Does anyone else do this? Sit and stare at your budget.....like if you keep looking at it often and long enough more money will magically appear on it?! Hmphff! It hasn't worked yet.
I finally get a month where we didn't spend it on our house or yard or guns or dental work, or anything and the extra is just going to replace the $1070 check I have to write to the IRS next week out of my savings.
I'm really trying to keep track of what I spend on weekly groceries and gas. Whatever I can come under budget is getting added to the extra put on the home equity loan payment. So far, I am at least putting the $25 a month I get reimbursed from work for my internet and whatever I earn on the 1% cash back on my debit card (usually around $30) to add to it. Since I only had to drive to work one day this week I basically have a full tank for next week and won't need to fill up on Saturday. That should leave me with $38 extra out of this pay period to also add to it. My auto insurance went down a whole $4 a month, so I guess I can add that too :)
Next month will be costly for the yard. It will be time to get the Casoron to spread over all the gravel area and we need two 50 lb. bags to cover the area (twice a year!) and the cheapest I can find is a place online that we have ordered from the last 2 years. They ship out really fast and have the cheapest shipping (for 100 lbs) but it still will cost about $370 for 2 bags. I have also started a spreadsheet where I am keeping track of everything we spend this year on our yard, especially wanting to keep track what we are spending a year on weed control for this acre. Then I want to check and see what it would cost to have a lawn maintenance company come in and do it. It will probably cost more, but I'd like to know for sure. So far, this year, I have spent $100 on weed and feed and insecticide for the lawn. Then it will be the $375 (twice this year) for the Casoron plus weed and feed again in the Fall, not to mention I always end up buying a couple of gallons of Round up and blackberry killer each summer. I know we spend at least $1000 a year to treat our lawn and keep weeds out of our gravel area. I have no idea what it would cost to have someone come and spray this for us on a regular/seasonal basis.
We also have plans for 2 other yard projects this year. DH wants to add more landscaping blocks to a couple of areas (about 4 pallets needed for about $650 total) and also put in a small pond. Our good neighbor wants some blocks too, so I am hoping we can go in on an order together, as they will deliver if you order more than 5 pallets. The pond liners appear to run about $150 for the size we want and it will all be done ourselves so shouldn't be much other cost, unless we end up buying any stones or flat rockery to go around it versus using big rocks we already have here and there in the back of our property. The extra I have each month from my income will covers these expenses.
The mid year bonus (where I will get $2560 after taxes) is pretty much a given at this point, with our sales almost doubled from last year. By mid or end of June I should have this extra money. I'm really thinking of using it for a vacation for us later this summer. We have been married 30 years and have really only taken 2 vacations. Once to Arizona to see my parents when the kids were little and one to Florida/Disneyworld back in 2007. That's it. We really need a break from this place and with DD home all summer working she can hold the fort down and take care of the animals (and her boyfriend can stay with her, which would make us feel safer leaving her here alone). Seems like most people take a couple vacations a year and we take a couple our whole married life? Maybe time for a little adjustment in that area. We took trips when the kids were little to go to racing events, but they were not vacations - they were hard work!
I haven't mentioned it yet to DH. I'm thinking either we take a road trip to the midwest, visit friends there and he can take in some dirt track racing he has been wanting to see for years and years. Or...maybe take an Alaskan Cruise. I have priced them and we could afford a very nice week long trip and a cruise would be ideal for his limited mobility, not to mention we both have always wanted to see Alaska. Something to ponder.....though I'm sure he'll pick the road trip, LOL. We'll see...I'm still thinking on it. I find it hard to splurge on ourselves and others do it without a second thought. I think we certainly deserved to treat ourselves to something nice this year - it was our 30th wedding anniversary a couple months ago.
I also don't know what my 10 year work anniversary "gift" will be. It might very well be a vacation, but I won't know until September. In past years all the employees who reached their 10 year anniversary were given a paid 7 day trip to Hawaii (staying in the owner's rental condo), but that owner is no longer with the company and while I think one of the other company owner's is still a part owner of this condo, I highly doubt he wants to deal with using it any longer for this type of thing. It has always been used to give some of our customers trips, too, but not in the past 2 years now, since former owner was booted out of the company. No employee has had a 10 year anniversary since he left. I am the first, so who knows what they will do now.
When I had my annual review lunch with my boss I mentioned that this was my 10 year anniversary year. Her comment was that one of the owners was trying to figure out what to do for the big anniversaries (10, 15, etc) and mentioned something about a company he used to work for giving rings with a diamond for each 5 years...not really something I would enjoy. I don't really wear rings and with a size 3 ring finger it's pretty much impossible for me to find a ring in my size anyway. I'd rather just have a nice gift card or something, I guess. The last few anniversaries that have come up were 15 years and they got an extra week vacation going forward. But, boy all these years I was so looking forward to that Hawaii vacation!