No Shame Spending

OK here is money spent in the past four days–not normal, but I’m still OK with it.

Saturday: Spent the entire day (except for work out and grocery shopping time) with beloved eldest son and beloved daughter-in-law. They bought me a yummy pizza dinner Friday night (which as tired as I was, Diet Soda and potato chips would have been a “good enough” dinner.) AND they bought me an excellent Chipole burrito bowl lunch. I spent $8.48 on coffee at Starbucks for the three of us, $90.57 on X-mess gifts at Barnes & Noble and $38.95 at the grocery store.

Sunday: $27.41 for gas for the auto, $10.00 for 90 days of prescription meds, $19.43 for long leg work-out pants for me, $44.87 for household supplies (i.e. things like printer ink, gum, coffee filters and toilet paper.) and $20.51 for X-mess gifts and wrapping paper.

Monday: Nothing!!! Packed my lunch, cooked dinner for family. [High Five!!!!]

Tuesday: $10.79 for wine (already the work-week catches up with me. SIGH) and $11.08 for organic milk, cream and pepper  (the pepper was more than the milk and cream combined!!!!!)

Total for past four days: $ 282.09

Spending Update

Between the overtime, the kid’s activities and getting ready for (and celebrating) Thanksgiving, I have been too busy to report to you. But not too busy to take meticulous notes. Spending for the week:

Monday: $2.06 for chips (yes, I packed a lunch, but not enough and I ate this high calorie, high fat, high salt food as I drove between patients) $2 for parking at the courthouse to pay $210 for a speeding ticket and court supervision. I know, I know, I know!) You don’t have to scold me, I have been kicking myself since I got the damn thing. In the evening, I took my two free tickets to the Festival of Trees, where youngest son and I went to listen to middle son’s Jazz Band perform. Middle son got in for free. Beloved daughter was at a Scholastic Bowl meet. I did give youngest son $2.50 for a huge gingerbread cookie while there and I ate one of his little arms.


Again did not pack a sufficient lunch and spent $2.05 on chips and soda.


$10 for the retirement gift for my boss who is leaving us next month and $4.48 for a latte. Should I try to defend the latte? Hmm…it’s healthier than soda and chips (I get the soy milk ones) the caffeine provides a needed boost about 3:30pm and to shop is a quiet, smoke free place to do some patient documentation.


$19.80 in gas to get us to the celebration and back.


Back to work, $2.56 on chips and soda. OK, OK, I need to pack a bigger lunch, get chips at the grocery store and take my water bottle everyday. Last night beloved oldest son and daughter-in-law took me out for dinner. Woo Hoo!

Total for the week: $255.45


I Spent $1,041.35 In The Past Two Days

….and it really wasn’t anything out of line. See for yourself:

From Friday night– $1.75 for candy for the drummer extraordinaire (youngest son) during intermission  (OK, not essential, but not a big deal either…I don’t do that every day.)

From Saturday–

$20.00 lunch money for two kids, one going to Scholastic Bowl meet (Petersburg) gone ten hours and one going to IMEA Jazz festival (Jacksonville) gone ten hours.

Paid $500 on credit card, leaving a balance of $1,635.65. (YEAH!!!)

$120 to the dentist for the kids last appointment. Usually, this is paid the day of the appointment, but the office staff made an error, called me about it later in the day. I’ve known this bill was coming due for 2 weeks. (On a positive note, my insurance will reimburse me most of the cost of the visit which was cleaning and x-rays.)

$35 for lawn service (fertilizer, grub control, etc.) I know many of you would consider this a frivolous (or morally offensive) expense. In my defense, let me just note that for seven years I had an “au naturale” yard. Which resulted in a big mud patch. I tried to grow English ivy (it is invasive in this gardening zone–how could it not do well under my big shade tree?….. It died.) I consider this expense worth it for the following reasons: 1) if I decide to sell my house, the yard will not scare people away.  2) I am the only grown-up here, I don’t have time to do Everything. I pay other people to do the things I do not want to do.

$2.97 for soda for me and the jazz musician for the drive home after his performance. I needed the caffeine.

$118.72 for X-mess expenses, mostly gifts.

$23.89 for gas for the automobile.

$14.10 for wine (including a “nice” bottle for eldest son and DIL when they are here.)

$120.21 for groceries. This includes ingredients for items we are bringing to the Thanksgiving day feast and speciality items for “the princess” who will be staying at my home for three days. “The princess” knows who he/she is and is fastidious in eating a “clean diet.” Which is why I now have in my cupboard unsalted, dry roasted almonds, spinach & artichoke humus and millet & flax sun-dried tomato tortillas.

$3.59 for two bottles of shampoo and a box of plastic spoons.

$6.47 for an Ace wrap bandage for beloved daughter who twisted her ankle playing frisbee Friday night.

Then, on Sunday, between all the other chores I got done, I spent

$70.17 on X-mess gifts and

$4.48 for a soy latte–which you may assume was frivolous…but it was Essential! Between the low caffeine lag and the low-blood-sugar shakes, it was just an appropriate therapy.

Total for the weekend: $1,041.35

Thursday and Friday

Thursday was a no spend day, Friday I bought a $1.70 soda and spent $3.00 to attend the middle school talent show where beloved youngest son did an awesome rendition of the drum part of Jimmy Eat World’s song “The Middle” right up until the point where he threw one of the drum sticks away. He had a smooth recovery–made me proud.

Today was also payday with about 17 hours of overtime on it. Tomorrow will be a big spend day, and maybe Sunday too.

Expensive Day

I knew that today was going to be an expensive day, but whew, seeing the total is sobering. I do spend less money on the days I work.

Eat out #1: $10.89 (This was both a practical matter and a celebration. Beloved youngest son got his braces off today, and missed lunch hour at school. So we stopped at Subway and got lunch before he went back.)

Eat out #2: $7.86 for  2 lattes at Starbucks. I invited a friend there for a weighty discussion. My treating him was a very small bribe for a very big favor.

Bike part: $2.14 Beloved daughter is borrowing her brother’s bike. We needed an adaptor for the pump as those inner tubes have a different sized stem.

Groceries: $96.98

Wine: $8.72

Household supplies: $4.78

Clothes for me: $6.47  This is just an undershirt to wear under one of my dresses that is too low-cut for work. Cleavage is NOT an asset in my job.

Christmas (or as I like to refer to it: X-mess): $106.92 Ordinarily, I would be opposed to shopping so early for gifts, but beloved oldest son and his wife are spending Thanksgiving with us and Christmas with her family. I thought I would send their gifts home with them at Thanksgiving and save myself the shipping. (Not that you guys wouldn’t be worth the shipping….)

Total spent today: $244.76


Cost of Working + Stupid

The book Your Money or Your Life (highly, highly recommended by me) talks about the cost of working, i.e. money spent that you would not have to spend if you did not have The Job. Usually that included things like work clothes, transportation to work, meals out because you don’t have time to cook, etc.

Tomorrow, I have a very full work day and then a meeting at 5:30pm. I decided to make a lasagna this weekend that the kids could warm up Monday night, while I was at my meeting. I took some organic pork sausage and some organic ground beef out of the freezer to thaw on Friday night. Then, I got busy doing laundry, so I put it in the oven (not turned on) to keep the cats out of it while it thawed.

Then I forgot about it and went to bed, and then went to work, and then went to bed and when I remembered it at noon today, decided to throw it away when I got home. The store that sells organic meat was closed when I got off work…so I went to the regular store and bought non-organic ground beef and pork sausage.

I spent $8.09 tonight (though that is NOT the cost of the ruined meat) and am making the lasagna tonight. The ground beef came in packages of 2#, so half is saved for another meal.


That is the only money spent today. (I remembered my water bottle.)

Like the First Day of the Diet

Just like the first day of the diet is the easiest….today wasn’t so hard. I worked about 11 hours, packed my breakfast and lunch. I had plenty of gas in the car for the 155 miles I drove. So the only money spent was $1.70 for a soda. And if I had remembered to pack my water bottle, I wouldn’t have spent that.

So far, so good.

Money Money Money

The past year has felt like a money hemorrhage. About a year ago, my car needed replacement before I had saved the purchase price for the next one. I borrowed money. I had not had a car payment in about five years.

I should have waited longer to start the kitchen remodel. Mid-project, my cabinet installer had a heart attack and my cost for that part of the project doubled. (He’s OK now, just going much slower than before.)

There has been the once-every-four-years band trip to Disney ($850 per band member–I’m paying for one, their dad is paying for another.) And so on……

This past week is a case in point. Last Saturday, while I drove across the central Illinois countryside between the state cross-country meet in Peoria and the Illinois Music Educators Association band concert in Macomb, beloved youngest son was playing computer games on the laptop–and broke the left click on the mouse. SIGH. Beloved daughter’s saxophone needed a tune-up. I have already paid for minor repairs on her clarinet, the school’s baritone saxophone that middle son plays and youngest son’s snare drum. I have actually created a line item in the budget for instrument repair. Wednesday, a part blew off my car as I was driving down the road (passenger side roof molding.) Also, this week, we have spent $56 on craft supplies for items for the Latin Club convention this weekend.

The absolute worst money drain this week, though, was the beautiful bicycle that beloved daughter got for her birthday in September, the bike that she rides to school every day, was stolen from the school grounds while she was in class.

And here is my dirty, dirty secret: I haven’t paid for it yet. I bought her bicycle with my credit card, and I haven’t paid it off yet.

I did not have a credit card from the years 2001 through 2009 by choice. I only got one because I was told it would ease international travel when we went to Paris. Buying a new car last fall emptied out my big emergency fund. The kitchen debacle created about $3,000 of credit card debit.

I still have my $1000 emergency fund. I have been faithfully putting $1000/month into the kid’s college fund and $667/month into my IRAs. But the credit card debit is really bugging me. So–here is my new challenge–I will not spend money on anything frivolous until it is paid off. I will blog daily about my successes and failures. I will post every single cent I spend. I hope that being accountable to you all will keep me on task. Feel free to comment about money spent. How you would do it differently (your idea of frivolous may be different from mine), encouragement (I may need a lot of that) or just random ideas about spending less.

Thank you  in advance.

Here are the disclaimers (there are always disclaimers):

1) I will spend $100 on each child (includes DIL) for Christmas

2) I will continue to get my hair colored

3) I am allowed up to $70/month for wine.

Here is how I did today:

Repair to beloved daughter’s alto saxophone $46.68.

Repair of Honda’s roof molding $0.00 (still under warranty)

More tiles and grout for the Latin Club mosaic project $12.40.

Groceries $7.17

Wine $2.91

Winter clothes for the boys (coat, hat, gloves) $63.27   two items on sale for $12.39 off.

Household items (cleaning product, batteries for smoke detectors, toothpaste [$1 off coupon],  hair conditioner [$1 off coupon], 4 wine glasses, paper lunch bags) $31.80

Christmas cards  $7.56

Total spent today: $166.79