This Month’s Hits & Misses

Good morning my sexy little budgeters! I hope y’all have had a killer week and you’re ready to extend the awesomeness into the weekend :) If you’re hitting up FINCON13 with me here in St. Louis, make sure to snag me and say hi! I doubt there’ll be too many people with mohawks and mustaches – but you never know what Mr. Money Mustache is up too…

We haven’t done a “Hits and Misses” here in a while, so thought we’d take today to go down some of the random ups and downs we’ve had lately over here in the Money household. And then would love to hear from you guys after :) Hopefully you have more hits than we’ve been having!

Hits this month:

1) I learned how to juggle! Haha… it’s taken me more than just a month to pull this off, but it’s only now when I can see the full progress of throwing 3 balls into the air and not having them fall and hit me and the baby money in the face ;) I’ve been practicing every morning for 5 minutes while we play in the mornings, and now after weeks of doing that I can confidently juggle 3 items of almost any (small) shape pretty well! I’m pretty impressed with myself – been wanting to do that for 30 years now and taught myself. NEXT UP: whistling!

2) Our latest credit card statement shows we spent $500 less than normal! I’m not sure exactly how that happened, besides the fact we haven’t been doing much lately and no emergencies have popped up, haha, but I’ll happily put it in my pockets any day ;) And just goes to show there’s always room to improve expenses if you need to!

(Side note: we use our credit card for as many expenses as we can, and then pay it off in full every month. It’s our easy way of budgeting and getting some free c/c perks at the same time :) I don’t advise doing this though unless you *really* trust yourself and know you won’t slip up.)

3) We saved $180 and future responsibility of a cat? Haha… AKA we found that beautiful stray kitten a home! :) Or, rather, our neighbor did. He put up signs everywhere and had a new home for him within days – huzzah! I still kinda wish we had kept him, but the timing just didn’t feel right all the way. So I’m happy with how it all turned out. (On a sad note, the day after our neighbor found him a home, one of his OWN cats ran off and hasn’t been seen since :( What kind of karma is that?)

4) My wife continues to find cash hidden away. This time $32 in last year’s jacket. *shakes head*

Misses this month:

1) We had to drop $2,200 on the Mrs’ Health Insurance. In one sitting, ugh… On the plus side, we’re now paid up for the next 12 months for her, and we’re also still with her university’s plan too – which is very important. They have great benefits and the overall cost is fairly low if you run the numbers and break it down per month ($183/mo). We’d prefer to pay it out that way, but nothing we can really do unless we threw her on my plan instead. Which would not only be much more expensive to do (because it’sĀ  self-employed one), but ALSO cut the benefits in half. So it is what it is.

2) Our day care expenses went up $12 a week, or almost $50 a month. Not the worst, but certainly not favorable (or surprising). Everything these days keep getting jacked up every 6-12 mos so I’m slowly just accepting it and not trying to freak out every time :) I’m sure it’s a double increase too back in the DC area!

3) Our rental property keeps having problems – this time at $260.Ā  We’ve literally not had a single month yet where some fix was needed, it’s so annoying. Granted we’re still in the beginning with only 3 months under our belt, and better to be smaller things going down than LARGER ones, but it still stings. If this keeps up I’m totally calling shenanigans on this whole “investment property = wealth” thing. It’s driving me bonkers.

4) I wasted $5.00 on a “Zombies” scratch off lottery ticket ;) It was my reward for having a crappy day last week, only to then be “rewarded” again with a loss of $5.00, haha… Another good reminder to continue staying away from them live I’ve been doing over the past few years.

So overall many more losses than wins unfortunately this month, but life goes on and we all still have our health :) How about you guys? What are some of your hits and misses from the month so far?

Have a blessed weekend!

Photo cred: Wonderlane

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  1. Aimee October 18, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    Hit: Bought 2 $2 scratch tickets on a whim (I don’t typically buy these either) and won $22! Woop woop!

    Miss: Had to spend $500 in car repairs in one week, and the following week one of my headlights went out.

    Miss: After writing a check for $385 for the biggest car repair I came home to a $90 dental bill wahhhh!!

    Hit: Me and the BF have officially decided we are taking a 4 week road trip December 2014, and I CAN’T WAIT!

    Hit/Miss: The BF got a gold tooth. Not sure how I feel about it. It’s a little weird, but it shines really bright just like in the movies, it’s in the back, and I don’t know anyone else with a solid gold tooth.

    Hit: I received a handmade diorama in the mail from my 80 year old pen pal.

    1. G. Jones October 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      My sister has a gold tooth and when she smiles you can see it! It is huge but I guess it is better than a large gaping hole… O_o

      1. Aimee October 20, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        haha! yeah really! he was going to get a regular tooth, but found out the gold one wasn’t much more so here we are. you can’t see it when he smiles though because it’s in the back on the bottom.

        1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

          Ballin’! And what a fun sounding trip for 4 weeks – that’s so exciting!!!

  2. Scott @ HomeBuyer Nation October 18, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Finding that cat a new home is a huge hit. Dealing with a 14 year old cat with issues right now. Yeeaah…lots of fun….and the vet bills are awesome.
    You can borrow her whenever you’d like. I’ll even split the vet bills with you :-)

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      Does she help with picking up girls too? I mean….

  3. jestjack October 18, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    I too share your pain with the rental biz…This last couple years has been difficult to say the least. Had several excellent prospects this past month fill out apps and get the go ahead to sign a lease….and then they “bail”…despite paying an application fee….could be todays uncertainties, job prospects or whatever. But this environment is costly, time consuming and a pain in the neck. Aaaand been to Rent Court again for our “special tenants” who evidently consider Court documents for eviction…rental invoices…and then pay the rent. Granted they pay all the fees…but this is a time-sucking pain in the neck…

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Yuck! Lots of headache with hardly any reward – I’m sorry to hear man :( No fun at all.

  4. Brian October 18, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Hit: Another $2K paid off in debt!

    Knocking wood, no misses so far.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Work it, son! That’s great!!

  5. Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle October 18, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    We have a Canadian lottery called 6/49 and several times at work on Wednesday, draw day, the number 649 came up with regards to inventory and costs. After the third reference to 649 I thought it was a sign and I bought a $4 ticket.

    Of course I was a loser.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      Awwwww, haha… I was hoping for a better end to that story! I totally would have done the same thing though :)

  6. Cordelia October 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    I can juggle 3 objects as well! I wish we were closer so we could practice together. I think the J & Cordelia juggling team would be a huge hit. (Dare I say, side hustle?) :D

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      HAH! All we need now is some clown suits and/or swords (to swallow, naturally) and we can start making a few bucks on the corner in no time ;)

  7. Cat @ Budget Blonde October 18, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    OOh I like this post. Let’s see. Hit: Putting my entire paycheck in the twins savings fund because we did not have to pay rent this month (because we already paid first/last at the beginning of our lease)

    Miss – bowing down to a sushi craving which is crazy expensive in Grenada…. $75 later……

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Oh man, can’t believe you’re already leaving there! Gone by so fast!

  8. Mike Collins October 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I’ve always wanted to learn to juggle! Any tips, or is it it just a matter of practice?

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      I literally just started picking up round objects and started throwing them into the air until I could find a semi-decent rhythm :) I find holding one in the left hand and two in the right to start helps a lot. As long as you’re right-handed. Just try for like 5 minutes every morning and by the end of the week I bet you’d be able to put on at least a 10 second performance :)

  9. G. Jones October 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Miss: had to give up my rescue chihuahua **huge miss**

    Hit: I get off at noon today and don’t have to come back till Monday! **thank goodness for weekends**

    Overall it has been a pretty great week…

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      Awwww, I hope he/she is in good hands now! That’s def. tough!

  10. Josh October 18, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    I’ve felt your pain on the rental house, I’ve been there a time or two. What I’ve done to enable me to pay down debt and not keep a huge pile of cash on hand is keep a home insurance policy which covers the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems of the house for around $45 / month. Then when I need a repair I just pay the $75 deductible and they send someone out, it takes a lot of the hassle out of managing a property. Eventually after the student loans are paid off and my emergency fund is up to where it needs to be I’ll cancel the plan, but for now its a great stop gap.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      That’s a good idea :) Are they fast in coming out to the property though in times of need? That’s the part I hate the most – needing someone pretty close to when the complaint comes in. I fear waiting a cple days and what the renter could do to the property if upset, ugh…

  11. Micro October 18, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    First off, love the pumpkin in the logo. It made me laugh. Second, sorry to hear that you have been having issues with the investment house. You have to figure though eventually things have to stop breaking because you will have fixed or replaced everything. Or maybe not. Hopefully luck is on your side and you can start to enjoy the fruits of your labor instead of just adding more labor.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Glad you noticed it :) I’ve put that pumpkin in for the last 4+ years and I’ve maybe gotten one comment, if not two, throughout haha… so woohoo!

  12. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel October 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    I had a lady come into the bank the other day who wanted to cash a $2,000 cashier’s check from 2002!!! They had lost it while moving and recovered it last week while getting ready to move again. I wanted to yell, “Are you freaking kidding me, lady????”

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      WOWWWWW I can’t imagine losing $2,000! She could still deposit it though right? No expiration date on cashier checks? What a goon…

  13. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living October 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    My husband and I do lottery tickets for birthdays and Christmas. I never buy more, even if I win cash. As gifts for each other, it’s fun but we don’t make it a habit outside of those times.

  14. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen October 19, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Hits! Started a nice new job!

    Misses! Got a house offer accepted and am now in escrow!

    Ahhh!!!! All in this one week!

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Major congrats x 2! That’s great!!

  15. Mike Carlson October 20, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I’ve always wanted to learn juggling but sadly up till now I still don’t know how to do this. My hands are really shaky.

    1. J. Money October 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Practice practice practice my man. Just a few mins a day and you’ll be throwing all kinds of things in the air in a cple weeks :)

  16. Slinky October 28, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    I think I fail at this. Every time I think of a miss, I think of the other side where it seems like a hit and vice versa. Spent a ton on weaving supplies = so much money spent, SO MUCH FUN! Had to get a new furnace = money out the door, but new furnace is SO nice and the humidifier got fixed too!

    The only definite miss I’ve got is the estimate we just got for masonry work on the forge. $62k. *SHOCK* You’ve got to be kidding me. On the other hand, jumped right back into things and already found the next contractor to call in for an estimate. Here’s hoping that was our token absurdly high estimate. Is it just me, or is there always at least one of those?

    1. J. Money October 30, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      Holy crap – I surely hope it’s just one of those!! That’s a 1,000% “miss” haha… I hope things get better – and fast – for you in that department ;)