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07/01/2009

Sticking To Our Budget

It’s almost the end of our first month of Project Money. One of our biggest goals for saving money was to reduce our spending on dining out to just $50 per month. I was a little unsure of meeting this goal since we both went back to work (and back to our busy schedules) two weeks ago, but Willie and I have been able to stick to our budget (give or take a few dollars) and are ending the month on track. Eating at home is not as difficult as it seems if you keep the fridge stocked with groceries and plan meals for the week.

We are a little worried about how July will go because my paycheck will be significantly smaller from some unpaid time off at the end of my maternity leave. We have money left over from this month to cover it, but we’re trying not to dip into it if we don’t have to. We also have a few extra expenses to account for: It will be our first full month of paying for daycare—definitely something we need to adjust to since it will be a regular monthly expense for the next five years. We’ll also need to pay the deductible from our homeowner’s insurance to get our air conditioner fixed when the bill comes. Let’s just hope it keeps working and we don’t have to pay to replace it this year!
 
Another extra is that we’d like to buy plants to finish the landscaping we started in our yard. Right now the front of the house that was formerly home to some bushes my husband despised is just a big patch of dirt. At least we’re saving some money because we’re doing everything ourselves, although if I could afford it, I’d happily pass off the weed pulling, root digging, and dealing with nasty bugs to someone else! We haven’t really priced out how much it will cost as we’re not sure what plants we want to get, but one thing I’ve heard is that you can save money by buying the smaller plants which in a short period of time will grow just as big as the bigger ones that cost more. We’ll let you know how it turns out.

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