Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Break even week 2 update

So, it’s been another dismal week in the break even challenge. I’m just not making nearly as much money as I expected to be, and I once again way overspent on entertainment. We went to a local festival this Saturday, and had pre-ordered dinner plates for $12 each, so that the whole thing would fit into our local budget, but ended up spending another $25 while we were there on drinks and activities. Then, even though we were already $24 over our budget, we went out Monday to our favorite buffet on BOGO night and spent another $8.

Do I regret spending the money? It’s iffy. We had an amazing time at the festival, and it’s not the kind of thing that happens every day, but if we don’t have the money, we just don’t have the money. The thing is, this experiment is phony in its way because we really have a pretty significant cash cushion built up - hubby has no expectation of me breaking even this summer – so, in essence, we do have the money, I just don’t want to spend it all. The ideal thing would be if I was making enough money, and frugalling enough in places that don’t hurt, that I could afford to write in unexpected events like this when making our budget. It’s important to enjoy life, but I enjoy things a lot more when I can afford them. Maybe instead of having a weekly entertainment budget, I should have a monthly entertainment budget. That way if we want to spend an extra $25 at a festival, that’s just money we won’t be allowed to spend on entertainment for the rest of the month.

As for the earning, it’s been pretty weak. I decided to buckle down and grade essays because I needed cashflow more than I needed long term earnings, but then there weren’t any essays to grade. I have some big, high paying opportunities coming up in the next couple weeks for my job, and I have another 6 hours a week of tutoring work starting at the beginning of July, which will just about double what I’m making now in that area. I have a bunch of articles submitted to AC, and am just waiting for the offers, but who knows how long it will take them or what they will decide to offer. I also have some money in the works and awaiting payout from offers sites, and I have a lot of rebates out, but both of those things could take ages to get back. So right now, I’m just going to keep working as much as I can and keep writing and once again hope that by the end of the summer, it will all come out in the wash.

We’re going to visit family for a week, so we bought almost no groceries this week and worked on cleaning out or fridge. All we bought was a tomato and some peaches, so we are $45 under budget. I also got another free box of cereal from CVS, and am pretty psyched about the fact that I pretty much never have to buy cereal again.

Totals for the week:

Break even number $420
+32 over budget entertainment
-45 under budget groceries
-$120 tutoring
-$18 Essay Grading
-$8 Associated Content Payout
-$11.34 Survey payout
-$.94 rebate check
-$1.50 book sold on Amazon
237 deficit
Total for summer 532 deficit


~~Midnight Raider~~ said...

I think the idea of a monthly entertainment budget instead of weekly is a good one. That's the way we do it, mostly because we never know if a friend is going to call and say "Let's go out to dinner!" Sure, we can suggest potluck instead, but going out with friends is nice, and we're willing to skip a take-out pizze or whatever later in the month as a trade-off. Having that kind of flexibility built into our budget makes it easier to stick to, I think.

Birdie said...

You have good ideas and should be proud of yourself for making an effort! ;)