If you are new to Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS), please click here. It’ll give you a little background and a starting point for browsing BFS. You can also subscribe to my RSS feed. If you have any questions or comments for me, please email me at budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail *dot* com anytime. Thanks for visiting!
Yesterday, a couple of you mentioned avoiding Walmart in the comment section of my post about grocery options. I recently stopped going to Walmart regularly too. Hey, Walmart! This is why you’re losing me…
I Used to Shop at Walmart
In college, Walmart was where I could find cheap groceries and supplies. It was cheap. It was close. It had what I needed. It’s been a decade since I graduated and either I’m noticing new stuff or…
Walmart Has Gotten Worse
Walmart used to be a part of . . . → Read More: Hey, Walmart! You’re Losing Me!
I was a lazy snob when it came to groceries. I apologize and am back to my personal finance blogging roots.
Want to know what got me to stop shopping solely at Kroger and HEB? Aldi’s and Dollar Tree. Seriously, check out these price comparisons from my most recent trips this past week:
Kroger has more options overall and they are 1-2 minutes from my house. The Dollar Tree is 2-3 minutes away, has limited options, but they really caught my attention with our favorite sandwich bread since we eat sandwiches nearly every day for lunch. Aldi’s is 8-10 minutes away, has more options than Dollar Tree but less than Kroger, and has taken the cake for me on the basics.
So Kroger is still my go-to for last minute fill-ins for meals. But Aldi’s and the Dollar Tree have become my go-to’s for the . . . → Read More: Have You Looked at ALL of Your Grocery Options?
One of my newsletter subscribers, Jill, asked for an update on my pet sitting business (thanks!). That reminded me that I wanted to do a little 2014 wrap-up for you.
Crystal’s Cozy Care for 2014
Here is the money stuff. I started Crystal’s Cozy Care on February 27th, 2014.
Gross Revenue – $10,560 Paypal and Square Expenses – $160 Other Pet Sitting Expenses (like insurance) – $660 Net Total Revenue for 2014 – $9740 Other Interesting Factoids for 2014 Total Miles Driven – 7300 Total Times Peed On – 4 Total Times I Gagged Picking Up Something Nasty – at least 6 memorable times…and I don’t gag easily… Funniest Story – Finding 3 cats instead of the two that I was expecting thanks to a cat door. Had to get the stray out, he kept coming back, and they finally decided to adopt him. They named him . . . → Read More: Nearly a Year Into Professional Pet Sitting…
A bunch of the financial changes we made, like switching to Ting Wireless, have finally taken effect. I also now know how much our property taxes and random insurances have increased. So, here is what we aim for each month now.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND – this is just our targets for monthly expenses. We have savings goals too, like fully funding each of our ROTH IRA’s each year. That money comes from whatever we can make above and beyond our expenses each month. Our average monthly income is around $8000, but that can be as low as $6000 one month and as high as $10,000 in others. That’s just the fun of self-employment, hehehe.
Our Current Monthly Budget Income Taxes – $2250 Home Mortgage – $990 Home Insurance/Property Taxes/HOA – $800 Rent House Home Insurance/Property Taxes – $350 Food – $500 Health Insurance – $320 Electricity – $150 . . . → Read More: Starting the New Year with this Monthly Budget
The following is from my younger sister and occasional guest poster, Teresa Ward. She thought she could share after she was happily surprised!
As Crystal announced, my husband and I are expecting our first child this year! While we couldn’t be more excited, I am daunted at the LONG list of items we need to purchase before our son’s birth. One of the biggest ticket items – although not a strict necessity for all mothers – was a breast pump as I plan to breastfeed for several months and would like my husband to be involved.
After realizing on Amazon that breast pumps vary widely in price all the way up to $300, I heavily researched them before making a purchase. Happily, I discovered my medical insurance covered mine 100%!!! Yes – I actually ended up ordering TWO FREE breast pumps that . . . → Read More: Pregnant? Maybe You Can Get a Free Breast Pump Too…
I’m peppy. Is it weird that a $55 cell phone bill makes me perky?
Making 2015 Kick Butt
Yep, I posted my official New Year’s resolutions for 2015. They were mainly financial along with one exercise goal. But, I have personal goals as well. Money is actually easier than life stuff in a couple of ways. I can usually find ways to make money. Work longer, take more pet sitting gigs, or even find a job working for someone else. Life overall isn’t as controllable.
Family and Friends
I think this category is covered as long as I don’t go back to Crystal like a decade ago. My main rule: Think of others before myself. That usually covers the family and friends’ stuff. My family loves me, which I thought was a given, but I have learned that I’m just lucky. My in-laws have taken me in . . . → Read More: Attacking 2015.
I wrote about switching from Sprint to Ting Wireless last month and promised to update you once we received our first bill. Here it is, and I am AMAZED:
Our Bill is Down Nearly $100 a Month!!!
Yep, our first month’s Ting bill came in at a whopping $55.38. We were paying $150 a month with Sprint for the exact same network for unlimited everything. That means we saved more than $94 in just one month!!!
To do the math:
Sprint’s early contract termination fee: -$230 Ting’s reimbursement: +$100 Signing up using a friend’s referral code: +$25 First Month’s Pure Savings: +$95 Net Loss in the first month = $10
We are only out $10 after a month, and we will make that up and then some in the next month! Then it’s pure savings! This is just too cool!!!
Other Cool Features
And if saving a butt . . . → Read More: Ting Wireless FOR THE WIN!!!