October Budget

This is the first month in which my husband and I both have decent paying, full time jobs, and I am ecstatic!!!! 

Why? Because now we can actuall have a budget, know what kind of money we are going to make, and more importantly, know how much money we are able to SPEND!

 I have been using Dave Ramsey’s Monthly Cash Flow worksheet for the most part, but all of the eraser marks get in the way, so I have created an easier to use Excel spreadsheet.  I love it, but I’m biased.  It’s the first true month we have been able to complete, and attempt to follow through on a budget, so we’ll see how it goes.  So far, so good!  We have little tweaks to make here and there – but overall, it’s been fantastic! 

Let’s see how I feel on the 15th with a mid-month review!

Back on the Wagon!

I am in week three of a new job, and my husband will soon be joining me – doubling our income from zero to YEAY!

I will be spending all day on Saturday going over our finances and seeing where we stand, and then creating a budget to begin in October when the dust settles and we are on a steady pay cycle.

I am so excited! Maybe I’ll be able to get the internet again so I can post more often! WOOT WOOT!

CVS Trip – Success!

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I fianally got my husband to come with me to the grand opening of a local CVS.  I was really quite excited.  It’s a bit of a rush when I get to ‘show off’ by saving money.  Weird, I know.  I was thrilled to see that it had finally opened!  It’s a very nice looking  store, by the way.

I had my list printed out, coupons ready, and binder in hand – in case I saw a good deal.  However, being a new store, there weren’t any clearance items that I could find.  I am kicking myself, though. I forgot to have my bag tag scanned. It’s like giving away free money!  It makes my tummy knot up…

Anyway, after all was said and done, we spent about $30.00 (if I had to guess, since my receipts are at home), but only $9.20 out of pocket – in three transactions, and I have $4 in ECBs left.  I’m pretty sure that if I had planned better, we would have spent even less.  I just felt a little rushed during checkout.  There were also a few things that we wanted that weren’t in stock.  I will probably go to anothet store tomorrow or Saturday to see if I have better luck. 

NOTE:  Since initally writing this post, I have gone back to the new CVS, and to my ‘usual’ CVS – TWICE! – and the items still have yet to be re-stocked.  I guess I’m feeling the frustration of the being the victim of a ‘shelf-clearer.’  I hate missing such a good sale, but I guess I will have to suck it up.  **grumble**

Budgeting 101

This is not a class.  It’s a request for one!    

I finished my May Budget about a week ago.  Maybe a little more.  I felt like I had achieved something.  Every dollar had a name, and every name had a goal.  I was thrilled.  I had my husband look it over, which he said he did, and he was also impressed.

And then time passed.  Tweaks and tweaks galore!  Pull $10 out of here to put over there….  $15 needs to go here, so where to we get it from?  Etcetera, etcetera…

I have mentioned that I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey in the past, I know – but the one thing he doesn’t do is really explain the Budget.  Sure, he says to assign every dollar a purpose, but he doesn’t really tell you where to begin!

No, Dave – I am not blaming you for my Budget edits!  Far from it!  I just would feel better if I knew I was doing it correctly.  I made another adjustment last night, but have not had a chance to go over it with the hubs – since I’m going to have to do another one shortly – to accommodate for some other spending that I don’t think one of us can do without – but until then – a bit of reassurance would be wonderfully comforting.

I have been Challenged by Mary Kay

Limited Edition Set

Simply Cotton Mother's Day Set

With Mother’s Day around the corner, ( Sunday, May 8th) I thought that now would be a great time to hold a virtual Business Debut.  To kick it off, I have set a goal of selling ten of the Simply Cotton gift sets by next Friday.  In itself, it sounds like a goal that may be reached – but the planning is a bit fuzzy.

I believe that I need to speak with some of my male friends, as they are usually somewhat clueless about what to get their wives, moms, grand-moms, etcetera for Mother’s Day.  I think that this would be a fantastic way for them to get in good with their Female counterparts, and the Mom’s get a cute bag, scarf and sweet smelling perfume!  Win-Win in my book!

I also think it could be a cute idea for Dad’s to get them as gifts ‘From the Kids.’  What kid doesn’t want to give their mom a Mother’s Day gift?  Right?  (Really – Right?  I don’t have kids,  so I don’t know! hehe)  Anyway, since this is my first attempt at achieving I am going to go Full Force.  No holds barred!  (I still don’t understand that saying…) Balls to the Wall!  (I got caught up in the moment….)  I think you get the picture.  So, that being said, if it looks like something you would like more information on – feel free to go to my Mary Kay site, Follow me on Twitter, or send me an email/leave a comment!  You would be helping out a fellow blogger as well as giving a great gift to a loved one!  What could be bad about that?

Shopping trip #2

I gathered my binder, my reusable bags (Earth Day is around the corner, people!), my list and my confidence, and headed to Winn Dixie.

I always have the feeling that people are staring at me when I first roll my cart in – bags tucked into the baby seat with my binder propped up on them. But as I make my way down the aisles, I feel a lot better about the money I’m saving.

I took advantage of a couple of their ‘Buy this, get these X number of items for free.’ I can always use Cereal and Laundry detergent!

There were a lot of B1G1 sales, and 10 for $10 that I just love. I think we’re stocked up on veggies for quite some time! Meats, I’m not too familiar with, so I just got the bare minimum to get us a couple dinners.

This time, I was quicker because I knew what I wanted, what I had coupons for, and had something of a list to go by. However, I was still a bit disorganized for my liking. Though my efficiency was better than last time, improvements can, and will, be made.

After a bit over an hour of shopping, and maybe 10 minutes or so in checkout, my first total came to approximately $284! Again, my heart skipped a little.

After the reward card and coupons – I saved $121!!!! I paid (approximately) $160!!! Squee!

Now, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t dip under $100 – since I was fairly close. But I am quite happy that my savings increased from last time.

I had no idea that you could use coupons on already free items! Knowing that gave me a few more weapons in my arsenal!

One day, I will learn percentages and see where I’m ranging, but for now, the numbers are just fine with me. (Anyone out there have a good program, or equation to figure this out? I was never great with percentages….)

Mary Kay – Worth My Time & Money?

As I know I have mentioned before, I want out of the day to day crap that is my job.  Sure, the people are fantastic, but the job is boring and I need to make more money.

 

A few years ago, when I worked for the local office of a national real estate company, I met a lady who sold Mary Kay.  She saw how much lip balm I used on a daily basis and told me about the Satin Lips kit that Mary Kay offers.  I tried the sample she gave me, and it worked.  I didn’t buy it, but it was a really nice change.  I did get a couple of things from her, but that was it.  Later, at another job, I found a catalog from a local Independent Beauty Consultant and ordered from her.  I only did this once, because of money constraints, but again, I liked the stuff that was offered.

 

So, when I began at my current job, I found out that not one, but two of my co-workers were IBCs.  One invited me to her parties and whatnot, and the other seemed to keep to herself.  I did order from both of them, however  Only because one kept an inventory of things that I used.  The other girl would place orders as needed.  I saw how different the business could be.

 

Eventually, both ladies left the firm and I thought I was done.  I didn’t think it was all that big a deal, because I hadn’t always used Mary Kay, so I knew I could find things that I enjoyed as much.  However, about a year ago, another co-worker decided to start her own Mary Kay Biz.  She is not the most social or approachable person, but she has done okay for herself.  From what I can tell, anyway…  I have gone to a couple of her training sessions, where we get to try new products and get mini makeovers.  They are a lot of fun and there are a variety of people there!  I get the feeling that if she can do it, so could it.

 

But then I wonder, “How?”  I am not very social.  I love computers, so I could get the word out via the typical social networks and whatnot, but will that be enough to justify the initial investment?  The reason I am thinking about it now is because there is a huge price break on the start up kit – which could NOT have come at a better time!  I have been watching and reading the testimonials on the MK site, which have been an inspiration.  I am talking a lot with my co-worker – who is really excited for me!  That is a surprise in itself!  In what kind of business is someone happy for someone else??? Girls are supposed to be catty and annoyed when other girls want to succeed…  But I don’t get that from Mary Kay.  Everyone I have spoken with is supportive, excited and overall happy.  I want to be happy!  I am still going to give it some more thought, but it’s really leaning toward a ‘Yes, I want to be an IBC for MK!’