Do you ever have a bit of a hangover after a spendy weekend? When I got to work this morning, I logged on to Mint.com to check out the damage. I knew we spent a bit of money this weekend, but I also took a look at our spending throughout the month and felt a teensy bit ill.
This past weekend was really nice, so I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But it could have been less expensive had we planned a bit better. It was Mr. Stapler’s first weekend off from working on our side business, so we spent a lot of time together as a family. We went out for lunch (at $20 for the three of us) and strolled into a sporting goods store, with the excuse that Little Stapler wanted goggles for swimming class. We walked out with goggles, a 4-year-old-sized soccer ball (something I’d been meaning to get him), and junior lacrosse sticks — the latter being a complete spur of the moment purchase. We spent the afternoon teaching Little Stapler how to use the lacrosse stick and playing “keep away” with the soccer ball. He showed a lot of promise! But most of all, we had a great time.
Too bad it all cost us $60.
Then we went to a baptism party, where we gave the babies cards and a modest cash gift. If I’d been more on top of things, I could have gotten a sweet little gift that cost less and cards that cost less. But I didn’t plan ahead. The day before, I opted to spend that time outside with my family. After the party, we went to a local playground and then Baby Stapler wanted ice cream (hahaha — nice excuse, huh?), so we went to a local ice cream stand. Another $60 day.
Thankfully, yesterday we spent under $10 on the Children’s Museum. We received a membership as a gift, parking was free during the holiday, and we packed our lunches. But we caved in the bookstore and got Little Stapler a stuffed animal — which he hasn’t let go of for 24 hours — and splurged on a cookie. All told, it was a $130 three-day-weekend — much more than we typically spend.
As for our monthly spending, it has gotten a bit out of control — particularly in the food department. One big problem is that we ordered pizza three times this month! The worst part was that I had pizza dough in the freezer. But poor planning on my part meant that it wasn’t defrosted in time for dinner. And there were some nights this past week when I was just too exhausted to make dinner. And we ran out of frozen meatballs. Major planning fail.
We also went out to eat one night, at a pricey restaurant. My wonderful sister gave me a gift certificate for my birthday, and I’m afraid we went a little overboard. It’s our favorite restaurant to go for a long, quiet conversation and tasty food — both of which were achieved that night. We should have skipped ordering desert and drinks (non-alcoholic for me), which would have saved us nearly $30.
It just so happens, too, that we’re going away for a 5-day trip to Washington D.C. very soon, so I know that the credit card will be used fairly often in the next week. The hotel and airfare have already been paid for, and most activities are free (er … “pre-paid” with our tax dollars), but the food is going to be our biggest expense. I’m preparing by packing lots of snacks and our hotel has a fridge and kitchen, so we will be able to pick up some supplies once we’re in town, but I anticipate dinners to set us back at least $200 for the week. All of this will come out of our $1,000 vacation savings, but it’s still sad to see that savings account dwindle.
How was your weekend? How was your month? Do you have an Achilles heel when it comes to spending?
Stupid spending momentum! My family’s in a weird state since we’re in a transition stage. My wife and I have accepted jobs in a new state, so we’re trying to work out the details of the move/housing and have been driving a TON more than usual. Really cramping our budget in other areas. That’s one thing we’re not too good at is the look back. We’re very good with prospective spending (we use YNAB), but never stop and compare to where we were.
Congrats on the move! It’s so hard to keep costs down when you’re moving, but at least you get to have a pre-move yard sale that can cushion your budget a little 😉
Don’t guilt yourself too bad. It’s okay to live every once in a while. As long as it’s not habit, those memories are worth it.
Thanks! I keep telling myself that the weekend spent together was priceless, so I have to just write off the expenses and try not to do mindless spending in the future.
I had a great weekend…and it was cheap! We did a pot luck for Memorial day which cost under $10 to host. As far as the month goes, we’re hitting savings goals and spending less than we did last month. So, overall, it’s been great!
That’s great! Honestly, the less I spend I find the more I enjoy the important things — like spending time with friends.
So glad to know you got to go out to dinner! I know I’m playing devil’s advocate, but it’s important you go out now before Baby Stapler #2 is born. Enjoy that drink and dessert now, you deserve it. 😉
Thanks! It was delicious, too! 🙂