Finding financial Inspiration.

There are so many sources of inspiration on the internet to help meet your financial goals.  One blog in particular caught my attention recently.  Johnny and Joanna at Our Freaking Budget  post their budget with their exact numbers each month.  (Very brave folks, if you ask me)  However, seeing real numbers is so helpful and eye opening.  Johnny and Joanna live in NYC, one of the most expensive cities in the world.  Yet, despite this, they manage to save almost 50% of their income with some side gigs.  They also tithe 10% of their income.  With two small children, it’s hard to believe their variable expenses are so low.  They don’t share their rent figure, but honestly it’s the variable expenses that can wipe out a budget anyway.

Here is their May budget:

May 2015 Budget
Rent: $$$$*

Utilities: $345

Electricity: $150
Gas/Heating: $60
Cell Phones: $90
Internet: $45

Food: $500

Groceries: $325
Eating Out: $175

Non-Discrectionary: $591

Transportation: $150
Life Insurance: $66
Aflac: $80
Health Insurance Premium: $0
Child Care: $295

Personal & Clothing: $120 (rolls over monthly)

Johnny: $60 (currently at $300)
Joanna: $60 (currently at $216)

Everything Else: $305

Pet Supplies
Baby Supplies
Dry Cleaning
Home/Personal Care
Entertainment
Medical
Miscellaneous

Gifts: $145 (rolls over monthly… currently at $585)

Vacations: $200 (rolls over monthly… currently at $600)
Total Expenses (minus rent): $2,206

I’ve been studying their budget intently to see if I could possibly lower our expenses to *almost* match theirs.  It would be the *perfect* number to meet my goals.  However, several things pop out at me.  First, they don’t have large transportation costs. (No cars = no gas, insurance or maintenance – big savings there).  I have a car loan, insurance, maintenance and gas bills that total almost $1,000 alone.  Their utility bills, which include cell phone and internet, are also pretty low.  Mine are not.

Still…..we will soon be empty nesters (at least for 10 months out of the year), so we should be able to come close to some of their categories.  (i.e. groceries, eating out, personal care, etc.)  Their budget has inspired me to try.

What do you think of their budget?  High? Low?  How does it compare to yours?

My new ‘full time’ job. Frugalista Extraordinaire.

My life has been a bit crazy lately.  Although we’ve celebrated some wonderful events, there have been some stressful ones, some which have taken a toll on my own health.  One event that has been particularly stressful has been the demise of my part time job.  I haven’t really talked about it too much in this space, but it’s been a roller coaster ride, to say the least.  I did go on several interviews for full time employment and was actually offered a position.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I did not find it to be a desirable position (long hours 50+, very long commute) even though the pay was high, and the benefits were good.

After much number crunching and discussions with my husband, we decided we could live comfortably with me staying home, as long as we were able to lower some of our expenses.

(Hmmm,  more time to workout whenever I want, more time to plan and shop for healthy meals and more time to rest……)

Challenge accepted.

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So, what exactly is a Frugalista?

I ADORE Natalie McNeal’s definition:

    Fru·gal·is·ta [froo-guh–lee-stuh]  -noun

         1. A person who lives within her means and saves, but still looks good, eats well and lives fabulous!

AND

Dena Wootton’s definition:

  1. Someone who can enjoy a lifestyle of thrift but at the same time have a life that is rich. Frugalista’s are joyful in their thrift and excited to save money.

I hope to reduce the amount of money spent on every day items to make up my salary difference, all the while still living a life filled with joy, balance and above all, good health.

In the next couple of weeks, I will be outlining a game plan and adding up the savings to see if I can, indeed, match my salary with savings.

I’m excited.

I’m ready.

Care to join me on my quest for savings?

It was a beautiful day.

A sunny day, a stunning bride, a handsome groom and the love of family all around….
It was a beautiful day….
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…more pictures to come as I get them. :)

The final countdown.

We are one week away from the wedding, and I only had one major meltdown.  I woke up the other morning in a cold sweat thinking I was having a heart attack.  The amount that needed to get done in the next several days seemed insurmountable for me to handle on my own.  It wasn’t just the wedding stuff that I was stressing over.  It was a combination of work, wedding, college, graduation, kids, activities, cleaning, cooking, laundry, shopping….well, you know, stuff. And a lot of it.

Thankfully my husband stepped up to the plate and took today off to complete some of the heavy duty projects (cleaning and moving some furniture), and will be taking three days off next week to help with the last minute details (we are hosting the rehearsal dinner).

This actually allowed me to get to the mall to purchase stockings and some jewelery to complete my outfit for the wedding.  Thankfully I am now ready to attend my daughter’s wedding!

So now it’s the final countdown.  If I can get through the next 7 days, I can get through anything. :)

I’m not sure when I’ll post again in the next week or so, but I want to wish all of the Moms out there a wonderful Mother’s Day!  Hope it’s filled with lots of love!!

Talk to you soon!

Feeling young and old at the same time.

Is it weird that I feel young enough to have these two cherubs as my own kids? Dang. Where did the time go……

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Liam & Angelina…hanging out…

 

Buy. Return. Repeat.

{Sorry about being MIA for a while. It’s been a roller coaster ride on my end. So.many.things.going.on and lots of unexplained crazy behavior…..}

Oh.my.gosh.

Never before have I been so indecisive.  You know that dress for my daughter’s wedding I showed all of you?  I returned it.  I just couldn’t get past the color.  I kept thinking it was too dark.  I wanted something lighter and more fitting for Spring.  So I continued to look.  In the meantime, (enter total insanity here) I bought and returned four more dresses, two pairs of shoes, two clutches, stockings, two boderos for the blue dress, and a Spanx under garment.  (I had to actually ship some stuff back, costing me added shipping fees.)

Good grief.

My checkbook will never be the same…

So, what will I be wearing to my daughter’s wedding???

While returning the navy blue dress to Macy’s, a pink suit dress caught my eye.  Here it is:

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What you don’t see from these pictures is that the material is a shimmery pink. Dressy. And a PERFECT color for the wedding.

I LOVED it, but had a little problem with the sizing.  I had to go with the size dress that was slightly tight, but the jacket fit PERFECTLY.  After a quick trip to the tailor, the dress is being taken out a bit, a new zipper is going in, and some pearls are being added to the collar.    No going back now….

I also found the perfect shoe:

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The color matches perfectly, they are a low heel, and more importantly, they fit.  Thankfully, I will not be returning these.

The true question remains as to why in the world I went through all of that buying and returning?  It was absolute CRAZINESS.  I guess the stress of my job (more on that one in another post) and the million things I had to get done got to me.  Also the fact that I’ve never been the size I am right now didn’t help.  I’m in between sizes and it’s been extremely difficult to find things to wear.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing.    The wedding is only two weeks away….Maybe after that, I can have my sanity back….maybe….

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