really no need to spend two nights in a hotel to do it. $270 saved. Score. His birthday gifts are pretty affordable. I spent $30 on Amiibos he wanted (and thinks are unavailable) and I’m ordering a $60 webcam (he does Youtube and has been using a webcam almost as old as he!). I can’t think of the last time we spent under $100 on birthday gifts that are totally going to blow him away. He wants to eat at Waffle House and go to Peter Piper Pizza on his birthday, which is probably less spendy than dinner for six at a real restaurant. 😀 We may do a movie too, if there’s time. Not too pricey if we do a matinee.
We had also planned to take the kids to Disneyland in November…but they didn’t really want to go. Crazy, right? Who ARE they? They both have a long list of rides they refuse to go on again, and they were complaining in advance about all the walking, having to be away from home for three days, etc. I was starting to get grumpy about spending so much money to give them an experience they aren’t at a stage where they’ll appreciate it.
So I said…you know what? Tom and I have only been on a trip together ONE TIME since Jake was born. And he’s 18. And the one trip was a company-sponsored awards ceremony for Tom, so a lot of it was like a business lunch on a loop. There was very little free time to just have fun. And we’ve NEVER been to Disneyland or another fun destination like that, alone. If we go alone, we can go for ONE day, because we won’t be dragging grumpy kids around with us ~ they really slow you down! The parks are open from 8am to 10pm/12am on our anniversary. We can do that 14 hour day if it’s just the two of us! Our ticket costs go from over $1000 to more like $300. Our food costs are cut in half, at least. Hotel cost is two nights instead of 3 or 4, and so much less cost for a nicer hotel. We can drive the small car and spend less than half the amount on gas that we would have if we took the large SUV. And we get an ANNIVERSARY TRIP. So that’s planned for August. I’ll probably buy the tickets (discounted, at AAA) with the first check of August and the hotel (only $287) will be paid with the second check of August. Meals and incidentals can be made up for by TRULY NOT DINING OUT for most of August. It will be a difficult task, but I’m ready to try again. 😀 I’m also counting this trip as my birthday gift (I was going to buy a new iPad mini) so incidentals should covered. And our marriage needs this. *heart*