Friday, August 10, 2012

No Spending Paid Off

We launched into No Spend aftermath with our house taxes going up, which our brilliant mortgage company hadn't foreseen despite major renovations and increased property value. Good one, guys. What was a real sucker-punch was finding out the statement telling us we have a deficit and a higher payment didn't reflect the amount our property taxes just went up this July, oddly, the same amount as last year. Only this year we've done no renovations. The silver lining for a planner like myself is, because the increase is the same, I can expect the same deficit and increased payment next July. I'm being serious. We can prepare for bad news we know. Remember, I don't like surprises

All this trickled down into a reason to do what we wanted to do when the No Spend month wrapped up: figure out a less drastic version to apply to our monthly budget. I'd like to say we would've followed through even if there was no need, but I'm guessin' at least a month would've sloughed by before we tried to realign our ducks. So there's another silver lining...I know, someone stop me. 

The part of No Spending we hated most was limiting gas money. So we put that back in our Bills category where there's an amount allotted for it. It's a huge relief. The part we loved best was having a set amount of money to spend each day. This is the simplest, easiest, guilt free-est way to track your spending. We get paid monthly and it's so hard to gauge. I didn't even enjoy spending money at the beginning of the month. I worried I'd need it later and with good reason, since Brian's become accustomed to hearing, "I've spent all our money and there's still nine days til payday!"

We started August with a much-needed major grocery shop just like last month. We took that off the top as well as the amount needed for our revamped mortgage payment and other bills. The rest we divided by the number of days. What's different about this is we used to have categories: Entertainment (which we used for dates), Household and Groceries. In my head, once the paycheck was divided into these categories, it was spent. After our No Spend month, I realized it's not spent yet and a good portion is potential savings. This doesn't seem like a great epiphany, but it's impact is big. Knowing I can decide if I want to save or spend has me feeling freer than I've ever felt in the money department. Before, the whole topic left me feeling trapped and frustrated. 

This month has been the best of all worlds because I don't have to shop every few days to string out my purchases. I'm in the stores less than during the No Spend month, since I can afford the entire list. This keeps my world a little slower, which I cherish more than anything else. Brian's life as a principal with school starting has definitely changed gears, but peacefulness is lingering somehow. I've never felt so good about my purchases either. I made the mistake of going to the park on a really hot day and got pretty grumpy about it. I'm not a spontaneous person, so when I thought, "I'd love to go sit somewhere cool with the kids and eat ice cream," I was a little surprised. With an errand to run across the street from Cherry On Top, I figured we could each get just a little for around $5.00. So we did! And I didn't feel bad, or wonder if I was breaking the bank. I just enjoyed it. Bliss, people. I didn't know money could feel like this. 


                      another fun day...I was too busy enjoying my ice cream to photograph it

P.S. July also paid off in that we tucked away $495.20 for our Disney trip. As you know, this won't go very far, so we're planning a winter version of No Spending in February. Also, I miss chatting at you. Incessantly. 

P.S.S. Can you do me a favor and follow me if you read this blog? See, Brian went to this ginormous conference in Nashville and told me that everyone said they were enjoying my blog. I took that to mean all seven thousand of them. Not really, but Brian's memory is not all that and I would love to know who you are! The two he remembered warmed my heart so it would mean a lot to me. In a heart-warming, not head-swelling way. In case you were worried...

6 comments:

  1. I follow your blog through Google reader (I'm not techno savvy enough to know if you can see that or not(: ) My kiddos go to CVA and that is how I found your blog (through Brian). I have really enjoyed reading, and need to get our finances under tighter reign, so have enjoyed your tips.
    P.s. Got a chance to meet your sweet kids tonight. They were positively fabulous!

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  2. Thanks Jill! I can't see that - or at least I'm not tech-savvy enough to see it if it's there somewhere. : ) Cadence and Chandler told me all about Matthew when they got home tonight! So special. Can't wait to meet all of you...you look familiar to me, but I don't think we've actually met. Surely our paths will cross at some school function! : )

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    1. I'm not so tech-savvy myself with this blog thing. But try going to feeds.feedburner.com. I don't think you can see WHO has subscribed to your blog feed, but you can at least see how many :) That's how I follow blogs just 'cause it's easy to keep up in my own time that way.

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  3. I'm already following, but I think you know that!

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  4. Hey Kendra,
    I've been following you on Google Reader as well, but I've been inspired to start blogging again myself. For awhile I got overly concerned with it (I don't know why), but I'm taking the fun relaxed approach now and hopefully that will work better. Anyway, you are one of the inspirations for making me want to get back into it.

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  5. I'm excited to read your blog, Kate! So many people blog that I didn't even know about before I started. It's a whole new world and I can see how it can be overwhelming...hard to keep multi-media simple, right?!

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