Wednesday, August 04, 2010

dollar dollar bill y'all

where my money at?

and now i can't get this song out of my head.

once again, you all seriously delivered on financial advice on that last post. i appreciate every piece of advice! it seems that styles on this particular topic vary widely, from logging every receipt to using programs that give you a more broad-strokes overview ( seems to be quite popular) to stevo's simple approach:

to be honest, this one sounded the most like me when it comes to the green stuff!

one might think that with my detailed schedules and specific plans that i would enjoy a project such as tracking and allocating expenses. but i don't -- AT ALL. i was thinking about it as the comments rolled in yesterday, and i feel very differently about money than i do about time. part of me thinks that it may be because i have enough of it right now to do the things i want to do, but then again, there have been far leaner times when i (unfortunately) treated money pretty much the same way.

as an elementary school child, my little sister carefully tracked her savings while i blew my allowance (when it wasn't being withheld from me for neglecting to practice the piano, a messy room, or generalized bad behavior) on paperback crack. in high school, it was ski outings and gap jeans. and in college -- well, that was pretty much when disaster struck (ie: my first credit card).

don't worry -- i've actually reformed a lot since then! i never ever run a balance on any card but pay in full every month. we do put some $ into savings and retirement. but my overall attitude is still follow your inner conscience, give or take, and things will come out okay. and so far that's been fine! but i am aware that when our family expands, things WILL change. and perhaps in preparation for this, maybe i need to be a little less freewheeling about it all, even if it turns out to be a bit of a challenge.

anonymous, you are probably quite right (also, for my sake, i'd better hope and pray that anthro does not come out with a line of babywear). and i suppose this is why i even brought all this up!

[also, clarification: NO, I AM NOT PREGNANT (even though i'd like to be)! i hope this was not suggested in the last post. i promise, if when it does happen, i will be fairly forthright about it. and i probably won't be going on 10 mile runs or sipping on red after work (though i can't do that while on call).]

anyway! so, it was quite interesting to think about this topic yesterday. josh and i talked about it, and i think we are going to go with an approach towards the holistic side, as it just tends to fit our financial styles better.

i may try mint (or just analyze credit card statements from the past few months) to just get a picture of how we are spending now.

but really, even just thinking about it there are just two main areas that i can already see that we need to improve on: eating out and (gulp) clothing purchases.

and actually, i don't necessarily think my clothing buys are really that bad; however, they could be better planned out, and i think it would be best to give myself a monthly clothing 'allowance' rather than to let this particular aspect of spending just flow loosely.

but eating out is seriously something we need to work on. i love restaurants, but the bills (and calories, i'm sure) add up FAST!

therefore: $ goals for this month will include

1. attempting to limit restaurant eating to once/week (and choosing more reasonable establishments as a general rule)

2. spending some time just sort of going over our finances and making some more concrete savings plans for the future (how much to put in retirement, college fund, day care fund, etc)

3. paying attention to the joy that can come out of cheap or free things!

work time
off to the gym & the hospital! i just blew my AM time budget writing this post (i actually let myself sleep in a little more since there is no clinic to rush to -- and i was out having a WILD* night with one of the other peds endo fellows + the newest attending).

* okay, it wasn't all that wild. but we did whip out the testicle beads at dinner!

(no, we really didn't! instead, we discussed lab values and various DKA management styles and how happy we are that we don't have to draw blood on kids anymore. and i didn't get paged the whole time.)


  1. Do they have Scoutmob in your area? It's a restaurant coupon email thing where you get a 50% off coupon every day. You could try that or for restaurant coupons that way going out will cost half as much.

  2. Anonymous8:08 AM

    I like Quickin! Also, with the clothing purchases...I cut down on that and didn't miss it too much, just by NOT shopping. Also, I love looking at our necessary budget first and seeing all the options we have with our money before the "wants" are taken out. It makes me feel like I have more control over my spending. Then we can really decided if we want to be spending so much on the items we were spending $ on. Was it worth it? Would we miss it if we cut back here and there? And then talk about it at our next meeting. Good luck!

  3. One thing I was curious about that you didn't mention in your budget is medical school loans. I have no idea how much it costs to go to medical school, but in my mind it's $$$$$ and takes forever to pay off.

    Along the lines of RunningYogini, not having my own car and therefore having my husband with me whenever I go clothes shopping has definitely cut down on my clothing outlay.

  4. Anonymous9:05 AM

    ummm that totally is now stuck in my head now too. thank you hahah

    i know i didn't comment on the financial post yesterday but that's because i'm really ignorant with money and wanted to see what other suggested! haha. especially as a recent grad with lots of loans and virtually no income. so i'm glad you did the little wrap up post :)

  5. Ok- I confess. I was anonymous in yesterday's comments!! I thought you might not take the comment so seriously coming from your mom!!!! :)
    Of course I know that you are not pregnant, but you said in your post, in effect that your needs will change at some point in preparation for such an event. So my point was that sometimes you will want money to buy time when that will be more important than frivolities.

  6. Do you use They have great restaurant deals sometimes and lots of other stuff. Just bought a coupon to a nice salon, for instance. Haircut and highlights for $65!

  7. oh sarah, you and your testicle beads. you're such a party gurrrl. giggles and gross! and oh how cute that our mom was anon!!