Weekly Update 15

Last Sunday and Monday I went to a departmental retreat near-ish to the NC coast.  While it’s never been an awesome time, I had the most fun this year of any of the four I have attended.  We got a very nice carpool group together for the 7 hours of driving we did over two days and had great conversations.  The talks were all really interesting and I had a nice conversation with two late-stage PhD candidates about “alternate” career options.

 

The other fun event we had this week was hanging out with another couple on Friday evening.  We played Pandemic; I usually don’t like games of strategy but this was a cooperative one so I enjoyed it a lot.  We were having such a good time we stayed until after 1 AM – quite late for us to be out!

 

On Saturday Kyle and I went SHOPPING – a rarity for us (other than for food).  We set out to buy 3 pais of shoes for $110 and ended up committing to 4 pairs of shoes for $165 (two had to be ordered in different sizes).  So we overspent our Appearance savings account and nearly all of June’s savings to that account will have to go to make up for this deficit!  We fell victim to the “deal” mentality.  The two stores we bought at both had buy-one-get-one sales going on (one store always has that, the other we’d never been to before so we weren’t sure).  So when I decided to get sneakers at the second store, Kyle encouraged me to look at black pumps, which I also needed (though not urgently).  This situation doesn’t sit well with me, but I think we can still be in the black this month by covering the shopping excess by coming in under budget in other categories, plus transfer the rest from our Appearance account to general savings next month.  What I feel great about is looking on Kylel’s smartphone for coupons once we knew where we were purchasing the shoes and getting $10 knocked off our total bill at each retailer.  (I think that’s the first time I’ve done that.  I often look for coupons when I shop online but not in-store.)

 

Posts I Liked

 

David at Money Under 30 wrote a great primer on 401(k)s.  I don’t have access to one – I’ll certainly enjoy the higher contribution limits in comparison with my IRA, but I don’t like giving up total control over the funds I invest in.

 

Janice at Talking Cents wrote about a topic I haven’t read anything on before – how much you should pay a babysitter and a location-specialized calculator.  This seems like a useful tool to make sure you’re appropriately paying for the quality of service you want.

 

G.E. at 20 Something Finance made some great points about the true cost of buying and acting out of “convenience.”

 

Victoria from Lend Not Borrow asked an intriguing question on Budgeting in the Fun Stuffdo you hide money from your spouse?  Almost all the commenters said “heck no!” but a couple said “in this very limited situation, for this very good reason.”  Of course I don’t think those readers who do hide money would jump in to the conversation.

 

Tie the Money Knot shared some numbers about the average cost of being a bridesmaid and asked about the monetary burden of serving in that role.

 

Brent Pittman at On Target Coaching had some blunt words for married couples who can’t get their budgets to work.

 

Frugal Portland proposed two alternate ways to think about debt that help inspire her to pay it off faster.

 

Carnivals

 

Joint and Separate Money Series: Changes During the First Year of Marriage was featured in the Carnival of Financial Camaraderie.

 

Top Comment

 

It should be no surprise to anyone who read How Do You Decide How Much to Spend on Groceries? that Renee wrote this week’s top comment!  Actually, three wonderful thoughtful comments with many links on that post.  Her comment begins “This is a fascinating topic! More than just all the issues behind food, it shows how money management is very subjective! ‘How much should we spend on xyz? Would it be better to go with the cheaper, riskier option so we can save more?'”

 

Most Frequent Commenters

 

  1. Renee
  2. Edward Antrobus
  3. Emily too
  4. Leigh @ Leigh’s Financial Journey

 

Top Blogs Referring to EPF

 

  1. Sweating the Big Stuff
  2. Leigh’s Financial Journey
  3. Daily Money Shot
  4. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
  5. I Am 1 Percent
  6. Step Away from the Mall

 

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14 Responses to "Weekly Update 15"

  1. Glad you liked the article. I hope my blunt words will help a few budgets and marriages out there.
    Brent Pittman recently posted..Happy Mother’s Day Edition + Weekend Money Questions

    1. Emily says:

      Me too! I much prefer being blunt and direct when a wake up call is needed!

  2. SB @ FPR says:

    we all do splurges at times, don’t worry you are on right track
    SB @ FPR recently posted..Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfer in 2012

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks SB. I don’t feel too bad or I would return the stuff. We do need it all by June/July, it’s just a bit accelerated!

  3. thanks for the mention — I’ve found that waiting until I absolutely need shoes (esp fancy shoes) means I just buy whatever from wherever, which costs way more than 50% off the second pair.
    Frugal Portland recently posted..3 Steps to a Healthier and More Fulfilled Life

    1. Emily says:

      I made a really bad decision last time I bought black pumps (which is why I need a new pair now) – no so much in the cost but just that they hobble me when I walk on them for more than a short distance. So making this decision not under pressure was nice.

  4. H says:

    We just played Pandemic last night with some church friends–a total coincidence as I am just now reading this post! We received it as a gift a while ago and enjoy playing it for the cooperative element you mentioned. Plus the CDC headquarters are in our neck of the woods (sorta). As our friend put it, “It’s like team Solitaire, but with a more fun and challenging puzzle.”

    1. Emily says:

      That’s a good way to put it. I’d consider buying the game as we don’t have many games appropriate for 2-4 people.

    2. Alex says:

      I love Pandemic! Like you, I enjoy more cooperative-based games. There’s also a cute cooperative game called “Castle Panic,” which we like to pull out for “non-gaming” friends.

      1. Emily says:

        Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. I feel your pain with overspending in a certain category. When you underspend you feel like you can take on the world, but when you overspend it’s NO fun! Glad to see you have an action plan to compensate, though!!

    By the way, thanks for the mention about my posted article on Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.

    1. Emily says:

      I don’t actually feel great when I underspend because I don’t consider it “under.” I generally just pay what it costs for what I want, not try to hit a target amount. Most of the time we’ll put off a purchase until we have enough for what we want, but in this case we didn’t know when we set out exactly what we’d be buying or that we went end up on BOGO stores.

      You’re welcome!

  6. [...] Marketplace reported that most of this money was being spent on “fast fashion – that’s super-cheap disposable clothes in the latest styles.”  That type of clothing doesn’t last long because of its poor quality and transient stylishness.  I can assure you that Kyle and I are not fashionable and cannot afford to keep up with the latest styles, even if we knew what they were.  We don’t often buy expensive clothing because of our income and the nature of our work, but we certainly don’t buy throwaway clothes, either.  Nearly half of the money I spent was on two items – a dress for an evening wedding and a suit for an interview.  The remaining $250 was a set of socks, three pairs of pants, one shirt, and three pairs of shoes. Kyle’s $150 was spent on a jacket and two pairs of shoes. [...]

  7. [...] Marketplace reported that most of this money was being spent on “fast fashion – that’s super-cheap disposable clothes in the latest styles.”  That type of clothing doesn’t last long because of its poor quality and transient stylishness (think Forever 21).  I can assure you that Kyle and I are not fashionable and cannot afford to keep up with the latest styles, even if we knew what they were.  We don’t often buy expensive clothing because of our income and the nature of our work, but we certainly don’t buy throwaway clothes, either.  Nearly half of the money I spent was on two items – a dress for an evening wedding and a suit for an interview.  The remaining $250 was a set of socks, three pairs of pants, one shirt, and three pairs of shoes. Kyle’s $150 was spent on a jacket and two pairs of shoes. [...]

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