Saturday, April 23, 2022

March monthly check in - Finally!

Budget?! What budget? To be honest, I don't even know what our budget's supposed to be anymore.  Lackluster sales & constant price increases mean we don't even have a budget anymore. Okay, that's a lie. I'm still hoping to average $400 p/m. March was a really expensive month, other than groceries too, but I'm thankful that we could just pay cash for those needs. On to the numbers. Brace yourselves!


Produce market : $137.62 (I went to the market twice)

Aldi : $13.71

Kroger : $4.35 (5 half gallons milk)

Sams : $448.40

Walmart : $189.14

Walgreens : $12.71

CVS : $0 (Paid with gc)

Total OOP : $805.93 


$3.20 Ibotta 

Total earnings : $3.20

My earned drugstore rewards are not included in this amount.I count them when I spend it. 

WAGs is the winner this month! Five transactions for $12.71 OOP. You know things are bad when WAGS is the best working store...just saying. 

I stocked up on quite a few things at Sams (snacks & drinks for DS) and more canned goods at Walmart. I can't keep up with prices anymore, so I've been trying to stock up on select items before the price increases again. I hate sounding like a broken record, but it seems prices are higher with every new shopping trip. 

Thankfully the April numbers are much better (although not low enough for me). The good news is that I'm done grocery shopping for the month. We might just need more bananas next week and I'll probably spend a few pennies at WAGS. 

I just have to share. When I was waiting in line (self checkout) at Kroger (this store only has the self checkout section open on one side of the store, so the line was long and went right down the aisle), a man rounds the corner of the aisle with his cart and knocks over a bunch of reusable bags that was on display. Some of the bags got entangled with his feet and he angrily just kicked it back and went on his merry old way. So I walked over to the bags, picked it up and hung it back on the display. I placed the ones that didn't fit, on top of the display. When I went back to my cart, the woman in line behind me thanked me for doing that. It turns out there was a store employee in line behind me. I told her that I hate when people drop or knock things over and not pick it up again, because someone has to come and pick up after them. She said 'yes, people like you'. I said, no, I'm referring to store employees. Employees are people too and deserve the same respect we give everyone else. She just kept thanking me and then complimented my I was fuming at this man, because it's just rude to act like that. Just do the right thing. I always pick things up in the stores, even if I didn't drop the items. It's just the right thing to do. If it was a family member of ours working at the store, would we want people to be so disrespectful towards them? Of course not. The other thing is that there was a long line of people, but nobody bothered to pick up the bags. I wasn't closest to it, but I just needed to do the right thing. Treat people the way you expect to be treated. That's always been my motto.


GCs Earned $35 ($25 Mypoints, $10 Swagbucks)

Personal items (things we've had listed for the past 2 years) : $141.45

2022 Closet cleanout : $25.56

GC earnings (* see more below) : 72.96

4K Challenge: $23.53

Total earnings : $298.50

Our earnings were fairly decent last month, considering the fact that I haven't listed anything new again.

I only purchased a new dress ($10.05) for myself and that 20c Eddie Bauer t-shirt (The JCP items are April purchases). Go me! 

* Anyone remember that I mentioned I'm purchasing discounted gcs and have a plan for all the other earned gcs too? The plan is to buy clearance items with those gcs and turning it into extra cash for Christmas. This way I have more money to spend at Christmas (vs just the earned amount on the gc) and cash gives me more store options to shop at. I haven't done much shopping yet, because sales are still lackluster. I've also cashed in some of my coins at Coinstar and redeemed for a gc. Then purchased some items to resell. Easy peasy. So that's where the $72.96 comes from. 

Point earning sites are bad too. Mypoints & Swagbucks (same company) now expect you to babysit those Encraves (my favorite way to earn, because they used to autorun). I really don't have time to waste to just earn 50c a day. So I'm doing the bare minimum. There goes those Best laid plans again. I need to fall back & regroup. I can do this!

YTD Earnings :

GCs (point earning sites) : $105

Ibotta : $52.72

Personal items : $429.38

2021 Closet cleanout : $140.44

GC earnings : $72.96

4K Drugstore challenge : $83.17

Rakuten : $17.68

Total Earnings (excl Ibotta) : $848.63

EXPENSES (Clothing/shoes/accessories, Christmas gifts)

OOP : $10.25

Christmas gifts : $0

Total OOP $10.25

Total Christmas gc cash saved : $390.00 (this will be used to buy holiday gc gifts and Target gcs)  I didn't even check on this last month, because of those personal expenses. 

YTD OOP (clothing/shoes/accessories, Christmas gifts, discounted gift cards) : $425.82

YTD Christmas OOP : 3.18 (I'm making a note of this to track how much I'm spending on Christmas)

YTD side hustle income (personal, closet cleanout, drugstore, GC) : $725.95

YTD GC bonus/savings earned  : $26.00 (again, just keeping track)

YTD Clothing/Christmas Balance (side hustle income minus OOP) : $300.13

Whoo! We're still in the black for clothing & Christmas expenses. I'm one happy mama. So I'm checking, double checking & cross checking my numbers before clicking Submit Post and I discovered that I'm off by a penny - yes 1c! I cross checked all the numbers again to find that mistake. I'm such a, but it would drive me crazy if I didn't find it. When I worked as an accountant, the books balanced 99% of the time, because there's no room for error with me. Can you tell I'm a bit of a perfectionist? Or maybe OCD? 

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. You really did well. I think all accountants should be OCD.

    1. I agree Linda. I can't begin to tell you how many errors I corrected on Financial Statements, when I worked as a secretary at one of the world's leading audit firms.
      Thank you. My numbers are still way too high for my liking. I'm hoping to do better in the coming months.

  2. That was good of you to pick up the mess from that rude man. I would have done the same. I try to treat others how I want to be treated.

    The prices on everything are continuing to rise here also. I was amazed at some of the increases when we went shopping yesterday.

    Have a great Sunday!

    1. Thank you Lori! I like to say that 'it's the little things that count'. If we all helped each other by doing little things such as picking things up that we did/didn't drop, it would make life easier for everyone else.

      Oy, I can't keep up with all the price increases. I just use whatever skills I have to try and stay within budget. It's not easy though. You too have a great day!

  3. I love how detailed you are with your savings and earnings. I go to CVS once a week and use the 40% off coupon they send me every week on things we will use. MOuthwash, hubs shampoo etc. Just the one item. Walgreens, when I am low on stuff or bored, I will look on TikTok for the week Walgreens specials and see what I need and follow what they do. I now have enough toothpaste for a year. Or two.

    1. Thank you Lisa! Definitely a sign that I'm a geek I haven't even looked at a CVS ad in weeks. I'm burned out from shopping & my priorities have shifted. I need to get my act together.

      Don't let Wags hear you say you only shop there when you're I love how you are utilising those 40% off Qs on things you need. I'm only looking for a good Old Spice deal for DS and deodorant for myself. We have enough other HBA to last us over a year. I've sold half of my toothpaste, because we were drowning in it.

  4. I can honestly say 'never have I ever spent $805 for groceries in a single month'. Thank goodness your cash flow could handle it!

    I'm OCD on numbers, tracking and financial spreadsheets as well.

    Cheers to a "light" May!???

    1. Thank you Elle! We're fully stocked, so I'm aiming for a low spend May.

      Spending that much on groceries is a first for me too (although I like to eat well). It does include HBA and cleaning supplies too. However, the number doesn't scare me. My budget is an average of $400 p/m. Some months I might spend a lot, while other months are low spend months - it all depends on store sales. As long as I reach my average goal by year end, it's all good.


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