Jan 26, 2008

I need to get out of the house!

I've been without a car for two weeks now, ever since my daughter was in a car accident. The police dept finally issued the accident report on her accident, and lo and behold, surprise surprise, the guy that hit her had no license and no insurance. Why does that not surprise me?? I am curious, however, as to why the Butler County Sheriff that took the accident report didn't haul the guy off to jail -- driving without a license and without insurance? Last time I checked, that was against the law. Jeff will pay to get the Montero fixed for Mary, though to me it seems like throwing good money after bad, since it had engine problems with a questionable amount of life left to it. I personally would prefer to find her a good used car and put that same money toward it, but it's not my checkbook paying out, so it's not really my decision. Hopefully, I will have a car back by the middle of next week. (Mary is driving Jeff's Ford Focus and Jeff is driving my new car.) So all this means, of course, that I do my errands on the weekends. Today I will go grocery shopping and pick up some books I have on hold at the library, plus go to the bank to get some cash for the week (though why I need cash when I can't go anywhere is up for question!). I will finally get a chance to do my price comparisons that I've asked others to do for my blog! I've had three responses so far! New Hampshire, Colorado, Tennessee -- and we will add my Ohio to it and I'll post them all tomorrow. I did find one great way to cut back dramatically on my grocery bill. Jeff went grocery shopping twice in the past 10 days! LOL! Since he paid for what he bought, it didn't come out of my monthly budget! Poof! An extra $100 for me this month! We do have a great system worked out for budgeting our money. I am fortunate that I don't have to work, but obviously I do need money to spend. So, we came up with a great system so I'm not spending all his money, but he doesn't have to question where every penny of "our" money is going. We have two checking accounts - his and hers. Although each of us has checks for both accounts, neither of us uses the other's checks without asking first. My checking account covers groceries, doctor visits, vet visits, gifts (not including Christmas), clothing and house decor. Jeff's covers mortgage, utilities, car repairs and house repairs, taxes and any other "major" bills that come along. On the first of each month, an automatic deposit is made into my checking account, and that's my money for the month. It's the same amount, and it's generous without being over the top. I have plenty of money for groceries, I can afford to buy a bit of fabric now and then (though I'm trying not to), I can afford to go out to lunch or to the movies with friends during the week, and I can buy an item or two of clothing when I want to. So it's a really good system that takes the pressure off both of us. We used to have one account and neither of us seemed to know at any moment what we could spend, because we didn't know what the other person had spent that same day. This works beautifully for us and really eliminated any heated money discussions between us. I stick to spending no more than my monthly allotment, and there's no problem. If we have something major we want to do (for example, we upgraded our kitchen and added a new patio area, fence and hot tub last year), we sit down and figure out how we can pay for it or save up for it, or whatever makes the most sense financially. So, I'm trying to cut back on my grocery budget for the selfish reason that it gives me more money to spend during the month! I also pay one-half of Mary's daycare expense each month. I can't imagine how most single mothers can afford daycare, and I can't even begin to fathom how parents with more than one child afford it! Here in our area, most daycare facilities charge between $180 and $250 per week per child! Mary was very fortunate to find a wonderful lady who does day care in her home for $30 per day. I have Brayden two days a week, so she pays $90 per week for the other three days, and of that, I pay half. I'm hoping at some point she won't need me to do this, but I do understand that for now, she needs the help, and I'm fine with that. I would much rather have him in a good, clean, loving environment than put him in a cheaper, welfare subsidized daycare situation. If it means I help pay for it, then I'll help pay for it, just so we all have peace of mind about how he's being taken care of during the day. So today, I'm going grocery shopping. I have made my menu for the week: Sat. - Lentil soup (freezer), cornbread (homemade) Sun - Out to eat Mon - Roast chicken, brown rice, brussel sprouts Tue - Soup, grilled cheese* Wed - Chicken stir fry (left over chicken, left over brown rice, veggies in fridge) Thur - Hamburgers on 100 cal english muffins, Salad Fri - Frozen pizza (Jeff bought 2), salad* * These are days I babysit for Brayden and need something "quick" and easy to fix when he leaves at 5:30. I will make chicken soup this week and use leftover chicken for sandwiches for Jeff for work. On Sunday (tomorrow) we're planning on going to Waynesville, OH for the afternoon. We enjoy walking around and going to all the antique shops there, and, of course, the world's best fabric store is there! So the more money I save on groceries today, the more I'll have to spend at Fabric Shack tomorrow! (OK, so maybe I'm not trying REAL hard not to buy fabric!)

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