All By Myself

While Chef was gone for three weeks in Alaska, I had to do the budget on my own.  This didn’t seem like it would be a terrible task; he and I do it together every two weeks, but it’s pretty much the same each time, so I wasn’t too worried.

At the top, I wrote down the income.  Then I started subtracting the expenses.

It was time to pay the mortgage, and things are always tight when it’s mortgage time.  But on top of that, February had been a really cold month, AND we’d run out of firewood.  This meant that the furnace had to run more than usual to keep the house warm.  So the gas bill was also much higher than it had been.

As I kept subtracting and subtracting, it was getting a little uncomfortable.

There was no room for our fun money this time, and I could squeeze only $17 out for groceries for two weeks.

The good news was that since Chef wasn’t home and friends had invited me over for meals a few times, I still had cash left in the grocery envelope from the previous pay period.  Plus, the dogs were depressed because Chef was gone, and that meant they weren’t eating as much either.

Sometimes it can be a little bit scary doing this pay-only-with-cash thing.  But it’s scarier to get giant credit card bills in the mail, so I’m okay with the way we’re doing it.  Truly, I love doing it this way.  I’d much prefer to pay in cash than face up to my indiscretions later with a huge credit card payment.

And I did just fine on $17 for groceries.

And now that the weather’s warming up, we won’t be using the furnace as much.  We have more daylight now, so we can use less electricity.  And I can hang my laundry on the line instead of putting it in the dryer, so that’s a savings, too.  (Plus, it makes the clothes smell like sunshine.)  Before too long, we’ll be able to shop at the Farmers’ Market, and we always manage to get a ton of vegetables there for really cheap.  So things are looking up.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. merry
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 15:20:39

    I’m looking forward to hanging laundry on the line and Farmer’s Market, too. Do you grow any vegetables? My past attempts have been miserable, but I would like a few tomato plants and some green beans if I decide to be brave.

    • Karen, the Small Town Runner
      Mar 17, 2010 @ 16:13:45

      I would love to have a garden, but our lot is pretty shady. I’ve put tomato plants in pots the last several years, but they don’t do very well that way. I’m toying with the idea of buying one of those cheesy upside-down tomato hanger thingies to see if they work.

      • merry
        Mar 22, 2010 @ 09:56:17

        As long as you remember to water them, I think they work. Potted plants need to be watered more often, and that is my problem 🙂

  2. Tracy
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 16:12:31

    I think what you guys are doing is awesome! And I am also looking forward to the farmer’s market. I looooove stocking up on cheap veggies because they are SO expensive at the grocery store nowadays.

  3. Rita
    Mar 18, 2010 @ 07:39:03

    Those upside -down tomato plants always look great in the ads, I was thinking about getting them too. I’d like to try more gardening, but it’s discouraging here.

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