Monday Money Review – Business Travel

Monday-calendar-dreamstime_14224102-2

It is not Monday.  Well it is, just not the Monday that this Review should talk about.  I am a week late on reviews but I am clawing my way back…

So the first mention is that this is the first time I have ever stayed at a Disney Resort.  Specifically, Disney’s Coronado Springs.  It was…different than I expected.  Certainly HUGE.  The staff VERY accommodating.  The grounds pretty and green and lush. However, the room itself was just OK.  More like a Motel 6 than a resort experience with beautiful indoor rooms I was expecting.  Oh well.  Now I know.

But, how did the money go over the weekend?

Church  – $328

Church – $0

Groceries – $25

Groceries – $10

Fun Outing – $0

Fun Outing – $0

Hotel* – $390

Hotel* – $360

Parking* – $18

Parking* – $18

Taxi* – $40

Taxi* – $0

Snacks for travel – $5

Snacks for travel – $5

Restaurant Food* – $80

Restaurant Food* – $64

Hotel Spa Service – $125 + tip

Hotel Spa Service – $0

Total – $1,011

Total – $457

So it looks like I did a great job with my finances during this travel but the these results are really corrupted.

I just never donated online to the church and donated in person via check when I returned.

The biggest impacts to the weekend money were, in addition to the delayed church donation, changing my mind about getting a spa service, no taxi fare and a slightly lower hotel bill than expected.

I did have a little fun and went to Disney Springs (once known as Downtown Disney).  I walked around at the town created for shopping and eating, caught a movie and grabbed a yummy dinner there at the theater and, did a little shopping at Basin for Mirror Image.  But those expenses were on Monday so they don’t count.

One of the good things about staying in a Disney property is that complimentary transportation is provided to and from the airport and to all of the theme parks.  So no taxi fare this time.

So that is how I spent Weekend Money while traveling for business. The hotel expenses and parking will be reimbursed.

Thrifty Image Mirror

Weekend Money – Business Travel Edition

Cartoon Airplane

Money falling

I am on my way to a conference and trade show in Orlando. I leave Saturday and return Wednesday so the weekend money will definitely be impacted.  First by making sure Mirror Image, Thrifty Pooch and the Thrifty Cottage are all taken care of. And second, by purchasing items or services I wouldn’t ordinarily purchase on account of being out-of-town.

How to spend the Weekend Money:

Church (I will donate electronically through the website since I will be out-of-town) – $328

Groceries – $25

Fun Outing – $0

Hotel* – $390

Parking* – $18

Taxi* – $40

Snacks for travel – $5

Restaurant Food* – $80

Hotel Spa Service – $125 + tip

Total – $1,011

* Travel expenses for which I will be reimbursed.  In order to accumulate travel miles and points, I will pay on my Barclay’s Arrival card.

Certainly my most expensive weekend in a long time.  If ever.

These are just Friday, Saturday and Sunday expenses.

I haven’t completely decided but I might indulge in a spa service.  Likely a massage.  It is a little pricey – like most things in Orlando.  I do have a feeling however that I will need the service since the booth we will be constructing for the conference is HEAVY.

Mirror Image will have a lot of fun this weekend that will cost me nothing extra.  While I am gone, she will go to Ripley’s Believe it or Not on Saturday and RockinJump on Sunday.  It will be nice to finally have those two adventures used up.  Plus, if she is kept busy, she won’t weep because she misses me so much.  Yeah, right…

As for my fun, being in a lovely hotel without having to get up early each morning and walk the dog is fun enough. But the cherry on top will be watching the Walking Dead (if it is available on my hotel cable), doing my taxes and taking a dip in the hot tub. All of these are free.

For now, I need to stop writing about spending money but actually go spend it and then pack.

Thrifty Image Mirror

 

Monday Money Review

Magnifying Glass - Results

Uhhh!  What a weekend. Glad THAT’S over.

Let’s see what the money had to say about the weekend. So, here we go:

Before

  • Church (tithes/offering) = $28
  • Gas = $0
  • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $20
  • Groceries = $35
  • Dollar Tree = $0
  • General household shopping = $10
  • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Gifts = $25
  • Restaurant = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $35
  • Fun Outing = $10
  • Total = $143

After

  • Church (tithes/offering) = $28
    • Church (tithes/offering) = $0
  • Gas = $0
    • Gas = $0
  • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $20
    • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $0
  • Groceries = $35
    • Groceries = $55.11
  • Dollar Tree = $0
    • Dollar Tree = $13.89
  • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
    • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
    • Clothes Shopping = $6.35
  • Gifts = $25
    • Gifts = $0
  • Restaurant = $0
    • Restaurant = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
    • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $35
    • Prescriptions = $0
  • Fun Outing = $10
    • Fun Outing = $0
  • Total = $143
    • Total = $75.35

 

My weekend was sort of carried somewhere in a hand basket, to turn a phrase.

I went to Dollar Tree to get a few items on Saturday – which were not budgeted for.  And I went to Aldi as planned and came in WAY under budget but then busted that by getting some additional items from Shoppers and Giant. Those were special snack items and craft items for Mirror Image.I blew the clothing budget, too because even with the $10 off $10 coupon I received from JC Penney, Mirror Image suckered me into spending $6.35 on a slick pair of pants for her. (The local JC Penney is closing and they are practically giving the stuff away). The clothes shopping ban is still only applying to me, you see…

Then downhill we went.

Shortly after we arrived at church, Mirror Image grasped my arms with tears in her eyes and it was clear she was in distress. She shared that she was having horrible chest pains and off we went to Righttime (Urgent Care). I am happy to say she was feeling better later in the day after treatment and rest.

There was no Sunday spending – salon, pharmacy and fun outing were all nixed for the time being. So I was under budget for the weekend money but I am sure when I get the bill from Righttime, there will be a different accounting.

Monday will be GREAT in comparison, I am sure.

Thrifty Image Mirror

Weekend Money #7

Boy with Cash Dollars

Saturday, March 12 is museum day live!  A yearly opportunity, supported by the Smithsonian Institution, to visit some local museums for FREE!  Mirror Image and I will be going for an educational and cultural fix at the Historical Society – so I know what that means…

That means the weekend is here and it is time to plan the money!

I am going to pre-spend here on this post, then reconcile on Monday.  I plan for this to be another avenue of accountability and budgeting.  So here we go:

  • Church (tithes/offering) = $28
  • Gas = $0
  • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $20
  • Groceries = $35
  • Dollar Tree = $0
  • General household shopping = $10
  • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Gifts = $25
  • Restaurant = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $35
  • Fun Outing = $10
  • Total = $143

 Church (tithes & offering) – Luke 6:38 – Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Gas – I noticed I was practically on empty when driving home from a neighbor’s wake last night and stopped to buy gas.  $1.81 per gallon!  Wow, gas prices goes up fast.  Well I filled up and paid almost $26.  But that won’t count against my weekend budget.

Personal Care – Visiting the salon for some minor maintenance this weekend.  I anticipate $24 including tip.

Groceries – This really should be a light expenditure this weekend. I already purchased my corned beef earlier this week because surprisingly, Giant had a better buy than Aldi. So I took advantage. The rest of the upcoming week should just be us eating a lot of vegetarian dishes as we persevere in our Meatless March Challenge.

Dollar Tree – Not this weekend.

Gifts – My uncle (by marriage) died this morning. I hope to give his daughter a small gift that she hopefully combine gifts from others to help manage expenses that come with saying a final good-bye.

Restaurant – We have no eating out plans.

General Household shopping – I need to get a couple of things from Rite Aid during the sale cycle that ends Saturday. Also, I received a $10 off $10 JCP coupon that I plan to use this weekend.  My goal is to have a $10 purchase exactly and therefore no out of pocket expense. Here’s hoping!

Prescriptions – Still need to get those…

Fun Outing – In addition to going to the museum, I think we will go to rockinjump and use that Groupon…$10 should cover the mandatory socks and perhaps a soda for Mirror Image.  I will take my water

I may try to finalize my taxes this weekend and possibly till the garden to get ready for Spring planting.  No money spending necessary there!

I will be back on Monday to tally up my successes (or fails).

Thrifty Image Mirror

My Mint Account Reveals

Mint

I have been a Mint user for a little over a year now and I LOVE IT. I love it so much I wish, even now, that the moment I first heard Jean Chatzky mention it on an episode of Money Matters that I had gotten up off the sofa right then and created my account rather than waiting for as long as I did. I should have hopped up the moment she said it was FREE.

The love I have must be obvious because in one 2 minute conversation with my mom, I convinced her to try it and now, she LOVES IT, TOO. This is not to be taken lightly.  My mom doesn’t really have a lot of patience for sitting at a computer, gathering ALL of the account numbers, passwords, secret questions and the like. Plus, she has a healthy distrust of the internet and its ongoing security issues that get played out on the evening news.  Think Target, Home Depot, Ashley Madison, etc. But if you were to ask her, she would admit to those 2-3 hours of setting up her account as the best investment of time she can remember.

It has been a game changer for me.

Before Mint, I would check my accounts regularly at different websites plus kept a general spreadsheet of my income and expenses but never, had I had the ability and desire to gather ALL of my accounts in one place on my own.  I think this largely had to do with not fully understanding the concept of net worth at the time.

With Mint, having almost all my accounts in one place takes allows me to know my net worth, my credit score, my due balances and most importantly, my financial trends. It is the TRENDS function that has me so excited right now.

I was playing around with the TRENDS function in a way I hadn’t before and was able to determine how I have been spending my money by category.  I was particularly interested in the area of Food and Dining – specifically the Groceries sub-category. With Mint, I can compare trends over time.  The options range among last seven days, last month 3 months, 12 months or the comparison can be customized for a particular investigating.

I beat myself up a lot because of the amount of money I spend on groceries each month. We are eaters in the Thrifty Image household. We like to eat, Mirror Image likes for me to cook and I take joy in our being able to come together over a delicious meal without the extra salt, fat or costs of eating out. But I really felt that the monthly costs were pretty high. So I took a look and compared my costs over the last 6 months with the previous six months then did the same with the year to date.

What a pleasant surprise!

I have spent approximately $1,000 less these last six months than I did in the previous six months on Groceries. And I know why. The Water Challenge in January and the current Meat Free March challenge. I have been perplexed by what has felt like excessive spending yet, the overall food category has gone done overall. Hurrah!

This is just one of the ways Mint helps me manage my money and gives me the tools to explore not just the money but better money management.  With all of the information in one place, it is so much easier to manage the money and understand the nuances. With Mint I see:

  • Cash (Savings) Account
  • Investment (403b, 401K, Roth IRA, Schwab One, Betterment)
  • Credit Card Accounts
  • Housing Value (provide by Zillow)
  • Vehicle Value
  • Loans (Mortgage)

Accounts can be added (say you get a new credit card or open up a Betterment account) or they can be closed or deleted (perhaps your credit card number was stolen or your car was totaled and it doesn’t exist as an asset anymore). The only account I cannot currently see is Mirror Image’s Private College 529.  According to Mint, there needs to be a pent-up demand and I guess I am the only one with that account.  Another reason to transfer that account over to my State College Savings Plan!

Thrifty Image Mirror