Saturday, August 27, 2011

Too much month at the end of the money

I hadn't held down my first job very long before I discovered that certain months have an extra payday.  It happens four times annually if you are paid by the week, and it's truly a wonderful thing.  Here's how I always paid my bills:  Make a note on the calendar of the amount of the bill, on the Friday closest to its due date (or sooner, if there are too many bills due near the same time).  On payday, check the calendar and pay the bills written on that day.  It must have worked, as we have kept a spotless credit record through the years.  Anyway, on those months with a fifth payday, we could buy some clothes or fill our propane tank or pay property taxes or eat out.  Sometimes we'd just blow some of it.  (We hadn't heard of Dave Ramsey yet, so we never gave a thought to saving any of it.) 
Oh, how I miss the extra payday!  With Social Security, we are paid by the month, and that means the extra payday works against us!  

(ignore the little notes on the I-calendar; I do.)

 Cliff is paid on the third Wednesday of each month.  That means there are five weeks between our "paydays" this time.  There's one extra Friday in September, but no extra money allotted.  What a disappointment!  We're going five weeks between "paydays".  
I told Cliff I was going to be buying as few groceries as possible, and explained that I had to make our money stretch farther this month.  The two envelopes that seemed to be suffering the most were the "grocery" one and the "fun" one.  This is not good, since I am chomping at the bit to go on a little trip on the motorcycle.  Or a big trip.  Cliff is ready too, although with the state of his back lately, I'm not sure we'll be going anywhere.  But I digress.
The calf is taking more milk all the time, and any day now the cow is liable to come to the barn with a nearly-empty udder.  Once that happens, we can leave any time we like.  But not, of course, if our "fun" and "grocery" envelopes are depleted. 
A couple of days ago, Cliff spent time at our "junk pile" down at the ditch, loading things like an old tractor frame; heavy, obsolete farming equipment and parts; old washing machines and dryers; and other metal objects onto two trailers.  Yesterday he had the oldest grandson come over with his pickup and hook up to the heaviest one; he hitched the other trailer to our Mercury.  

I rode in the car with Cliff and took this picture of the junk Arick was hauling.  I only went along for the ride; I figured the money was going into Cliff's tractor fund, and I didn't really think there would be all that much money anyhow.  
Turns out they gave him a check for over $700.
"Wow," I drooled, "that's going to fatten up your tractor fund pretty good!"  
"Yeah," he said, "or any other fund."  
When we went by the drive-up window of the bank, Cliff cashed the check and handed me $200.  
"Do what you want with this," he told me.  
He also gave the grandson gas money.  
I put one hundred dollars in the grocery envelope and one hundred in the fun envelope.  Problem solved for this month, but the next time this happens, I intend to be better prepared.  I don't think we have all that much junk left to haul off.  
All you working stiffs who get paid weekly or bi-weekly, enjoy those "extra paydays" while you have them.


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

You did well with your junk collection. I sold my car after the accident totaled it and only got 360.00 for it from a scrap metal place. For years I got paid weekly. So it was a big adjustment to have only 1 check a month. I've borrowed from my rainy day account more than once. Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

Helen said...

That was a lot for that junk. Good advice you gave at the end. Helen