April 8, 2011

fiscal responsibility

This seems to be a topic on many an American mind this afternoon as we move towards a government shut down at midnight this evening.  As the wife of a veteran, it was important for me to get my ducks in a row today.  (As in, ask questions that have been sitting on my "follow up" list for the better part of six months... and while nothing emergent will happen during this time, I decided it was time to cross some things off the list.)  The good news is that the phone lines were clear this morning and the staff were also very interested in addressing my questions today.

If you are a veteran, or spouse of a veteran, here is the information provided by the VA regarding the effect that a shutdown would have.  All in all the VA is simply suspending the majority of its informational telephone support lines.


In other news, I finally gained enough motivation to reconcile all of our March purchases.  

Do you do that?  

My Mom taught me all about reconciliation upon the opening of my very first checking account at the ripe old age of 13.  There was something soothing about filling in the lines of the register, doing the math and waiting for my monthly statement to come to check and see how accurate I had been.  But if I am entirely honest the practice went by the wayside at some point and by my mid-twenties I would open my statements with one eye closed, hoping for a bank error.

When we were both working, we kept a loose accounting of ins-and-outs, but we spent minimal time on our budget, as long as the ins were keeping a good pace ahead of the outs.  Now, with me at home and him in school, our pennies are a bit more precious and so, one of my jobs is to account for our expenditures.

I was dreading March.  I had already taken care of the first week in April and decided it was time to find out just how bad it would be.

Let me tell you.
It wasn't bad.

It wasn't great either.
I definitely don't have pastries, prepared dinners and fancy cheese budgeted.

Though.  Going forward, I am going to focus on not buying pastries, convenience foods, and cheese at Whole Paycheck.  Actually, I am going to avoid pastries, convenience foods, and cheese everywhere.  

I blame the infamous end to the first trimester.  But seriously, maybe the federal government is at the end of its first trimester, maybe it is tired, cranky and doesn't have the energy to make dinner.  No matter what, it's April and thanks to my Mother-in-Law, I have discovered that a simple hard-boiled egg is as satisfying as all of those damn sticky buns.


Amanda said...

i try to live by the practice of spending at least 5 minutes on my finances every day. I am huge on budgeting and making sure I know what money is going where and if we're on track. There's just something about having control over my money that makes me feel so free. In all that we've been able to do the first three years of our five year plan in 1! Now we just re-did the 5 year plan :)

Eva said...

we've been trying to stick to a budget since about October. honestly most of (all of) the time we fail. But, it does make us more aware, and more mindful, of our money.


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