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A Productive Weekend

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As I sit down to type this at 10 pm CST, I have a refrigerator and freezer full of this week’s meals.  I did this today after I spent the majority of my weekend scrapbooking with an old friend.  Wow did I need that!  My beloved hobby of preserving my kiddos’ photos had also fallen by the wayside as I worked to be married to Steve.  There was very little money spent (I needed adhesive) as it has been so long since I’ve worked on the albums that it was as though “everything old is new again!”  I challenged myself to use the bulk of what I have before buying any new, fun stuff.  That’s hard b/c all the fun stuff IS tempting! Another interesting thing to note is that I have very few pictures from 2010 through 2012.  That bums me out b/c it is yet another reminder of all that this relationship was sucking out of me!  Thankfully I still hit the major milestons in the kids’ years and caught a few “random’ events too which is all they really need.  The time with girlfriends energized me to come home and prepare lots of food!I also made a quick stop to use coupons to get toothpaste and body wash for basically 50% off.

I really have to swing back to strict this month on food and I am confident that when I do that, the budget benefits.  If I have food that doesn’t require much thinking during the week, I will have more money in my pocket at the end of the week!  That is an awesome feeling.  It reminds me that like all things, we are all better off with a little planning.  Not over the top, control freak, gotta know all that is coming but instead a general roadmap.

I look forward to the day that my budget planning feels as solid as my meal planning.  I’ll get there.  For now I will look forward to my grilled chicken salad I have on the menu for lunch tomorrow.  🙂


Surviving financial tests…

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As I said on Friday, I had $50 for the bachelorette party this weekend. I opted not to attend on Friday as it required $35 for the hotel stay and $35 for um… something else. Saturday, I got dressed in my bridesmaid ‘uniform’ and headed downtown.

A 7 pm bachelorette dinner time that coincided with a 7 pm baseball game start and the 7 pm Saturday night party crowd shot parking rates and traffic to a premium. Unable to find an overnight parking place, I parked in an hourly rate spot (a spot that makes more per hour than I do). All throughout dinner, I checked my watch thinking, ‘Tick tock goes the meter – and my $50 allowance.’

I ordered the cheapest item on the menu, a $9 greek wrap, and had 2 – $2 beers. I dropped in $20 to cover my meal.

$30 left in my wallet.

We went to a club where I used $6 from my ash tray to have a Corona with the girls. As I sat nursing my beer with ‘Bridesmaid’ bedazzled across the chest of my pink tank top, guy came up to me and asked me to dance, he mentioned it was his 21st birthday… which had me thinking, ‘What is the official definition of a Cougar? And dear Lord… I’m not one right?!?’

A few more hours passed and I realized that I could not afford $35 for the hotel. Parking costs had chewed threw my money. When I pulled out of the garage, the kind and generous parking man gave me a discount from $54 to $30. Maybe he saw the shock register on my face – or maybe it was because I had my car loaded with bridesmaids in the same pink tank tops giving him Colgate smiles while winking flirtatiously.

I survived the weekend on $56.

And… it wasn’t so bad.