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 Stuff – do 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.
Brent Pittman at On Target Coaching had some blunt words for married couples who can’t get their budgets to work.
Joint and Separate Money Series: Changes During the First Year of Marriage was featured in the Carnival of Financial Camaraderie.
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?'”
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