Every once in a while I need to take a step back and let my life catch up with me. I’ve gotten a few financial hits the last few months and I need to stop the spending wheel for a while so I can get my financial footing back in order. The first thing I need to address is our energy supplier’s bill. They discourage their customers from continuing on a budget payment plan and sorta demand that their bills ($563) be paid in full 15 days after delivery. Ouch. Second on my list is to pay off the balance on my puppy’s vet surgery bill ($732). Lastly, I need to pay off the remaining balance on our summer rental. I only put down 50% and I know they will be contacting me anytime soon for the balance ($543). Rather than wait for them to email me, I’d like to pay my balance off this month, along with all the other challenges. That makes a total of $1838. Double ouch!!

The most that I could pay from my liquid monthly funds is $1400. For the remaining $438 I’m going to do a June no-spend on my monthly grocery expense line item. Other than milk, eggs and perhaps bread (I’ve got a few loaves in the freezer) I’m going to try NOT to buy any more groceries this month. The good part is that my pantry is fully stocked and on paper, it looks like it could easily sustain us for a full month. If I’m wrong, well the supermarket is a 15 minute drive away. I think we’ll survive.

Here’s a list of my spend and no-spend challenges:

The vet bill is on a 12 month zero-interest charge card that I had on hand, so I can dilly dally on that for the next few months. BUT, I’d rather get it paid off ASAP because I don’t like dealing with (nor paying) the monthly, budgeted amount. Without the vet bill, I only need to pay off $1106 this month and that is very doable. But we will still need to lay low on grocery shopping. SIDE NOTE: the puppy started coughing last night and spit up some vile something or other. Fingers crossed that she just ate a string or inert object. If she isn’t better by morning (so far, so good) then it’s off for another vet visit. Hubby is starting to suggest it wasn’t such a good idea to own a small breed. They are more trouble than the other breeds. This is going to be a heartbreaking choice but as of this writing, all is good, she’s sleeping well and no more coughing. Ugh.

We had another mini-vacation planned for this month but I cancelled it and got a full refund. With higher gas prices and grocery costs, we needed to streamline and prioritize what was really necessary. Our month long summer at the beach was more important than a quick mid-week getaway. Meanwhile back at home, we’re debating whether we should put up our mini pool (12′ X 3′) this summer. Last year we had to pay around $450 just to fill the pool up with water. Our home well can’t do the trick, thus we had to buy water. Our community town pool won’t be opening till mid-June and all memberships have been cancelled. They are doing it first-come, first serve, at a 50% capacity pay-as-you-go price structure. I have no idea what we are going to do for the balance of this summer. Hanging out in the back yard under the sprinkler is looking more and more like a reality.

We do have sort of a beach not too far away BUT it’s on the river and although people do swim along the beach shoreline, I wouldn’t recommend doing so. The sand is cluttered with rocks and bricks and makes walking shoeless undesirable (see photo below). The river also has a history of toxicity and despite proclamations that the river has been cleaned up, I’m doubtful. There are too many signs posted warning people not to eat the fish they catch for fear of ingesting said toxins, so no thanks. Still, the beach is good to get a tan and relax with a nice water view.

I don’t know if hubby and I can succeed at this no-spend June challenge, but we are going to give it a try. Both he and I are spenders. Me worse than hubby. At least my husband has discipline. I’m like silly putty. I have no qualms about buying something, anything on a whim (then sending it back when I come to my senses). Over the years, I’ve gotten much better but nonetheless, I’m a spender and have absolutely no discipline whatsoever. The only saving grace I have is that I am a saver. Once I put money away into a savings account, I very rarely withdraw it out. I try to make do with whatever monthly income comes in and work it out from there.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been stocking up on several loss leaders at the grocery store in anticipation of the season. I’ve stocked up on such summer favorites as elbow macaroni (pasta salads) frankfurters and hamburger meat (along with their respective rolls). Just this past week I scored 3.25 pounds of chopped beef at only $1.99 a pound (when I used a digital coupon, price marked down from $3.49 a lb to $2.49 with an additional .50 cents off per pound=$1.99 a lb). I’ve also scored several packs of frankfurters for only $1.99! Everything is safely stocked up in my freezer and will make for some fun BBQs and summer side dishes. My garden is doing well and I’ve gotten a few peaches on the tree I planted last year.

Update: puppy woke up fine this morning. Fingers crossed that her good health remains intact!

Like this post? Sign up for free emails whenever I write a new post. You can also follow this blog, for free. Sign up links are posted on the upper right hand corner. I also accept donations when you buy me a cup of coffee and a croissant. Links are posted on the right hand side wall. Thanks for reading my blog!