Thursday, October 02, 2008

Checking In

Here is a picture of a hot air balloon that flew right over the top of my car last summer. I love hot air balloons! Someday I might just have to join a ballooning club...Once I get over my FEAR OF HEIGHTS!!!

As much as I would love to say I followed a strict budget and got all my bills caught up and we will be sailing free for the rest of October...that hasn't quite happened.

What has happened is that I started using a budgeting program and have become painfully aware that I spend a really ridiculous amount of money on my knitting. While it is good to have a hobby and knitting produces wonderful functional objects such as socks, mittens, sweaters etc, I am buying entirely too much yarn each month and I already have a huge stash. I am basically insulating our poorhouse with wool if I don't stop this! I am pretty glad I started entering stuff on Pear budgeting (Thanks SimpleMom).

Hubby, a friend and I are flying to Mitchell, Nebraska in the middle of this month to tour the Brown Sheep yarn factory so I have planned to spend my yarn "budget" for the month there. I will hold off on anything else for most of the month to try to get us back on track. I have a ton of patterns and yarn for projects right here at home. I think I need to rearrange my closet to look like a retail store so it feels more like I really am shopping in my closet!

Speaking of closets: Tomorrow I am taking 10 minutes to do a quick purge of my clothing that is hanging in the closet. I have several things that are not my size or no longer any style I'd wear, yet there they hang, taking up physical and mental space.

What's up with that?

I am hoping to buy a bookshelf at Target tomorrow, but I think I might wait until Sunday to see if they go on sale. Our bedroom is big enough that I would love to have a reading/knitting corner. However since we don't really have it in the budget to buy comfy chairs, the seating part is going to have to be put on hold.

I noticed gas prices are going down. How has that affected your travel and errand running? I can't believe that $3.20 a gallon seems like "a bargain" to me! However it still has not come down to the price that I can afford to relax my spending in other areas. I am still bundling errands and trying to make do, use it up, or do without for most stuff--and I will be attempting to use that philosophy with my hobby stuff also...I do wish riding a scooter didn't entail subjecting yourself to drivers who don't like to share the road. America needs to start spending a little more to support things like motorcycle/scooter/bike lanes so those who are not on 4 wheels and do not like feeling like sitting ducks can travel around in a safe fashion. We wouldn't be able to scooter year round here in Kansas because of the ice and snow, but even 6 months of using a lower gas consuming mode of transportation would help.

Pear budgeting has made me aware that we also go pretty far over on the food budget too. I had a rough estimate of how much I thought I spent on groceries, but it turns out that amount is pretty low. We also waste too much food. Leftovers go to the fridge and die a slow death. I am going to have a leftover buffet meal once a week where we have leftovers and a really good homemade dessert to round it out.

A friend is currently in the beginning stages of a divorce that promises to be pretty tense as far as what her income ends up being. I have been running around helping her find rental houses and have come to the realization that anyone on a fixed budget is pretty limited in where they can find decent housing. I'm talking about bare bones, basic housing in a safe neighborhood. She is going from a really large income and being a stay at home wife (kids are 22 and 24 years old, so not an issue) to not even a 1/8 of the income she is used to. We are looking for all the possible ways to have frugal fun since every cent she has will be plowed into rent and basic expenses. I told her we'll take advantage of places to go where we can just sit and knit or crochet. Border's bookstore is going to be our haven, I'm sure. Plus I figure she can hang out at my house and I'll make coffee and goodies just like Starbucks--my weakness--but without the large cost. I already buy my coffee from a local roaster and grind the beans myself. It is much cheaper and tastes SO much better! I'll have to pull out my numerous recipe books and make treats.
Well, I'd better sign off. It is 3 a.m...I couldn't sleep and thought I'd post a blurb since it has been a while.

No comments: