Friday, July 29, 2016

July 2016 Debt Update: $72,647.11


This month we dropped our overall debt balance by $451.89. It's what we expected, and on other fronts, we were grateful that no major unexpected expenses arose that might have derailed even this modest amount. That said, some months we have had other "expected" expenses which have dipped into our baseline savings, and even after an extra paycheck in July (we are on a 26-paycheck-per-year schedule) to replenish it a little, it is still not where I would like it to be. I've said in the past that we really need to account for every expenditure, but I can see that we are not, so that is what I would like to do this coming month.

Food

We came in under budget this month which helped us to increase our stock up fund a little. This past week it dropped a little when I purchased 50 jars of Smuckers jam on sale for $.99 a jar. The sale only comes once a year, but it's totally worth it when it comes to the savings. I have tried making jam this summer, but what I learned was that making larger jars lead to larger consumption, and the savings really weren't that different when I calculated them. This past month I also stocked up on natural peanut butter for $.99 a jar as well.

I blogged recently about how we ditched Amazon Prime, but I have to admit that I was curious about the deals that were available on Amazon Prime Day, and when I saw that they had the Instant Pot DUO60 (an electric 6 quart pressure cooker) marked down to $70 vs. the normal price of $120, I decided to use the free one-month trial on my account to purchase it with credit card points we had saved up. We pay off our credit card every month, but like to use it to accumulate points on purchases we would already make. Already I have enjoyed using it to speed up the process of meal preparation, and it's amazing for frugal food items like boiled eggs, beans, and rice. 

Birthdays

Our daughter turned two this past month, and we celebrated with a quiet dinner and homemade strawberry cake. I had saved up $25 for her birthday and got her one toy, while saving the other birthday money she received to purchase her fall wardrobe. We got lots of hand-me-downs for our boys, but there have been none for our daughter, so I try to get good deals on new clothing or find thrift store clothes. The thrift stores have not been that great for a complete wardrobe, however, and given that their prices are often $1-$2 per piece for very worn clothing items, I'd rather purchase new items for $3 a piece and then resell them later. 

So that's it for this month. Next month we will be heading to California to attend my husband's grandmother's 100th birthday before starting school. 

How did you do this month?

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