11 down. 2 to go.

The Low Down on this week is that I realized I have been remiss in reporting my spending. This is because I have gotten a little lax.  But I do keep receipts for all grocery, household, and pharmacy purchases and keep track of them on a spreadsheet, so I finally caught up tonight and filled it in.  I am coming clean tonight with a full report of my summer spending to date (in those categories).  You can see for yourself how it all looks and then . . . I will tell you how much we have left for the next 2 weeks and 2 days

Week

Ending

Spent
Savings Total     Value % Saved Cumulative Value Cumulative Savings Cumulative Spending Cumulative % Saved
1/2 $       71 $       57 $       128 45% $           128 $               57 $          71 45%
1/9 $       75 $     112 $       187 60% $           315 $             169 $         146 54%
1/16 $       66 $     158 $       224 71% $           539 $             327 $         212 61%
1/23 $     103 $       20 $       123 16% $           662 $             347 $         315 52%
1/30 $     106 $     111 $       217 51% $           880 $             458 $         421 52%
2/6 $     176 $     222 $       398 56% $        1,277 $             680 $         597 53%
2/13 $       69 $       66 $       135 49% $        1,412 $             746 $         666 53%
2/20 $     154 $     169 $       323 52% $        1,735 $             915 $         820 53%
2/27 $     263 $     323 $       586 55% $        2,321 $          1,238 $      1,083 53%
3/6 $     132 $     121 $       253 48% $        2,574 $          1,359 $      1,215 53%
3/13 $     103 $     116 $       219 53% $        2,793 $          1,475 $      1,318 53%
3/20 $       96 $     134 $       230 58% $        3,023 $          1,609 $      1,414 53%
3/27 $       73 $     189 $       262 72% $        3,285 $          1,798 $      1,487 55%
4/3 $     177 $     262 $       439 60% $        3,724 $          2,060 $      1,664 55%
4/10 $       72 $       70 $       142 49% $        3,866 $          2,130 $      1,736 55%
4/17 $     115 $     107 $       222 48% $        4,088 $          2,237 $      1,851 55%
4/24 $       93 $     121 $       214 57% $        4,302 $          2,358 $      1,944 55%
5/1 $     103 $     168 $       271 62% $        4,573 $          2,526 $      2,047 55%
5/8 $     106 $       95 $       201 47% $        4,774 $          2,621 $      2,153 55%
5/15 $       84 $     148 $       232 64% $        5,006 $          2,769 $      2,237 55%
5/22 $       51 $       68 $       119 57% $        5,125 $          2,837 $      2,288 55%
5/29 $     132 $     193 $       325 59% $        5,450 $          3,030 $      2,420 56%
6/5 $       57 $       10 $         67 15% $        5,517 $          3,040 $      2,477 55%
6/12 $     158 $     134 $       292 46% $        5,809 $          3,174 $      2,636 55%
6/19 $       82 $     152 $       234 65% $        6,043 $          3,326 $      2,717 55%
6/26 $       33 $       62 $         95 66% $        6,137 $          3,388 $      2,750 55%
7/3 $     160 $     228 $       388 59% $        6,525 $          3,616 $      2,910 55%
7/10 $       87 $       50 $       137 37% $        6,662 $          3,666 $      2,996 55%
7/17 $     150 $     169 $       319 53% $        6,981 $          3,835 $      3,146 55%
7/24 $       90 $       97 $       187 52% $        7,168 $          3,932 $      3,236 55%
7/31 $     168 $     159 $       327 49% $        7,495 $          4,091 $      3,404 55%
8/7 $     121 $     146 $       267 55% $        7,762 $          4,237 $      3,525 55%

The highlighed portion is the last 11 weeks of summer. (I had to copy the whole year so that the calculations would copy.)  So the total spent for the summer in these categories is $1288 and the total saved is $1468.  Hooray! I feel better already though that does average out to spending $117 a week in these categories, which seems a bit high.  I have to console myself with the fact that these receipts may include a few gifts (bought at pharmacies or Walmart) and we have hardly eaten out at restaurants at all, so we are eating more at home.  (Our average for the year is $108 in these categories, which is also a bit high.)

So . . . what’s left?  Payday is now 16 days away and we have . . . drumroll please . . . .$275 to our names.  The hitch is that this includes the amount minimums that we have to leave in the bank to avoid penalties.  If we drop below the minimum, we pay a $2 fee per statement period PER ACCOUNT.  Since the statement period will reset next week, we’ll have to pay the penalties TWICE. Grrrr.

The big question is . . . should we use the credit card adhering strictly to not spending more than $275?  (PAIN AGONY AND DESPAIR) The whole point was not to use the card!!

OR

Do we just pay the $8 penalty to get to say that we did it? We did it! Lo Hicimos! (Dora fans, sing along!)  We made it through the summer without charg-ing our credit card; we did it!

I cannot decide.  I hate paying the $8, but I also hate the idea of getting out the credit at the last minute because it will be so easy to start rewarding ourselves with dates and new clothes for school.  (Incidentally, J and I went to the $2 movies on a date this week with coin jar money and smuggled in popcorn from home in a bilum–big PNG purse– and I have to say that the A-team totally rocked!)

What do you think?

As for surviving on $275 for 16 days, I’m psyched.  Now that I’ve seen our averages and know that we don’t have ANYWHERE to go, I feel pretty confident.  This week is Super Doubles at Harris Teeter, so I should be able to do pretty good on groceries.  Anika does have her 1 year check up next week ($30 copay) and there’s another birthday, but we can do it, right?  And I can wait to buy Addie’s school supplies after the 25th because her first day isn’t actually till Sept 1st.   Okay, I’m rambling, but I’m trying to talk myself up.

Off to CVS for this week’s paper. I hope they still have some.

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6 Responses to 11 down. 2 to go.

  1. Laura August 9, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Pay the $8, silly.

  2. Kay Bruner August 9, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    either way, girlfriend, you have been wildly successful!!! awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dave ramsey needs to know you!

  3. Anita August 10, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    is there any way you could not go below your minimum? drive less, eat only out of the pantry etc? or is that just ridiculous? what will you do with your savings???!!!

    • Katrina Ryder August 10, 2010 at 8:28 am #

      Anita,
      We are AT the minimum right now, so if we spend one dime, we will be below it. With Anika’s doctor appointment copay and both cars on E, we’ll have to go below it. Since no money will come in to replace the dime, we will be below the minimum for at least two statement periods. But I think I figured out a way to only get a $4 penalty, so that’s what we’re going to do.

      • Darby August 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

        Okay KT, after watching your blog and moneysavingmom blog, I have organized a coupon box and started in. Please tell me there is a learning curve to this whole thing. I went to CVS to roll last weeks dollars with the great money maker only to find they were out of the products I wanted. So, drove to another CVS because, gosh darn, I WILL DO THIS! So, spent $7 got $14 to roll and got a mail in rebate for the $7 spent. So should be good minus the gas and trouble of taking 3 kids shopping. Things went better at Rite Aid and I paid $12 but saved $5 off purchase with coupons. So, tell me I can do this and the obsession phase will slow down.

        • Katrina Ryder August 10, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

          Yes Darby, there is a learning curve. Here’s a few tips . . .

          1. Don’t take your kids couponing. I know that making this happen can be near next to impossible, but you will save your sanity which is more valuable than money. I often end up doing CVS and grocery trips late at night when they are in bed and J is home. Its a pain, but it is kind of my own thing and fun. It is NOT fun with kids.

          2. For CVS, I follow southernsavers.com and I go on Saturday nights when both sale weeks are still in effect. (Sunday sales usually start at 6 pm on Sat night and the current sale week is still in effect.) This is the best way to ensure that the good deals are still there. If there are other couponers in your area, midweek will be too late. Sales weeks do not start early at 24 hour CVS.

          3. Time is money. Decide which you have more of, and be okay with that. I know that there are good deals to be had at every store, but I just have to let some go. I pretty much only shop CVS and occasionally Walgreens for freebies. You will burn out pretty quickly if you try to grab every deal.

          4. The same deals on the same products tend to come around again (ie: I have about 10 razors under my bathroom sink), so you can eventually just say, “It doesn’t matter if it’s free, I don’t need anymore razors.”

          5. Compare what you are spending now with what you were spending before NOT with what other couponers are spending. Couponing really is a job, so as such, people with more experience are likely to be better at it than you. If you focus on comparing yourself to others, you’ll just feel frustrated.

          6. Have a “back up” plan or make the plan there. I often have a rough plan with a few alternative scenarios in case things don’t go as expected. Often I just go in with my southernsavers list, get the products, head back to the pharmacy waiting area with my cart, paper, coupon book, and calculator to figure out my transactions once I know what I can actually buy. This is another reason NOT to take kids (and go on Sat eve.)

          7. As for the obsessive phase, I would say it sort of passes. But you kind of have to make it work for you . . . hence the blog for me. :)