Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Budging Budget

Confession time:  P and I have never created a household budget.  Ever. I’m sure this is a surprise to no one that has read my previous posts, and if you haven’t please do…I will wait for you.  Seriously… scroll down, enjoy the read, laugh and I will meet you back up here.  I will give you a few minutes (a few imaginary minutes pass by).  Haha, good stuff, I know!

Alright, now back to the budget (or lack thereof).  I have read a few statistics about how many Americans, like myself, don’t operate with a budget each month regarding their finances.  Side note:  While searching for relevant statistics to incorporate into this blog, I found out a few things.  Did you know that April is National Financial Literacy Month?  April is also National Humor Month, National Pecan Month, and International Guitar Month?  Did you also know that a great way to write this blog is by enjoying a very refreshing 16 oz. Keystone Light?  I feel like I’m getting off track again…where were we, oh yes, something to do with a big word, Oh!  “Statistics”.

After reading several articles, the numbers vary but this is the gist of it:

The number of American households that don’t track their monthly spending is somewhere around 40%.  This was written in the shortest and simplest way by a  Bankrate.com survey in July 2011 which asked the question”Do you, or does your spouse, track your monthly spending against a budget, or not?”  Their findings:  40% do not, 58% do.  Second side note:  Anyone else get annoyed when surveys come out and 100% isn’t accounted for?   Like with the above survey, what in the heck did the other 2% say that wasn’t yes or no, or did they randomly go into serenading a Justin Bieber song, and Bankrate.com did not feel it was necessary to put that information in their little survey?  They should have, it would have been the most interesting part.

But what is a survey anyway?   Who cares about what a survey says unless it is on an episode of Family Feud?  The only thing about surveys is that it asks a question and automatically you should ask yourself if it applies to you.  Well survey says that this girl is a part of the 40% that doesn’t track her monthly spending and she is also part of the 2% that have Bieber Fever.

So on Easter Sunday I resurrected a budget.  P was golfing, but I felt like I was the one on par with what I should have been doing that day (have to include at least one pun per blog).  So here is an outline of the budget I made up for the month of April, please feel free to use and modify accordingly to your monthly bills:

April 2013 Budget

  • Mortgage/Rent:
  • Insurance:
  • Electric Bill:
  • Cell Phone:
  • Cable/Internet:
  • Jeep Payment (a.k.a. “The Reason Why I Drink”):
  • Student Loan Payment(s):
  • Credit Card Payment:
  • Fun Money (Entertainment):
  • Savings:
  • Gas:
  • Groceries:

Total amount:

Total income:

Excess/Overage:

So there it is, a budget that will budge by the end of the month, but at least there is now a tracking sheet of  where our money is going and how much of it is going where.

Thanks for reading!

Ang

Debit House Of Cards

Debit cards.  Our generation’s version of “The Electric Slide”.  Oh, how I have mastered that slide, as most of you reading this have as well.  My debit card ( let’s call her “Debbie”) is very convenient.  Debbie buys me gas and groceries.  She has taken me on trips and wined and dined me.  Debbie is essentially my sugar momma and I love it, or rather loved it.  See the thing about Debbie is, she used my money to buy me things.  Not only that but that saucy minx didn’t even bother to balance my checkbook either.  The result:  Going to my account online thinking there would be $800.00, and alas, only finding $200.00.  Oh Debbie!

This brings me to my first lesson that I have learned and want to share will all my “reader” (Hi Mom)!

Frugoal Lesson #1:  Never let anyone but YOU think with YOUR money.

While I was recently ice skating with a friend of mine, who happens to work at a very small bank in the area, we started talking about debit cards and overdraft fees.  My friend, let’s call her “Bianca” (her face reads like more of a “Heather”, but her hair is very”Bianca”ish) since she still works at this itty bitty bank, informed me that this bank makes over $100,000.00 a month in overdraft fees!!  Did I mention that this is a small bank.  Can you then imagine what a Wells Fargo, or BofA makes a month?  Too many zeros for this lady to count (not because I can’t, but because of sheer laziness.  Just wanted to clarify).  How many of us are letting our Debbie’s do the thinking for us?  How many of us have let Debbie leave us with a $35.00 overdraft charge, or more?  How many of us let Debbie use us, abuse us, whisper sweet nothings in our ear, while leaving us with nothing in our checking accounts?  Well this gal isn’t taking it anymore.  Time to get reacquainted with a past lover of mine called the checkbook (let’s call him “Chuck”). Don’t get me wrong, Debbie and I will never part ways, it’s just I am now running into the arms of Chuck.  Yes, Chuck is slower, bigger and more work, but Chuck also would always make it easy to see where my finances were going and how much money I had left to spend.  I’m sorry Chuck, please take me back and we can figure this out together.  As for Debbie, that chick works for me now.  Yes, she is easier and accessible, but now I’m only using her on my terms.

So let’s all fall back in love with Chuck, only use Debbie when we have to, and no more overdraft fees for any of us.

Lastly, next time you are in line at the grocery store and see someone whip out there Chuck (oooh, that sounds bad, let’s change “Chuck” back to checkbook).  Let’s try this again…next time you are in line at the grocery store and see someone whip out there checkbook, don’t start cursing silently or rolling your eyes.  Instead, give them a slow clap, an epic slow clap.  Then, before you are asked to leave the store for acting like you are intoxicated, give them a pat on the back and say “way to go sport”, or “great job being smart with your money”, or something far more clever, but you get the point.