Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March Savings

Husband and I switched our money management over to Mint.com this month. It's nice to be able to see everything updated so quickly! We also decided that it would be best for our budget to deposit the cash that I have set aside when I use the credit card so that our numbers are a little more accurate. I deposited what I had on Monday and will get cash out on April 1st, so we'll see how it works.

This is what I was able to save this month:
  • I signed up for Offermatic at the beginning of the month and they sent me two great offers: one for $15 off a $30 purchase on Amazon (hello diapers!) and another for $10 off a $20 purchase at Target. I took advantage of both of those offers, adding $25 to my vacation fund!
  • My mom paid me back for the birthday cake I picked up for my grandmother's birthday last month. I decided that I'd add it to the fund since I already took it out of my grocery budget. That adds $16 to my fund.
  • I got a $20 check from Toluna for completing surveys.
  • $20 in cash from what I took out of last month's budget overage.
That's a grand total of: $81.00! Nice!

I did cash in my coins this month, but I decided that since I already made my bank deposit this month, I would add it in to next month's savings deposit.

So...that brings my amount saved up to $447.05. That's 3/4 of the way there!

How is your vacation savings going?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

February Grocery Breakdown

I thought it would be interesting to see how I spent my grocery budget this month. I loosely assigned my purchases to categories, just to get a general idea of where my money is going. Here's how it turned out:

  • Baby items (diapers, wipes, pull-ups): 13.7%
  • Treats (ice cream, cookies, etc.): 11.3%
  • Milk: 9.9%
  • Drinks (juice and juice boxes): 9.5%
  • Snacks (includes both healthy and not-so-healthy ones): 9.1%
  • Dairy items (eggs, cheese, cream): 8.2%
  • Home (tissues, toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, etc.): 7.2%
  • Staples (peanut butter, rice, pasta, etc.) 7%
  • Produce: 5.7%
  • Meat: 5.5%
  • Condiments (salsa, sauces, dressings): 4.5%
  • Health items (medicine, feminine products): 2.4%
  • Breakfast (mostly cereal): 2.1%
  • Beauty: 1.2%
I realize these are very general categories, especially staples and snacks! But, as I said before, I just wanted to get a general idea of what I was spending money on. One thing I noticed even before I did this was how much I spend on juice for my kids. I know juice is such a no-no and I admit that I use it as my crutch. Juice boxes are given for a treat in lieu of candy bars and chips, and my kids rarely drink soda, so that's how I rationalize it. I do know that I need to get them to cut back and I've started to do that already.

I'm happy that I spent more on produce than I did on meat (although just barely!). I would like to see my produce numbers go up and my meat numbers stay low.

I'm not surprised that most of my budget goes towards diapers! We are in the middle of potty training and hopefully I will see this number go down over the next few months!

The treats category was rather high this month, but I do have an explanation: (1) It was Valentine's Day this month so some of those items were treats for Husband and the tiny babes. (2) We hosted a Valentine's Day party and some of those treats were for the party. (3) It was also my grandmother's birthday this month and I picked up the birthday cake. Whew! A lot of celebrating!

I think it will be interesting to see how these numbers change as the year progresses. Have you ever wondered which categories your family spends the most money on?