Monday, May 7, 2012

Little House That Spends Money

 I was going to write a post about my home school this year.  Like an end of the year wrap up type post.  But I am not exactly finished with the year just yet.  Emily is almost 100% done but has about 13 lessons to go in Science.  I LOVE this Science book so she is going to finish it.  And then I looked through the MODG syllabus and realized we were supposed to memorize 1 more poem, "Oh Captain, My Captain".  So we have those things to finish up.  Molly has like 5 more Math lessons and she will be all done.  That child can memorize a poem a day so no extra poetry for her.
 Jack finished 100 Easy Lessons a little while ago but we will be working everyday towards his reading and writing.  He loves when I ask him to sit and read with me at quiet time.  I found that if I knit while he is reading I can sit much longer and listen.  He is doing a great job but we still have work to do.  And with no Latin or History to do with Emily and Molly I have TONS more time to read with Jacker' on to Lucy.  But she will have to wait just a smidge longer.

  But really...I am not ready to sum up this school year just yet.  Maybe I just don't want to move on just yet since I am not sure how good of a job I did this year.  But as lots more seasoned moms have told me not every year is your best year...only time will tell.
 I was going to write about money and budgeting.  I think I have touched on that here before.  But I have recently come up with a new budgeting tool for myself and I am super EXCITED about it.

Pete and I only use cash.  We have no credit cards and try to actually use dollar bills to pay for things.  What I mean is I try not to use my debit card..just green backs.  This is IMPORTANT for me to do because I am SUPER visual and when I see the GREEN PILE whittle down I realize I have to stop whittling it down.  When I whip out my debit card I do not feel the pain of a pile of green SHRINKING!!  This is all fine and dandy to do in my everyday life but since I have a problem leaving the house to shop I have been turning more and more to the Internet to do shopping.
 I would be reading about a certain yarn and before I knew it.."click"..I bought some.  Next I would want a book and "click" I would something else.  These clicks were fun and painless because they were not widdling down my pile of was coming from money heaven...
 But as we all know..there is no money heaven and spending cash that you have not planned on spending can be...silly.  But I kept this really loose tally in my head and I thought that was enough to control my online clicking.
 But over the last few months I have noticed that we felt like we had no spending money left.  What could possibly be wrong?  We were not going out to eat any more than usual (which is about 2 times a week. Once to our favorite pizza place for lunch on Saturday as a family and a Chic Fil A run now and again).  Whatever could it be???
 Well last week after I ordered $58 worth of yarn from Quince and Co it dawned on me....maybe my random unplanned Internet shopping was the cause of missing money.  Could it be that simple?  Silly me...of course it was that an I knew it all along.  I just did not want to stop yet.  But for some reason last week I knew the party had to end.  And I also knew that ending the party would actually help me in the long run.  Anytime I budget my money I all of a sudden feel like I have more of it.  Maybe not right away, but soon enough.
 But how am I supposed to make Internet shopping more visually painful?  Most of my purchases were from Amazon and Paypal.  I needed a way to have a "cash envelope" for just these 2 places online.  So I did what may seem obvious to more saveey budget people....I opened a new checking account and got a new debit card!!  How exciting!!  I can now transfer money to this new checking account and link Amazon and Pay-Pal to this new account.  Now there is a finite amount to spend and I will not be as tempted to just "click" $58 worth of yarn without thinking it through first.

 After I set this new plan in motion I called Pete to tell him that I just opened a new checking account and now I can budget myself online.  He was a bit hesitant to see the GLORY and beauty of this plan because he is NOT a spender therefore he does not need boundaries set in order to control himself.
 I NEED BOUNDARIES!!  And now I have an online spending budget...and as usual when I get myself on a budget I don't want to spend the money I have set aside because it hurt to let it go.

I have a lot on my wants list...mostly books, a new lens, yarn so now I have a plan to get there. Do you guys do stuff like this?  Pete thinks having another checking account is more to manage...but I think that is where I do my best when I have more to manage...
Wish me luck....


  1. I have a "play account" that is strictly for me and when it is depleted, no spending until it is replinished. I put money in it bi-weekly. It helps me distinguish what I CAN spend for me and keeps me from going overboard in my spending.

  2. I think that in "blog land" it is easy to get caught up in the moment and spend money on things you don't need. Reading some of the comments of the "popular" blogs , it seems that there are blog readers who are such "followers" they think that if they buy that item (yarn, book, fabric, etc) they will have the life of the person who they so admire. Think about it, what's the purpose of the Amazon side bar, and the "sponsors" (advertisers). I remind myself that the blogger is making money on my impulsiveness. While I don't mind supporting a stay at home mom IF I really need that book or was in the market for a new yarn, I do force myself to think twice about my priority which is MY family. Is my family going to benefit if I buy that book? I am amazed at how many popular bloggers put a book on the Amazon link for readers to buy, meanwhile the blogger themselves borrowed their copy of the book from the library. It is fascinating when you think about the psychology behind advertising and consumerism.

  3. I do wish you luck...and I think that's a great idea!

    Have a lovely day!

  4. Wishing you lots & lots of luck! Wishing you a month that ends in being proud of yourself for staying within your budget. You can do it!!! I have great hopes for myself as well...maybe we can both reach our goal. Here's to living joyfully, simply, beautifully and within our budget!!! ~ Barefoot Mama

  5. Ummm, you have the same problem I have...I wants books, yarn, and fabric all the time. We have no credit cards either. My husband come up with what we call our NQA funds each month. NQA stands for "no questions asked" money. I get about $100 for books and yarn! I order most of my stuff online so I keep my money in my savings account and I subtract from my $100 until sadly, I cannot purchase anymore yarn or books. Good luck. I have to concur. It's definitely more painful to pay with cash than debit. I have a hard time parting with my cash!

  6. I love this plan! I do something similar by telling myself I am only allowed to buy personal items (like yarn, books, etc. that are just for my enjoyment) online from places that take paypal, and the money in my paypal account is money I earn selling on etsy, so it is finite. And like you I find I am loath to spend it once I see it piling up a bit.