Why Does Spending Money Make me Happy and Sad?

Over the past few months I’ve been a little more lax about spending money than I used to be.  I have had a hard time in the past spending money on fun things, and was always beating myself up about it.  I decided to be a little more laid back and it’s come back to bite me in the butt.  It’s not like we’re living paycheck to paycheck as a result of it, nor have we gone into debt, but I have noticed little habits that I’d like to nip in the bud before they get out of hand.

It’s so hard because when I spend money and get fun new things (especially in the mail) it makes me so happy! Then I realize how much money I’ve spend and how I probably didn’t need that thingamajig and it makes me sad.  Luckily, I’ve noticed that this has become a problem and I’m starting to address the issue.

My biggest problem is shopping as a hobby.  I’ll admit, there have been quite a few days where I’ve been bored and to combat that I’ve gone to Target.  Well, Target is like a black hole and not only do I get sucked in to look at all the pretty things, but then I end up buying things that I didn’t plan on buying or need.  I also notice that the more trips that I make to the store, the more money ends up going out that month.  It makes sense: I’ll stop at the grocery store to buy something for dinner and then while I’m there I “need” at tea or a Larabar, and while a few bucks really isn’t going to break me, if I do that every day for a month it adds up really quickly!

I have been trying to keep busy by attending moms’ groups, play dates and other meetings so that I’ll be able to get out of the house.  What’s nice about those activities is that they are mostly free.  The park, splash pads, and library are also great resources for when I want something to do that won’t cost me anything.

I’m really not too worried about our finances, but I do believe that I need to be more conscious when it comes to spending money.  Buying things that we really don’t need is silly, and in the long run will not be good for our financial future.

Are you a hobby shopper? Do you tend to buy things when you’re bored?


2012 Goals Update

I realize that we’re almost two months into 2013, but I’d still like to go over our 2012 goals and recap how we did. I also need to set up some 2013 goals! 😉

1. Set up a savings account for the baby. We opened a savings account with ING (now Capital One 360) for the baby a few months after she was born.  We put any birthday/gift money into it for her.  I need to research 529 plans and see if that is something we’d like to do.

2. Figure out life insurance. We have some life insurance though Mr. Money’s employer but should probably look into getting more.

3. Change beneficiaries.  Did this!  It was very easy once we got the baby’s social security number.

4. Make more money blogging/working from home. Looking back, this was quite a lofty goal.  I mainly focused on taking care of my high needs baby while trying to keep the house clean.  It was a little crazy.  Although I didn’t quite achieve this goal, I don’t feel one ounce of guilt about it.  I am doing what I love and couldn’t be happier.  I did watch my friend’s 10 month old daughter for a few weeks for her and it was nuts.  I did make a little extra money though.

5. Stay debt free. Yay! No new debt.

6. Finish up all house projects that need to be done. Ha. Who didn’t see this one coming?!  I can’t get any house projects done with my crazy baby.  🙂  I did manage to paint our bathroom though!

7. Learn to relax and not worry so darn much. Having a baby really makes you stop and think about what really is important.  2012 was the best year of my life, and I would do it all over again in a second!  I can’t wait to watch Penny learn and grow over the years!

I do need to work on our 2013 goals and figure out what we want to accomplish.  I’m looking forward to great things! 🙂


The Bare Bones Budget

Obviously, with Mr. Money unemployed, we’re adopting a bare bones budget.  Here’s our budget and what we’ve done so far:

Mortgage- $793.00 (Can’t change this)
Escrow- $220.00 (Can’t change this)
Gas & Electric- $140.00- Since we budget this ourselves, we currently have a surplus.  If things get really bad I can use up all the money in our electricity account and start contributing again when Mr. Money has a job.  I’ve started line-drying all the clothes and we’ve turned the thermostat down a little.  Hopefully those two things will help.
Car Insurance- $92.00- I can shop around for quotes but since we bundle our homeowners insurance with it, I don’t know how much cheaper I can get it.
Groceries- $300.00 🙁 I cut this a lot, and it makes me sad.  I am hoping we can actually make it on $300 a  month for groceries.
Cell Phone- $43.00- Mr. Money is going to take over my phone since he’s losing his company phone.  I’ll go without until I get a prepaid.
Cable, Phone, Internet– $145.00- I’m going to call to see if we can get it cheaper.  I have to have a home phone and we need the internet so Mr. Money can search for a job.
Gas- $150.00- We cut this a lot since there isn’t a need to drive every day.
Retirement- put on hold
Savings– put on hold
Health Insurance- $240.00- we have to pay this all ourselves now each month.
Dogs- $70.00
Water Bill- $22.00

I won’t lie, I’m really scared right now.  Hopefully he will be able to start collecting unemployment soon. He had three interviews with one company last Monday but hasn’t heard anything back yet 🙁  I think I’ll be less stressed once I know we’ll have some money coming in.  I’m still trying to come up with some ideas of things I can do from home to bring in money.

It seems as though everything I can think of is already being done or just not a good idea.

I’m hoping Mr. Money will line up a good paying job with benefits soon. The unknown is so scary!

Do you see anything in our budget you think I should change?

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