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This and that

August 14th, 2008 at 04:46 pm

Heard on the radio today that consumer prices are up 5.6% over the past year. Ya think? Everything is getting more expensive and wages are not keeping up. I’ve been looking for a new job for about the past year with no success. That means that we are now looking for ways to cut expenses on things that continue to cost more all the while making wages that are not keeping pace with inflation.

On a different note, I did manage to save a bit of money on uniform shorts for my daughter. My girlfriend asked me if I wanted some of her daughter’s shorts that no longer fit and I said “heck ya”. So no need to make a trip to Kohls.

I did have to spend some money yesterday. It was my mom’s birthday and she is THE hardest person to shop for. She has everything and never seems to use/wear what we give her, so I got her a CD from Best Buy. I also re-gifted a Starbucks gift card that was given to my husband. He doesn’t care for Starbucks and my mom loves it, so it was a win-win situation all around. The bummer part was that we went to dinner and our bill with tax and tip was somewhere in the $40 range and for pizza nonetheless. A large combo pizza was almost $26!!! It was my mom’s birthday so what could I do. I guess that will have to count for our dining out meal of the week. While we were at Best Buy getting the CD for my mom, the kids wanted some candy and I told them “no”. Its purchases like that the snow ball and at the end of the month you find that you spent a bunch of money on little purchases here and there. I was proud of myself.

I was working in Quicken last night reviewing my August budget and not liking it one bit, the format that is. I don’t like the fact that it isn’t forward looking (doesn’t count income until you actually realize it) and I can’t figure out how to stop double counting in some categories. For instance, we save every pay period for summer camps/childcare. The savings gets categorized in Quicken as “summer camps”. I was charged on my Mastercard for the camps. I transferred the money out of savings and into checking (categorizing it as “summer camps”) so I could pay my Mastercard. Now my August budget shows a positive balance in the summer camps category when it really is a wash. So even though I am tracking every single outflow I don’t really have much faith in the budget report that Quicken is giving me. I think maybe I need to create a dummy category for when I transfer savings to checking so I don’t put it in the same category that I took it out of??? I need to clear my head and think about that.

I tried working in an Excel spreadsheet that I previously created but I was too overwhelmed and couldn’t even think about what I was doing. The thing I don’t like about using an Excel spreadsheet is that I have to enter things twice, once in Quicken and then again in Excel. This is supposed to be as simple an effort as possible. Double entries are not simple.

So what else? My son is starting fall baseball and will likely need new cleats; hopefully we can find a used pair at a local sports store. I’m having to juggle finances right now because we overspent last month and now I’m short for my savings transfer as well as our extra car payments. Need to wait until I get paid tomorrow to pay my mortgage and then I can make the transfer to savings. Once we get through this next billing cycle for our Mastercard things should be good as we are cutting back on spending.

1 Responses to “This and that”

  1. chris Says:

    you mentioned above that you 'transferred the money out of savings and into checking (categorizing it as “summer camps”)'

    I thought that you cannot categorize money transferred between accounts in Quicken, but you can budget for transfers you plan to make with the TO (account name) and FROM (account name) found at the top and bottom of the budget category selection list.

    I am trying to send amounts each month to a savings account, but categorize them (eg. the monthly portion of my annual auto insurance bill) so I know that the money is leaving my checking (spending account) yet know what category it is.

    Any advice?

    many thanks.

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