Tag: budget

Selling Clothes: ThredUp vs. Poshmark

Selling Clothes: ThredUp vs. Poshmark

There are several resale websites/apps for clothing and fashion items. Two of the biggest are ThredUp and Poshmark. Both have great marketing, but which one is ACTUALLY better to use? I’ve used both, and none of this is sponsored. Just my thoughts and a few […]

Budget Fail and Budget Win

Budget Fail and Budget Win

This week I had a budget fail that really stuck out to me as a “stupid tax,” but then also a budget win that almost made up for it just a day later! These were both pretty unique things so I figured it might be […]

July Budget Recap – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

July Budget Recap – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This month involved some tough learning for us in the budget department. It was a bit of a slap into “don’t get too comfortable” reality. I want to end on the exciting positive, but first some guilty admissions. I might sound a little dramatic. We didn’t have any emergencies occur, just plain overindulgence. Maybe this is why I haven’t been posting as much? Because I knew we were living in a way that didn’t feel right? I’m not sure, but we’re definitely going to get our booties back in gear. 

 

The Bad

It’s July 25th, and I have that feeling. The lurching in my stomach of not knowing how much money is in our checking account. The thought that I think we get paid this week, but that I know we have bills left, and we need to buy groceries. The the guilt of “how did I let myself feel this way?” There is reassurance in our savings account(s), but the weight of guilt that we really shouldn’t be touching those funds. When we were traveling home, we needed to withdraw cash to pay a toll (this toll ONLY takes cash) and it was the middle of nowhere so cash back checking wasn’t an option. Quickly, I decided to swallow that fear and logged into our bank account. There was only $87 available. This is technically a good thing on a zero based budget, but we had a much bigger buffer intended than what we’d ended up with. We also had to pay a stupid tax: an ATM withdrawal of $20 cost $23.50. The ATM charged us $2, and our credit union charged $1.50!

 

The Ugly (and Embarrassing)

In short, we overspent beyond our budget a LOT this month. There was travel over two weekends that we didn’t really budget for. We just sort of went and didn’t worry about it, thinking to ourselves that we did up our restaurant fund. Which is true, we did this, but not nearly enough. I also didn’t account how much more gas money we would be going through, or the fact that we’ve had the air conditioning on every day. In short, we slipped up. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but we totally did. In fact, the story of overspending got much worse when I went to log into my work’s “view my paycheck” application. I was thinking that my quarterly bonus would be coming up soon. My heart sank and my stomach felt sick the moment the webpage lit up. My bonus had already come with the past paycheck. Scratch that. My bonus had already come and gone. I felt sick. That was about $600 that didn’t have a name, wasn’t in our budget, and “magically went away.” We ate and drank our way through my bonus without even realizing it. Shame doesn’t even begin to cover how I was feeling. That should’ve been included in our budget to go towards our Baby Step 3 goal, and we didn’t even realize it was there! I beat myself up about it, but this was a wakeup call that we need to keep ourselves in check.

 

Another thing we have really (and I mean really) been struggling with is not knowing what we want in a future home. Specifically, the location of a home. Housing is at an all-time high right now, and we aren’t sure we can afford what we really want or how timing would work out. So then the question becomes: should we rent longer? Or should we buy a starter home? Honestly, I don’t really want to buy a starter home (quick disclaimer: yes this would be with a proper down payment per Dave’s recommendations etc.). It seems like a decent amount of risk and I’m not sure about the area in general. We want to ideally purchase a fixer-upper on a lake (ON. Not near.) which still don’t come cheap. So basically, we are really conflicted, and not knowing what we want makes it harder to focus on saving. When we were in Baby Step 2, the goal was 100% clear: PAY OFF ALL DEBT. Be debt free. We were gazelle intense and had a goal with a finish line that was far away but obvious. Baby Step 3 is pretty clear too: Enough $$ to cover 3-6 months of expenses. But this house goal? It isn’t clear. We don’t even know where we are running. Do we need a $10K down payment? Or a $100K? Do we tighten our budget back to nothing again to buckle down on a down payment? Do we live relaxed and happy with renting? We don’t know. Do we attempt to flip a house and move? Could that cause us to be stuck in a home we don’t love? We don’t know and it’s causing us to spin our wheels.

 

The good budget news? Yes, there is some good news!…

We still made progress on Baby Step 3 and we are officially HALFWAY to our (newly increased) goal fully funded emergency fund! We decided to raise it up a couple thousand because we have such a cheap rental and can’t count on rent always being this low. This is really exciting and is giving us some more motivation to get through Baby Step 3. After that? Well, you read my thoughts. We need some time and thought and discussion to decide what we want for our family.  If you have any helpful tips or stories about buying your first home, please let me know.

 

With Motivation,

Rachel

Note: there are no affiliate links in this post. Just some shame and embarrassment.

Budgeting Utilities + Tips to Lower Utility Bills

Budgeting Utilities + Tips to Lower Utility Bills

There are a few ways that might be helpful when budgeting for utilities. I can tell you upfront that when we began, we took a complete guess based on the square footage of our rental and hoped that it wouldn’t be over that amount. It […]

Critical Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Review

Critical Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Review

So if you are familiar with my website, you know that I was able to score the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz for $1.50 at Ulta a while ago. Yea. AWESOME DEAL. And I was so excited to try this because it is such a […]

Spring Sprucing: Free or Budget Friendly Ways to Freshen Your Home

Spring Sprucing: Free or Budget Friendly Ways to Freshen Your Home

This year, spring has been fantastic. Growing up in an area that didn’t have spring made me not care for the season, but here it is truly a beautiful time. I see so many gorgoues home accent updates on Pinterest and Instagram, but they usually aren’t in my budget. So instead, I’ve come up with a quick list of how to do some free/inexpensive spring sprucing!

Free Spring Sprucing Ideas:

  • Rotate Textiles You Own: We rearranged the curtains in our home. the living room ones went into the master bedroom, the master bedroom ones went into my daughter’s room, and the bathroom ones went into the living room. It was a free way to change the space without having to spend any $$!
  • Decorate with Weeds: This probably sounds insane, but I had noticed some pretty yellow weed flowers in our yard (not dandelions though, I don’t think those will ever be pretty). I weeded but getting the whole root out, and put a few in a small vase on our table. They now look very intentional, and were totally free!
The yellow flowers are weeds from my yard repurposed and added to my centerpiece.
  • Spring Cleaning/Decluttering: Okay okay, this isn’t exactly fun, but sometimes just tidying and de-cluttering can leave your home more fresh and airy.
  • Rediscovering Makeup: I recently talked about how I found the panning community, and it has been an amazing motivation. If you’ve got some blush or lip products you haven’t touched in awhile, now is the perfect time to break them back out!

Inexpensive Spring Sprucing Ideas:

  • Hanging Flower Baskets: Be careful, because these can get pricy quickly. I found a couple of basket holder at Aldi for $3.99 apiece, and then some floral baskets (the flowers themselves) on sale at a hardware/garden store for $8.88 apiece. So in total this was $24 for both and should last all summer long. FYI, floral baskets that were a comparable size were ranging between $25-$30 per basket, so I cut the cost more than in half.
spring sprucing with flower baskets
One of our flower baskets. We wanted smaller flowers with more greenery. These will continue to grow down the sides through the summer.
  • Throw Pillow Covers: This is assuming you already own a couple of throw pillows. If you don’t, then the cost would go up a bit. But we already have a few, so I juse decided on some updates. I found some coral pillow covers on Amazon for under $3 with free shipping {link!} So I plan to buy two of those for our living room.
  • Gardening: This is VERY easy to put way too much $$ into, so be careful. We work it out so that a portion comes out of our grocery budget, because we are only gardening vegetables. I’m also thinking of creating a hydroponic system for the lettuce I bought, but I’m still doing research.  Check local greenhouses, that is where I’ve found my best deals!

side note: if you have any expertise with a basic hydroponic system, please let me know some tips! I really don’t know what I’m doing and don’t want to send up losing money. Thanks!

  • Kitchen Towels: This is where you need to examine wants vs. needs, but in our case, we actually need a couple of kitchen towels. So I’m choosing to buy a set {link!} either here or a local shop, that are bright and will also add an element of decor to our home.

Do you have other ides for spring sprucing that fit into a tight budget? Let me and others reading know by commenting below!

With Motivation,

Rachel

Anything in {} parenthesis are an affiliate link. 100% of affiliate earnings are going directly towards paying off student loans, so I appreciate every single click. Thanks!

Starting Your Budget: A Quick Guide

Starting Your Budget: A Quick Guide

Starting your budget, adjusting a budget, or tightening a budget can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. When my husband and I got married, it was hectic for more than a few reasons, but we knew we were going to have […]

Save Even MORE Money On An Already Tight Budget

Save Even MORE Money On An Already Tight Budget

Do you feel like you are already doing everything right as far as budgeting and pinching but still need to somehow save even more money? Me too. Even though our debt payoff had been in a good place, we yesterday were given the news that […]