Saturday, March 28, 2009

Our Family's Finances - Weekly Wrap-Up

I thought it would be fun to do a post each weekend to highlight what our family did in the past week in four different areas of our finances – Expenses, Deals, Income, and Saving/Investing. If anyone wants to join me in doing a weekly financial wrap-up, please do so in the comments! Here are mine:

Expenses - Our week was pretty typical. We budget for one dinner out per week, and we kept to this schedule. Our one night out this week out was paid for from a gift card! (I did weekly baking sessions with my daughter and some of her friends every Saturday in February, and one of the moms gave me a gift card as a thank you – wasn’t that nice!) All of the activities I did with my children this week were free or in the house – playground, walks, etc. - so no extra expenses there. Who knows what my husband spent money on – he likes to keep his little purchases secret from me. I didn’t notice any glaring new electronics purchases on his bedside table, at least. :-) For me, I went to a couple of consignment sales and yard sales over the weekend and spent $40 – some items for my children and some for resale.

This week I also used up a gift card that I have been carrying around for almost two years – no lie! It was to a baby store and since my baby is my third child, there are very little baby things I need. Anyway, it was driving me crazy, and I wanted to use it before I started getting a finance charge or the store went under. I bought a few necessary things – like a bathing suit for the baby and some small containers for lunches. Then I bought a big box of disposable diapers for when we travel – I use cloth 90% of the time, but it’s too hard when we go on vacation. And we have two vacations coming up this summer, so these will be for then. With the remainder of the money, I bought a gift card for my husband’s cousin who is having a baby this summer. I just could not find anything else we really needed. Does anyone else have a hard time using gift cards sometimes?

Deals – I spent $8.50 in clothes for my son for this spring/summer including a pair of shorts, 3 pairs of pants, 4 shirts, and a one-piece shortall at above-mentioned consignment sales and yard sale. I didn’t even go grocery shopping except for some milk, so no bargains there.

Income – I started back with selling on eBay. I had been pretty lax in this area since the holidays. I bought things the previous week at a consignment sale for $50 and hoped to make back the same amount on eBay by selling some of the things and keeping the rest. I ended up getting $100 for the items I sold! I love when eBay works that way, and it motivates me to put up more. I also sold two things on Craigslist that I found at this week’s consignment sale and believe it or not, in someone’s trash pile (no I’m not above that!) for an additional $40. The rest of the items from this week’s consignment sale are now up on eBay. My husband also listed some old cell phones, which now have a few bids. Yay! Lastly, and probably most importantly, my husband negotiated with his company to get a “raise.” It’s not really extra income for us, though. His company got bought out and the new company does not give year-end bonuses like his old company did. So my husband negotiated it into his salary. I told him not to ask for too much since with the economy, I figured he’d negotiate his income so high that they’d have to fire him, but he didn’t listen to me. Thanks goodness. They gave him what he asked for, and now it’s a permanent part of his salary!

Saving/Investing – We put the last part of the 2008 contribution into my husband’s Roth IRA. Unfortunately, I screwed it up while doing it online and signed him up for a traditional IRA instead. This wouldn’t have been the worst thing except that I already did our 2008 taxes and I don’t feel like redoing them. Fortunately, our credit union was sympathetic and put it in what I originally intended. Figuring out where to invest was difficult, so I took the wimpy way out, and bought a 6-month CD at an annual rate of 2.75%, hoping that we’ll know better in 6 months which direction the economy is going.

Those are all things financial for our family this week. What did you do?

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