Thursday, August 18, 2011

One month on Social Security

We stayed on budget for our first month on Cliff's Social Security, but I have tweaked it a little for the coming month.  
$280 for groceries for a month is plenty for us (we have beef in the freezer, remember, and milk from Bonnie... and we don't do convenience foods).  However, I'm used to having our budgeted funds divided into weekly periods, $70 per week.  So the first week I spent $70 just because that's what I always have to spend.  Second week, I didn't spend $70, so I used a portion of that money to eat out.  It was as though I simply had to spend that amount each week.  By last week, there wasn't much left in the envelope and I had to cut my grocery list to stay under budget.  
So now my goal is to see how much less than $70 I can spend each week, and hopefully we can have a little guilt-free fun with what's left on the last week of our pay period.  
I plan to get to know Aldi better.
I like getting our regular prescriptions at Walmart, but because our Medicare Plus wants us to buy our prescriptions online, they only let us purchase one month's pills at a time locally.  If we lived in town near Walmart or Target or any big drug chain, it wouldn't be a big deal.  Since we're fifteen miles from such places, it's pretty aggravating.  Next month when Cliff has his regular doctor visit, we'll have the doctor write new prescriptions, and we'll start getting them by mail, three months supply at once.  It's cheaper that way, anyhow.  I just always preferred to pick them up in person.  At some point before the end of the year, Lipitor goes generic, which will save us some bucks.  
I've allotted a litte more money for the "fun" envelope, and also for the "misc." envelope.  Let's face it, I had to use my stash of quarter rolls to go to the state fair.  I have no quarters left, and I do want to be able to do something fun once in awhile.  When Cliff was working, all these extras came out of his pocket.  Now his allowance isn't big enough to support the frivolous things in life.  What little he gets is his, and when I stay out of it, it seems to be plenty. 
My worst shock was the cost of fuel, which , it turns out, comes to over $400 a month.  It isn't that we travel a lot; it's the diesel and gasoline for the tractors that makes the bill so huge.  That should start to get better as mowing season ends, but meanwhile I was $100 low on my estimate of how much we'd be paying for fuel for all the vehicles.  
The budgeted amount for doctors and prescriptions, pets and critters, and clothing seems to be on target.  I won't have to mess with those envelopes at all (knock wood). 
I realize inflation is going to make this game harder down the road, but for now, I seem to have the pesky budget under control.  



Sounds like you've got the situation under control. Medicine is our most costly expense. It really adds up fast. Hope your fuel costs ease up in the fall and winter so you can save a little extra. Hang in there, you've got a handle on it for now.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Groceries is one area that I've gone way over budget. I'd planned on 50.00 per week and It is almost never that. I did some stocking up on canned goods and a few freezer items when I'd see a sale so that will help. On the news they say groceries are going up even more. I agree, you have to have some fun money in the budget too. What good is being retired, if you can't do anything. My camping is where my fun money goes and it is in the budget. Hope your Thursday is a great one.

JustRex said...

I had to go put gas in my truck yesterday. It cost me $85.00 to fill it up. I almost pooped. If we had any decent sidewalks around here, I'd buy a bicycle.

patsy said...

you will do fine I am sure but be aware if one moves on to the golden streets the other's income decreases.

Donna. W said...

Patsy, we are aware of that. If Cliff kicks the bucket, I'd be having a sale and moving somewhere with a city bus line. I don't know what his plan would be if I die. When he retired, his boss did tell him he could come back to work any old time he wanted to. So there's that.

Cliff said...

cmon, lets start milking that cow twice a day and then sell the milk. (a joke)
You're going thru quite a change but I suppose with extra time the garden is going to get bigger and that should help with the grocery bill. Right now all we need is bacon, bread and mayo. Bring on the Blt's or BT's as we say.

Margaret said...

I love the way you budget! I need to do more of that myself.