Money Diary, Day 7

Day Seven, Sunday
745am: I get up just long enough to let the dog outside to do his morning biz, see the kid is still conked out and crawl back into bed.
9am: I head to the local grocery store with the kid to forage for breakfast and food for a BBQ with our two best couple friends later that day. I return home with donuts, breakfast sandwiches, ice cream and apple pie. $24.89 I forgo my normal weekend activity (riding my leased horse out on private timber lands for endurance training) and instead tackle the overgrown garden the previous homeowners left behind.
145pm: I can already tell I’m going to hurt tomorrow! It’s been hours with the scattered “help” of kid & dog, but I can finally tell what’s growing in the garden, and the compost bin is full of weeds. I’ve discovered kale, corn, tomatoes, snap peas,  and some super happy summer squash. I post on a gardening FB page to “treat me like a newbie” and get tons of solid beginner advice to keep nurturing the garden now that I’ve unearthed it.
2:30pm: We pack up and head north for an early dinner with friends. We’re exhausted but the ribs and company more than make up for the long drive through summer construction traffic. We polish off three racks of homemade ribs between the seven of us (and the dog!) plus apple pie and hard cider I left in their fridge a few months ago.
630pm: A quick trip at Home Depot to secure gardening supplies; the first being a ton of mulch to protect the plants, as we’re looking into another, even hotter heat wave this week! We invest in watering timers for the front and back yards as well, plus a few other things we never had to worry about before. $147.55.
730pm: I can’t believe we’re all in the backyard (our backyard!) working in the cool of the evening after the week and busy weekend we’ve had, but here we are! The kid runs around barefoot playing with the dog while the husband sets up a sprinkler just for the garden and we both mulch and compost the plants. We seriously underestimated how much we’d need, so I have to find some more, hopefully more along the lines of “free” mulch, but it’s a start! I get the timers for the water set up, so I don’t have to remember to turn the sprinklers on every morning, and we’re all asleep super early. Kid complains that he needs another weekend day; I hear ya man!
Daily Total: $170.44
Weekly Total: $1,355.69
Bills & utilities: $552
Household: $300.39
Food & drink: $183.34
Travel: $232.48
Gifts and other: $133.60

Money Diary: Day 6

Day Six: Saturday
7am: Busy & jam packed day! We’re loaded up and out the door by 7, with a quick stop at Starbucks (now a rare treat for us!) The adults get coffee and sandwiches, the kid gets hot chocolate, and the dog gets a Puppachino, something he clearly anticipates as soon as we hit the drive thru! $22.50 Caffeine in hand, we fill up my comfortable SUV (nicknamed the “Emerald Queen” for her smooth ride) ($52.99 in Oregon). Gas & coffee loaded, we begin the first leg of our trip by heading north to our friend’s house, staying just long enough to drop the dog and help her with a few things around the farm before we’re back on the road.
1130am: Made it to the Seattle Space Museum! (Tickets for 3: $58) We spend the next few hours wandering the museum, nerd husband geeking out on everything and nerd in training kid loving the new touch pad screens. My favorite part is the Apollo engines pulled from the ocean floor by Blue Origins; husband loves the Concord; we both keep a watchful eye on the kid, who spends the most time with the space stuff (who knows, maybe his affinity for math & eyesight will be good enough to reach the stars one day!) We  hit up the gift store on the way out due to the kid’s good behavior; he gets a Blue Angels model, his own copy of The Martian that we’re halfway through reading together, and a magnet (everywhere we play tourist, we buy magnets as our collectible thing). I snag a snazzy pair of knee high rocket socks and a colorful infinity scarf, which I wear despite the 90+ degree day outside. $57.50
130pm: A late lunch but soooo utterly worth it! We hit up Din Tai Fung for dumplings; we clear our plates and the kid loves them too! The strawberry mango smoothie and black tea are the perfect accompaniment to this beyond delicious meal. ($70.15) The kid has outgrown his one “really nice pair” of clothes, so we stop at Nordstrom to pick up a nice shirt and pants since we’re at the mall anyway. I’m disappointed with their kids selection, even if the rest of the store is newly snazzy. We get the only nice shirt and pants in his size, but at least he looks adorable! ($50.38, reminds me of why I don’t usually shop there!) By 245 we’re back on the road, heading to the wedding south of the city.
730pm: Wedding done, dinner eaten, we congratulate the happy couple, issue a standing invitation to BBQ at our new house when they have time, and settle in the for the long drive home. We take the scenic route and discuss stopping for Diary Queen since we left before the cake, but when the kid and I conk out the husband keeps driving.
10pm: A brief stop to pick up our dog from our friend’s house (luckily they are night owls!), and to fill the gas tank again ($63.99 in Washington) We get home just before midnight and fall face first into bed. I may or may not dream of dumplings that night!
Daily total: $375.51

Money Diary, Day 5


Day Five: Friday
5:30am: Dog wakes me up early to snuggle, and he needs a longer walk today so we’re out the door early this morning. I snap a gorgeous sunrise pic over the field a block from my house, a little sad it’s going to be developed into housing soon but enjoying it now. It’s Friday after a long week so we skip packing lunches and plan to get food at the company cafe later.
8:45am: After chatting with a friend about our upcoming weekend trip to Seattle, she offers to watch our dog so we don’t have to pay to board him this weekend, score! I settle into work, I’m so close to being done with this first major project at my new job (I started here in April). I’ll be happy when I can declare this project finished, except for the ongoing audits, as it is a big undertaking with tons of moving pieces.
Noon: I stretch my legs on the walk cross campus to meet my husband for lunch at the cafe. I’m reminded why we don’t eat there more often with my sub par burger and alright curly fries, but the vanilla creme soda masks it just fine. We’re tired after the long week but looking forward to our trip tomorrow; I found a world famous dumpling restaurant I can’t wait to try! $9.50
1:25pm: My son’s daycare calls; he’s running a high fever all of a sudden, so I grab my work laptop and phone and steal the car to go grab him. I take him home, dose him with children’s Motrin, and he falls asleep in our bed with the AC cranked. I finish up my work day in our new office (we finally have a separate office!), polishing up a few things and sending out some emails. I’m grateful for an understanding boss who not only lets me bolt from work at a moment’s notice, but as is super flexible about working from home. It’s one of the main reasons I went to work from him, and times like these it really pays off!
530pm: Kid’s up and looking a lot better, Uber has dropped the husband off at home, and our long week is finally over! I send him a new Pinterest recipe for him to try, “Eggs in Hell”; poached eggs, diced tomatoes, onions and Italian sausage that turns out absolutely delicious! It goes perfectly with my lemon drop, eating in the living room with the super attentive dog and Brooklyn 99 (we’re almost finished with season 3 and it just keeps getting better!) We call it an early night as we aim to be driving to Seattle by 7am tomorrow, depending on how the kid feels; his fever is gone but he still has a mild headache, so he gets another dose of Motrin and a cool bath to finish the day.
Daily Total: $9.50

Money Diary, Day 4

Day Four: Thursday
6am: Another slow morning, but I still manage a two mile walk with the dog and to water the yard! I pack my lunch for the day (leftover beef and bean burritos, fruit and Pringles), while making coffee, feeding the dog, talking the husband through his nightmare from last night, and making sure the kid has his shoes (with socks!) on. This whole moving during the hottest part of the year thing has really thrown our normal eating habits out the door, and our busy upcoming weekend doesn’t leave much wiggle room for getting back on track yet. I’m happy I snagged the giant container of mixed cut fruit from our Costco run-breakfast for the kid and snack for me! It’s more costly than cutting the fruit myself, but the time savings are worth it.
7:30am: My husband is working in the lab today, so we grab breakfast at the larger campus cafe to nail down our weekend plans and when we’re going to get the rental cleaned and emptied so our old landlord can get it rented (we were paying $1275 a month for the house, he’s now asking for $1450 without having done any work due to the rental market in our area, one reason we’re so happy we were able to purchase a house!) I get a bagel with cream cheese and a lemon pastry instead of my usual sausage and eggs combo, wanting to flush the pizza grease out of my system, he gets eggs and fruit. $6.80
12:45pm: Pretty sure my eyes are crossing from all the Sharepoint work, so I switch projects after a lunch time stroll and shoving burrito down the hatch. This afternoon is passing soooo slowly for some reason, leading me to scarf some of the chocolate my boss insists I keep on my desk for the team. I don’t normally clock watch at this job, but today is the exception. Is it Friday yet?
4:15pm: Out the door! Husband is caught late on a project, so I read my current book, on digital loan from my library, “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America”, by Alissa Quart. I still can’t quite wrap my brain around how we’ve managed to buy a house, what with my student loans and shoddy credit and my husband’s lack of college, but here we are! Reading other people’s struggles and choices and the larger systemic issues makes me feel guilty for Tuesday’s expensive coffee.
6:30pm: After a quick trip to the off leash dog park and dinner of sausages on the grill, we’re all at the old house, taking the last of the stuff off the walls and loading the last few boxes (did I mention we’re so close to being done???) I notice the back shed lock looks weird; like someone tried to jimmy it open with a crowbar. Husband freaks and loads all his expensive lawn equipment into the SUV to take home, so kid, dog and I walk back home across town in the beautiful summer evening, chatting about wonderfully nonsense kid stuff. I’m not much of a crier, but I kinda feel like it because life is just so…good right now, new home, new marriage, happy dog and healthy kid. We get everyone showered and in bed a bit later, but at least it’s finally cooled off!
Daily total: $6.80

Money Diary, Day 3

Day Three: Wednesday
5:30am: I bounce up a little earlier than I have been, the heat wave is supposed to break today and the two early nights have been good. I take the dog for a longer walk, enjoying the cool, cloudy sky and the utterly quiet neighborhood as the dog does his thing. Yesterday I whipped up a ‘kid routine’ chart that I posted on the fridge, so kid and husband are both pretty much ready to roll when I get home. Lunch today is leftover pizza and fruit, with a side of slightly stale Pirate Booty.
11:50am: Husband has a meeting in my building (he normally works across the campus from me) so we eat lunch together and chat work stuff. He’s been in this company a long time but we work in two totally different departments (I support the safety team, he’s R&D aka Pilot) so we rarely deal with the same people. In half an hour he’s off and I’m settled back at my desk, hunting up wedding thank you cards online. We had a courthouse wedding in April but we’d still like to send something out to our family and close friends who helped us out. I also hop on Amazon and purchase a 50 pound bag of dog food and look at nightlights for the kid’s room, then see a flash sale for kid’s shoes (how does he go through so many???) $58.34
2:30pm: I need a break from my current project of reorganizing our team’s Sharepoint pages, so I take a walk outside and smell the compost from the nearby business and realize the heat wave hasn’t totally broken. I snag a bottle of Frappachino from the mini-market 10 feet from my cube (that place is a terrible temptation!) and reload my Market card. $10 reload, $2.50 drink I’m glad I grabbed the coffee as an hour later I’m dealing with a difficult coworker, who didn’t see the attachment on the email I sent about my project and so was totally confused. *headesk moment*
5:30pm: We both pick up the kid from daycare and pay that bill (usually we pay the first of the month, but he skipped two weeks). $400 Soon we’re home with kid in tow and dog is, as ever, thrilled to see us while the cat, sprawled out on the coffee table, looks unimpressed until we turn on the AC in the bedroom. Kid is super tired so he wants to skip swimming. I grab another load of boxes from our old house (so close to being done!) while husband uses the InstantPot to whip up brown rice and Korean Mandu dumplings we grabbed at Costco. The kid declares he “can eat this meal all the time!” while the dog stares at us through the French doors to the porch from his pool, cooling off in true Boxer style. Husband does the dishes with the kid now that we have a dishwasher and we chat about paying for cleaners for the rental or getting a pantry from Ikea instead. Once again, all of us are tucked in by 9pm, but the weekend is in sight!
Daily Total: $470.84

Money Diary, Day 2

I’m going to try out this new Money Diary project for an entire month. There’s a lot that’s different for the next month or so due to the move, and getting ready for back to school, and summer travel, so a month should be a good start to tracking our time and money while we settle into our new house.


Unrelated ride photo, cause I don’t do posts without photos!
Day Two: Tuesday
6am: I sleep in because it’s so cozy in our dark room with the AC going, cuddled up with husband, dog and judgy white cat. Eventually I heave myself up to walk the dog while husband hops in the shower. Lunch today is cut fruit from Costco and a burrito from Winco, a local employee owned grocery chain. Coffee made, dog fed and we’re out the door a few minutes earlier than yesterday.
11:45am: We got married a few months ago, but with buying the house I haven’t had a chance to get to the DMV. I drove myself in today, so I head over after checking the wait times for the various offices near me. I get my name and address changed, but have to wait for them to send me my new driver’s license in the mail. Thankfully, it’s cheaper than a renewal!  $26.50 I stop at Starbucks on the drive back to work and snag a venti Frappachino, the heat almost hitting 100*, punishing to us temperate climate Oregonians. $4.50
3:15pm: My boss is in California at our company’s global home for a quarterly meeting, and I’m worried about the animals at home in this heat, so I cut out early. I snag the kid who is still a bit tired from his travels and we crank the AC once we’re home and watch Brooklyn 99 and unpack clothes. I check our bank account as I do everyday and notice the dog’s BarkBox subscription has been charged, which means his monthly box full of treats and toys should be here in a few days. They had a good deal going on to double the normal size, a treat for our new house! $37 I spend a few minutes on Amazon and purchase two gifts from a coworker’s wedding registry (we’re heading up to their wedding this weekend). I pick the same dog crate we have for their Aussie Shepard, and a cat grass toy cause I figure they’ll appreciate stuff for their pets over housewares. $70.10
5:30pm: Husband is home, this heat is super sucky, and we have zero motivation for doing much of anything. I hop across our small town on a mutually agreed upon pizza run, stopping to pick up a load of boxes from our old rental on the way. $32.50 We sprawl on the couch with the animals staring at us and watch Shrek 3 with our pizza, Gatorade and hard orange soda. It’s the first night I really feel at home in our new place, despite the garage full of bins and boxes yet to dig through. Another early night for us, with showers and story time (the kid reads to us!) and settled in by 830. Such party animals we are!
Daily Total: $170.60

Money Diary

Recently I’ve discovered the a new site targeted towards my age group, Refinery29, and their “Money Diaries” section. Basically, you spend a week in the life of someone, tracking their spending and peeking into their daily lives. I’ve been pouring over these fascinating stories, and decided to do my own. Now that we’ve purchased a house, we really need to watch our pennies more than usual, with so many projects large and small we can now work on instead of ignoring when we were renters.

I started on Monday, but to keep these posts bearable I’ll post one a day. This will also “trick” me into writing more!


Morning dog walk view, a block from my house

Day One: Monday
5:30am: My son returned home from his trip to visit family with his grandparents back East yesterday, so I add gently waking him up to the morning routine. I walk the dog around our new to me neighborhood (we just moved in to our newly purchased home on the street my husband grew up on). While my husband, not a morning person, readies himself and the kid for the day, I feed the dog, make coffee with the Keurig, turn off the sprinklers (we’ve been enduring a weird heat wave for the past week in the PNW) pack myself a new mix of peanut butter, honey and Greek yogurt with an apple and Irish cheddar cheese for lunch. I hand a bowl of cut fruit to the kid as I try a new breakfast: two eggs, cheese, and sausage crumbles in a mug, cooked in the microwave. By 7am we’re out the door, dropping the kid off at daycare on our way to work together (we work for the same company and we’re saving about $200 a month by carpooling).
12:15pm: I like to take late lunches, since my boss doesn’t micro manage me at all. Today I’m snagging face time with one of the site managers I support, while he juggles phone calls and an audit, so he buys me lunch at the small cafe in our building. I make myself a hefty sandwich and snag some chips, chowing down while watching him cover for three of his people (one on maternity leave, one recovering from surgery, and one on PTO).
2:45pm: It’s the beginning of the month, so most of our bills are due! We are still jugging clearing out our formal rental house and getting settled in our newer and larger house, so we’re paying utilities for two places and that’s a crunch. A majority of our bills are on auto pay as most larger companies offer a discount if you do, so I pay what isn’t, including our power/water bill (supplied by our small town’s co-op utility company) of $103, and garbage disposal ($47 every three months). I also forward our mail via USPS’s online service, $2. $152
5:30pm: Home, after picking up the kid. I let the dog out while the kid changes for his swim lessons, we grouse about the heat while discussing dinner (my husband is 90% the household cook as I only do breakfast foods), and unpack one of a zillion boxes we still have to go through. We’re off to swim lessons by 5:45, and while our son swims we sit in the SUV with the AC blasting and discuss life, the universe, and everything.
6:45pm: Home, tired, hot, and anything but hungry. I whip up sandwiches for myself and the kid, husband makes scrambled eggs that he tosses after tasting the bad milk he used to make them, then makes a second batch. The kid is overtired from jetleg and his first day back at daycare in over two weeks, so we’re all tucked in bed by 9pm.
Daily total: $152