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To do's and some thinking

August 19th, 2013 at 08:35 pm

Got some things done today that I kept putting off and it sure feels good to cross them off my list.

Tonight I make the big credit card payment that I talked about in my last post. The hubs forgot to email me his paystub Friday so I didn't know the exact dollar amount of his PTO cashout. In reviewing our savings, I think I found an extra $749 that we didn't spend for summer camps for my daughter. I need to confirm this and if correct, this cash will be going toward the Mastercard too.

I've been thinking about using the debit card for groceries and gas and cash for everything else. Problem is, I don't know how much cash I should withdraw every pay period. I need to review what "everything else" typically consists of and then make a decision.

I reviewed my August financial goals today and I haven't done so hot with them. I really need to commit to meal planning and grocery shopping on the weekends. Our weekends typically are so busy that I tend to put grocery shopping off. That is no bueno.

I did however buy my husband salads to take for lunch instead of him going out every day, so that is one good thing I guess.

3 Responses to “To do's and some thinking”

  1. Kiki Says:

    Ten years ago, to figure out what my cash utilization should be, I tracked my spending for three months, averaged it out and added 10% for cushion.

    For me, that means $225 a month in grocery and household spending, $120 in gas/car spending and $225 in entertainment. Some months I use it all (especially wen I have to travel for work and wait for reimbursement), and other months I have a bit extra that goes into the spending "jar" for future months when I might be a little short. Usually I have $35ish left over each month from grocery/entertainment and around $40-50 from gas/car spending (I drive a hybrid and use about $20 in gas in a busy week).

    Each year in July (when the state I work for begins their fiscal year) I take a look at the past years spending and see if I have to raise it. So far in ten years I've gone from $200 to $225 for groceries and entertainment. Gas went down by $80 when I bought the hybrid.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

  2. Little L Says:

    Kiki, that's great advice. Thanks! I can run a report in Quicken but I'm almost afraid to look at those numbers! Paying with a debit card takes the sting out of spending because you aren't handing over actual cash but can be dangerous as well.

    Problem is, we have two teenagers and I never know what kinds of things their schools are going to request money for. It makes budgeting difficult and why I've never been able to make one that worked. I think I might just allot myself a set amount of discretionary spending money and use the debit card for necessities. That way, I always have money for the stuff we need and when the cash is gone for stuff we want, well, we will just have to wait.

  3. Kiki Says:


    I would look at quicken and see what you paid over the past couple of years for their expenses, add a little and divide by 12.

    Then I would set aside a specific amount each month into a savings account. It is there when i need it, but when its not needed it just stays in the bank. I do this for expenses like car maintenance. If i needed the money for an oil change or whatever it was there each month. Otherwise i let it acrue in a savings account for those larger car repairs. It spreads it out over the whole year and allowed me to save a car emergency fund.

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