Sorry for the absence. I got SO lost in Big Love. That last season was a DOOZY! So much better than last season. I was imagining all kinds of different ways the show would end, but I did not see that ending coming.
However, I have not been totally faithless toward my Life Goals for 2012 in the last few days. Two days ago I had a big shopping day. Actually, all my shopping days are big ones because we live 10 miles from a small town, 20 miles from a bigger town, and 70 miles to a small city. So we save up errands until we just can't put them off anymore, then we get a bunch done all at once. Then I am exhausted and of no use for a day or two. Well, anyway, I had to get grain for the oxen, horses, and pigs, so of course I also did everything else too. Went to the computer store to get office supplies for Gerry, and a couple of replacement parts for our laptop. This stop cost us $160 which was NOT in the January budget. Spent $50 on groceries and household odds and ends at the Dollar General Market, including turnips that still had the roots and crown. I plan to plant a couple of them for indoor winter greens, but so far, I have only eaten them! That was in the budget. Filled the truck up with diesel, $70 in the budget. Stopped at the library to order some research books for Gerry through interlibrary loan, and finally got to the feed store, $180, budgeted.
Came home and was VERY prompt about marking my receipts and putting them in the proper envelopes and marking my balances. In my absence, the mail came and left me a lovely pile of Netflix DVDs, into which I did not immerse myself, right then! Instead, I visited with my loved ones, consoled my cat (who had evidently decided I was gone for good) and put purchases away. That night we watched a netflix movie (not Big Love) and when Gerry was asleep, I examined the budget AGAIN to try to figure out where that unplanned for $160 was coming from. After a couple more hours of tweaking (wrenching) I stopped and THEN I started on Big Love.
20 hours later I came back to my real world. That's an exaggeration, but not by much! The water heater had remained off for over 2 days, we turned it on and did dishes. Jake and Gerry cut and split firewood. I ordered the last Italian textbook I will need for my program. And some other really cheap books that have been on our amazon wishlist. The textbook had been sitting in our cart for well over a month, and I was worried that someone else was going to buy it soon. Altogether, we spent $50 for 5 books. That is what is so awful about buying from amazon, paying so much shipping per book. Yes, you guessed it, that $50 was unbudgeted too. So more hours last night after Gerry went to sleep were spent tweaking (wrenching) the budget back into shape!
Recently, I opened up internet access to our bank accounts and found that the immediacy of seeing those transactions happen has really helped to keep us on track, moneywise. I used to wait and wonder where we were with the debit card purchases and the checks, and be a bit fuzzy about automatic deposits, until the next statement. But this really now has the same feel of pulling cash out of the envelopes. When I make a transaction, I am on tenterhooks waiting for it to show up on the accounts. I got my first statement (after I opened up the online access, I mean) and glanced at it and realized it was all old news to me. That was a very strange feeling, and I like doing it this way. I like it better than the cash in the envelopes, because I spend cash SO easily. A lot of people say that cash is harder to spend, emotionally, but I find it is the exact opposite with me. Now that I can see the debit and check purchases so immediately, and the direct deposits and payments, I am much happier. I still use the envelopes, but this month I am using them to hold the different categories of receipts. Eating out is still on a cash basis, and that works for me.
ANYWAY...to make a short story long, I had been anxiously waiting to see a certain transaction clear. We paid off our last consumer debt and I have on tenterhooks to see it happen. Unfortunately, I had to wipe out our $1000 emergency fund to do so, and I am very uptight about that. But we were just so sick of that debt. I was obsessing over it. We have saved over $1000 in interest by paying it off early. Because we paid it, we are so close to living within our monthly income, but not quite, and now we have no savings. So I am going to be such a monstrous tightwad until our Spring trips begin and I can get money back into that savings account. Because I also had a $1000 winter hay bill dropped on me that I was not expecting. We are going to be so tight.
But that 25 percent interest rate loan is gone. Debtwise, we have a loan from my mom (I guess THAT one is my last consumer debt?) which will be paid off May 2013. Yay! And 2 student loans, and our mortgage.
Tomorrow is Saturday, Pizza Night? Sounds great to me! Tightwad meals CAN taste good! Need to get some more beans cooking in the crockpot, too. And plant some turnips before I eat them all!
Off to tend fire, and maybe get some sleep. Good night.