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Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Just a quick note here, but I sat down to balance my checkbook tonight and look over the remaining monthly bills. Due to some chronic medical issues, I have been off work for almost a month now, and my savings are thus depleted severely.

So I gazed up at the computer monitor to review my checking account transactions. I must admit, it was like Dorian Gray looking at his portrait! I was horrified and traumatized at the same time. LOL!

Sad but true, the numbers don’t lie anymore than his portrait did. Even so, sometimes we have to face the ugly and awful truth and just deal with it.

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fruit

Royalty Free Photo by Bill Longshaw courtesy of Free Digital Photos

I love summer for a variety of reasons. Being financially obsessed as I am, the top reason I love it are the Farmer’s Markets! Living in a cold, northern region as I do, at no other time throughout the year can I get the same great price deals on so large a quantity of food.

The appearance of the Farmer’s Market is a good boon for the local consumer, no matter what. Even if you choose not to stop and see what they have to offer, (though shame on you if you do not), it means the local stores also have to lower prices in some areas to stay competitive.

You still have to savvy of course. Here’s an example: yesterday I stopped in at the Farmer’s Market and got a great deal on potatoes. (No lie – $0.75 for a 10-pound-bag of russet potatoes.) How awesome is that? Its the first time I have ever seen that many potatoes for so low of a price. They weren’t malformed, half rotted, or anything else to make them less of a good deal.

However, at the same market they also had watermelon for $5. Now I already knew from my shopping earlier this week that the local grocery store was selling watermelons for $4. I could have taken the $1 difference hit, but the grocery store was on my way home anyhow. So a dollar not spent today is one more dollar I have for tomorrow. It may seem small, but it can add up.  On a shopping trip for a week’s worth of groceries, little differences like that can add up to savings of $10, $20, $30 or more.

So keep your eyes open, shop around and appreciate the economic value of the local Farmer’s Markets, whether you choose to shop there or not.   🙂

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Money has always seemed to run through my fingers like water; I don’t mean a slow trickle either. We are talking full throttle, Niagra falls style! J. Money’s blog this morning compared savings to a ball of rubber bands, and I can tell you that mine keeps falling apart!

Breaking It Down For You
To illustrate my point about the money flowing out faster than it will ever flow back in, let me give you a few details.

1) Today is payday! (That’s always awesome.) So as of this morning I had $968.27 deposited into my account.
2) Immediately my loan payment was taken out which reduced it by $75.33.
3) My department store credit card payment was automatically taken out $20.
4) I had to take money from the ATM this morning for school/kid costs of $10.
5) I bought groceries totaling $32.01.
6) Gas in the vehicle cost me $29.53.
7) Lastly, repayment of a loan from a friend was $50.

Okay, so to recap, this morning I had $968.27 to the good. I am now $216.18 dollars poorer for a total of $752.09 remaining less than 12 hours later! OUCH! Considering I have yet to pay the big bills for the month, maybe I will be able to afford to eat the rest of the month, maybe I won’t. Good thing rice is still cheap!

My Master Plan
My master plan is to do what all the truly good personal finance bloggers suggest:

a) Plan ahead. Scan the local paper, find the grocery sale items, plan my next week of meals around the sale items, and scan the internet for applicable coupons to coincide with the sale items. Then try to avoid temptation from the non-sale items that will be calling my name (Oreos, Chocolate, Twinkies, etc.) – easier said than done.

b) Fix my budget. I currently don’t have a real budget; it is more like a poker hand. I take what I think I can do the best with and throw the rest back for the next paycheck/month. LMAO! It is not a “genius taking over the world” kind of master plan, but it has been a hard habit to break.

c) Negotiate. By trying to negotiate lower payments and APR’s with my creditors, I may be able to save myself some serious troubles later on. At this point, my credit score is shot with many bad credit bullet holes.  It won’t do any more damage to get some help. If need be, I may have to enlist the help of a reputable credit counselor. But I will take this one step at a time. I prefer to negotiate for myself, rather than leaving my fate in the hands of someone else.

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