This week’s expenses were mostly on the official exception list, with a few added costs thrown in for lack of planning. Yesterday was my niece’s 1st birthday, celebrated on Saturday with a large party for the whole family. Traveling always costs a little extra—often even beyond the gas expenses—and I still need to buy the rest of her birthday gifts.
I like to use our present poem, for a 1st birthday—it guides my purchase and adds a little more meaning to the milestone birthday. We did save a bit of money on that, courtesy of Blissdom & Hallmark! The recordable storybook they gave me was the perfect “something you read” for a toddler. All five of us recorded part of the story, so we can read to her even when we aren’t around.
I also had a 30% off Kohl’s coupon, so that’s where I headed for her other gifts. Sticking to No Spend Month with a coupon like that in my purse is an exercise in restraint. I am still amazed I managed to walk out with nothing buy the 4 items I went in to find. One of the things I’ve learned this week is that I need to find a balance between buying something just because it’s on sale versus finding a good deal on something I would have bought anyway.
Did the $30 I “saved” by not shopping more with my discount actually prevent spending? Or, will I end up spending more later when I really need those items but don’t have such a great coupon?
Total Money Spent $146
- Silly Bandz: $6—I found several packs of Silly Bandz on clearance the other day. These are the perfect size (and price point) for Easter baskets and hiding in eggs so I went ahead with the purchase. They are tucked away in the gift closet and will save me a bit of money I’d be spending soon anyway.
- Redbox Rental: $1—the hubby and I finally saw The Social Network last week, using the Valentine’s Day promo code. I tucked the DVD into my purse the very next morning and promptly forgot to return it—even though I visited no less than 3 locations with a Redbox that day. My poor memory is apparently worth $1.
- Kohl’s: $42—but, Peyton’s birthday was on the official exception list. I managed to come in $8 under budget, and left it alone! Normally, I would have gotten something extra she totally didn’t need, just because I have a set amount for gifts. This time, I knew I had gotten exactly what I wanted, so I stopped shopping. I guess, technically, this goes in the Saved category!
- Travel Fuel: $50—it takes an entire tank of gas to get to my parents & back again. Of course, this trip was planned & budgeted, but it still goes on the list!
- Burger King: $5—if I had gotten the van loaded on Thursday, as originally planned, we would have made it to my parents’ house on Friday with enough time for my girls to grab dinner from home. Instead, we hit Burger King, fed the girls off the value menu and dropped them off at the theater with my sister so they could see Never Say Never. I’m just glad I didn’t have to go with them.
- Sonic: $25—once again, if we had left between meals as we usually attempt, we could have skipped this expense. However, Sunday was my niece’s actual birthday, and I wanted to wait until she awoke from her nap to say goodbye. Thus, we were traveling through dinner. I did try to stick with value meal purchases again, to keep costs down.
Total Money “Saved” $94.49
- Blogger Dinner: Did not spend $15—after our statehouse meeting with the Lt. Governor, several bloggers decided to extend our time together over dinner. Rather than follow the crowd to a restaurant I didn’t really enjoy, I led a 2nd group to where I had coupons & gift cards. Conversation at large dinners ends up segmented anyway. This way, we all had a great time at more intimate dinners, and I spent nothing.
- Travel Dog Crate: Did not spend $7.49—while shopping for Miss P’s birthday gift, I saw a travel dog crate on clearance. I was already dreading packing his cage up for our trip, but I managed to resist by reminding myself that this is the only time we’ll be traveling with his cage. He has only 2 weeks left of the mandatory cage rest. From there, we’ll see how his legs continue to progress but it’s looking pretty good so far.
- Kohl’s Did not spend $30+—I still have the 30% off coupon, and I spent the weekend thinking of things we “need” enough that I almost went back on Sunday. Honestly, the only thing that saved me is that they closed at 9, instead of 10, and I ran out of time.
- Movies: Did not spend $30—we considered hitting a movie of our own, while my sister had the girls. When I realized we left a free movie ticket at home, and there wasn’t anything we really wanted to see anyway, we opted to join my parents, nice & nephew for dinner instead. Bonus? Dad bought our pizza!
- Caramel Corn & Chocolate: Did not spend $12—there’s a hometown candy store that I love. LOVE! I don’t make it out there every time since our trips are usually planned & chaotic. This weekend, though, I had some down time. It was pretty tempting to head downtown to buy candy, especially when I saw that my mom & sister were both given my favorite treat for Valentine’s Day. I managed to resist, though, but we’ll see how strong my conviction is next weekend when I head back home for my nephew’s baptism.