Expenses

I haven’t blogged in a while about the progress of our budget and financial goals. That’s because there really isn’t any progress. We were doing so good for a while. Then it came time to get the house in order and it seemed like we were spending money left and right. We had to buy cleaning products, paint, supplies, trim, rent a storage unit, and on and on. I was still trying to keep spending in check but after a while just gave up.

Then we started planning for our big summer vacation. We’re taking an 8 day road trip up to Michigan and coming home through Wisconsin. 8 days on the road with a toddler means being prepared and having lots of supplies. We probably could have flown to MI for cheaper but 1) we didn’t want to deal with the hassle of checking/carrying a car seat and stroller and pack n’play and all her other gear, and 2) we actually enjoy long road trips. They’re fun and adventurous. However, all the supplies we needed for that – toys/books to keep Isabella busy in the car, snacks, luggage for her, clothes, oil change, and so on – cost money.

Between the house and the trip, our credit card is getting a work out.

I’ve tried to be somewhat frugal. I went to the library and borrowed some audio books instead of buying them. Any toys I bought were generally from the dollar bin at Target, on sale, or given to us by my parents. The snacks we bought at Sam’s Club in bulk. I think we’ve been smart about it, but spending is still spending.

Every time I pull out the credit card I think of Suze Orman or Mary Hunt or any number of frugal bloggers that I read and feel a tad guilty. But whaddya gonna do?

All hope is not lost though. We’ve had some extra money flow in here and there and I’ve applied it toward the credit card. So while we’re charging a lot, we’re also paying off some too. Are they evening out? Probably not. But at least we’re making a dent.

I’ll be happy when life settles down a bit and we can get back to better spending habits.

We leave for our trip next week and I’m excited about it. I haven’t traveled in a while and am getting the itch! We will have fun and most importantly, get to show Isabella that there’s more to the world than Omaha and Council Bluffs. I am so looking forward to seeing her take in everything, meet new people, learn new things and have fun. That’s really what it’s all about. Yes, I want to pay down some debt and I know we have to reduce spending to do that. But we also have to enjoy life. And if that means buying my daughter a souvenir on our trip or splurging for ice cream every night, we will do it!

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On a side note, here was my conversation with Isabella tonight as we were getting ready for her bath:

  • Me [reaching in to the hall closet and discovering we only had one clean towel]: Looks like we need to do some laundry!
  • Isabella: At the laundry mat!
  • Me: Where did you learn about the Laundromat?
  • I: Elmo told me.
  • Me: Did Elmo go to the Laundromat?
  • I: No, Tully did.
  • Me: Oh. What did Tully do there?
  • I: Washed his shirts!
  • Me: How did he do that?
  • I: In the machine!
  • Me: Oh I see. What else did he do?
  • I: Go to the playground! Can we go to the playground mommy?

She’s already a pro at manipulating the conversation to go her way. Silly girl!

Have a good weekend!

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