April 2018 Budget Check-In!

Hey everybody! Time for April’s Budget Check-In! I must admit… Remember when I said I was going on a spending fast for April? WHELP, I spent ALL OF TEH MONEY. I was scraping the bottom of the barrel at the end of the month and being as frugal as I could, but I made it through guys! I survived! ๐Ÿ˜€ May is looking to be about the same, but I will still try hard to make things work. ๐Ÿ™‚

Come see how I spent my money in April! ๐Ÿ˜€

Monthly Bills: 500.00

For rent and all of the utilities I help pay for concerning things like the cellphone I use all the way to water and electricity.

Activities: $0.00

I was suppose to get a haircut last month, but I had to cancel it since something came up, so I got one in early May. Will be growing my hair out again, so I’m going to go two months without a haircut! Going for a choppy A-line bob! ๐Ÿ™‚

Medication: $3.70

I paidย for one of my medications and I guess LOCMom took care of the other. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, LOCMom! My medication doesn’t cost a fortune thank goodness, so I can take care of this category pretty easily. ๐Ÿ™‚

Groceries: $91.46

A little on the low side, but not bad! ๐Ÿ™‚ I went to the Frugalpants Grocery Store, or Winco, for all of my grocery needs last month and things seemed to pay off! ๐Ÿ˜€ I try to stay away from the Spendypants Grocery Store, or Holiday, because it is, well… spendy! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I also added almond milk to my daily groceries instead of regular milk and so far, I have been liking it a lot better! Plus, less calories per cup! ๐Ÿ™‚

Household Expenses: $138.55

OH MAAAAAN. :C This category got me last month. Normally the number is much lower since I started counting items in this list, but I did need a bunch of stuff last month. And everything was pretty much a need and not a want. Let me share a few things that I bought…

Toothbrush Bulk Pack: So I decided to get my favorite toothbrushes in a bulk package instead of buying them at 4 bucks a pop every three months. They were only 13 bucks for a bulk size pack of four, plus they will last me the entire year. And I will also save three dollars in the long run. ๐Ÿ™‚ So I considered this a good purchase! And since I bought the toothbrushes at CVS with a 3 dollars extra bucks back promotion going on with the item, I used that 3 bucks to buy my mouthwash as well for around 2 bucks instead of 6 bucks! Woot woot! Winning! ๐Ÿ˜€

Skincare Products: This also set me back even when using a gift card to help me buyย  three of these products. Four things: Night Cream, Day Cream, Eye Cream, and Acneย Pore Cleanser. These clocked in under 20-25 bucks and I use them a lot! Some days I forget to use them except for the Acne Pore Cleanser, but I really like taking care of my skin now! ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, I bought most of these items at TJMAXX , a discount store, so I did not spend a fortune on them, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

Clothes: Ugggh, when looking at my budget and asking, “Where did all of my money go?” and then seeing how it went to this category makes me want to kick myself sometimes. Even when I need clothes, even at thrift store prices, I hate how much they usually cost. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But alas, I needed some clothes. So I bought two camisoles, two pairs of shorts, a 4 dollar sweater from our Sears closing sale, and two pairs of “goal pants” meaning, as I keep dieting, I will be able to fit into these pants someday. Don’t worry, I didn’t buy any size 0’s, I just bought some pants that I could button all the way on me that I liked, but they are still a bit too tight. As I lose weight, I will be able to fit into them someday, but soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yup, still going with the diet! Goal weight is now 140-145 pounds! I can do this! ๐Ÿ™‚

So yes, the goal pants were a want technically, but I’m putting them in this category because I do plan on wearing them someday. ๐Ÿ™‚ Everything else was a need basically. ๐Ÿ˜›

Paper Sheet Protectors: I use these sheet protectors for my bills and documents to be sorted neatly into one of my binders I keep for my records. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was running low on them, so I had to buy a 100 pack on Amazon for around 8 bucks.

Bulk Size Shampoo and Body Wash: I saw some great bulk sized shampoo on clearance for only 6 bucks, so I decided to hop on it! While removing the tag and realizing the brand went for 10 bucks originally, I still considerthe purchase a win because the shampoo I usually buy that has that much shampoo in it is 12.99 regular price and $10.00 on clearance. And since everything at TJMAXX that is a shampoo item is for people who color their hair and the shampoo I found for 6 bucks was not for that, I consider that a good deal! I’m not a total silver vixen yet, so anytime I find a shampoo for my hair type that I like in a bilk size on clearence, I grab it! ๐Ÿ™‚

I also bought some body wash there for 4 bucks on clearance, but comparing the size of product volume you get with Winco’s bulk sized body washes… turns out that Winco may be a bit cheaper for what you get. Sure you get slightly more body wash for 4 bucks at TJMAXX, but you get almost the same amount of body wash from the bulk sized body washes at Winco. So I will be shopping at Winco for my body wash from now on and not at TJMAXX.

And everything else was either under 5 bucks or from the thrift store. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love me some gently used needed things from a thrift store! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

Misc. Items: $80.08

Not bad! This number amount came in low this month!

But alas, I had a bit of an episode this month concerning tissue box covers. For you see, I went nuts trying to find the perfect one. I bought two of them last month which put me at 14 bucks and I hated each one when I got it home for one reason or another. So I donated them. The one I have right now is pretty, but a flesh tone in color. I’m trying to look for a better one that isn’t so flesh tone-ish, but I do like the one I have right now. But it just doesn’t give me joy, so I’m waiting out for one that I really REALLY like to appear before me someday like the Hawaiian tiki shack one I have in my room currently. I really want an adorable one like that, so I am on the hunt still, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’m not going to blow anymore money on these stupid tissue box covers until I find the perfect one! The search is on! ๐Ÿ˜€

And the rest of this category were either thrift store wants and other Misc. stuff. Besides the tissue box cover thing, I was pretty happy with how I spent my money in this category in April. ๐Ÿ™‚

Entertainment: $19.31

Alright! About 20 bucks lower than I usually spend because of tightening of the belt budget wise! But I usually buy at least one manga book, or Japanese comic, to read for the month. ๐Ÿ™‚

Eating Out: $17.56

Pretty low for this category as well! So happy! ^ o^

Budgeted Items: $60.74

Had to buy a few intimate clothing last month, meaning a bra and some cuter looking underwear from Wal-Mart, including Costco items. LOCMom’s birthday was in April, so she got a present from me as well! ๐Ÿ˜€

And the grand total is…

*drum roll*ย 

Grand Total: $911.39

Yeah… crazy month! I don’t think May is going to be much better for me from the looks of things, but I am pretty darn frugal, so I will survive! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to do good, darn it! > _<;;;

How was your April?

What did I do this weekend? (April 28-29, 2018)

Hello everybody! I once again apologize for not saving my receipts again. I have been really bad about that, I know. THIS WEEKEND THOUGH, I will save ALL OF THEM, dang it! Anyway, did a lot of fun stuff this weekend! Come and see what I did!

Saturday

On Saturday, LOCMom saw in an ad somewhere that a local spay and neuter group was holding their storage locker sale again and as someone who likes to look through junk for good stuff, I couldn’t miss it! Well, I got there and didn’t findย anything unfortunately. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But thinking back, I am kicking myself for not buying a wrapping paper storage bucket that had a handle on it. Mine at home doesn’t have a handle on it I recently found out, so I am so regretful. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ Oh well…

Then in the same place (Palo Cedro, CA), I went in a kitty rescue thrift store where I bought a bunch of brand new headbands for 5 cents each since the store was having a sale or something. Those hats will be going to Operation Christmas Child for all the kids. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also recently used a 10 bucks off of 10 dollars coupon from JC Penney to buy a bag of gloves that were ringing up for 40 cents each on clearance and because I bought 10 dollars worth with the coupon, they were all FREE! SCOOOOOOOOORE! I felt like oneย of those extreme couponers at the grocery store using all of their coupons. ๐Ÿ˜› Made it out of there like a bandit you could say! ๐Ÿ˜€

After shopping, LOCCousinS came over and tried to fix our bathroom door that keeps locking us in every time we close it. He couldn’t figure out how to fix it, but he said he was still going to bring over a part for the lock part of the door to try and see if that will work. I don’t know what we’re going to do if he can’t fix it guys… *shrugs* ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

In the evening, LOCMom made soup and I had a little bit of it since I ate a bunch of protein that day.

soup

Pretty tasty! ๐Ÿ˜€

Then after everything, I relaxed all night! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday

On Sunday, LOCMom and I went shopping! LOCMom wanted to go to her favorite antique store, so we went there and everything I liked was like 845893579584 dollars. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Guys, some things in antiques are not antiques, I must tell you now. Some of the stuff they sell are from super ritzy companies that charges a lot for their stuff like clothing, soaps, and delicately made chicken figurines. All from Europe, btw. So yeah, for a lack of better words, my broke ass can’t afford that nice kind of stuff. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But hey, at least I have good taste in stuff! At least, I think so. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then after the antique store, I went to the mall and got my free sample of See’s Candy and then I went to American Eagle to try on some of their pants. And AT LAST! I can squeeze into their size 14’s! But it was bitter sweet because all of stuff was soooooooooo expensive. I’m too smart to pay 34 bucks for a thin sweater just to wear the American Eagle brand. Or even 30 bucks for a pair of their jeans. Thrift stores have spoiled me, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚ Someday, I will luck out and find the perfect pair of jeans or shirt from American Eagle at a thrift store and it will all fit me perfectly, darn it! I can wait for that day though, haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And last night, I purchased a new minimalism book that is called, ‘Goodbye Things’. It’s about a Japanese man who got rid of all of his stuff once he realized he discovered that his stuff was making his ย life miserable. Btw, this guy is an extreme minimalist though. ย He keeps like all of his rooms empty in his apartment and even got rid of his Tempurpedic mattress. I mean, he could gave it to me! D: /jokingjoking ๐Ÿ˜› But I am at the beginning of his book right now and so far, it is very good. Probably one of the better minimalism books I have read on the subject most recently. A lot of stuff he talsk about I already know since I am about as minimalist as you can get, but not extreme. And one of the reasons I didn’t get around to posting the Weekend Update on Sunday was because this new book of mine inspired me to declutter and clean! During the evening/night, I was going through everything, putting stuff in the donation pile I didn’t need and all of that. ๐Ÿ™‚ FEELS GOOD! ๐Ÿ˜€

Someday, I may do a blog post about my living space to show everyone how minimally I live. ๐Ÿ™‚ And still the laundry piles up! Can’t always keep my minimalist space clean without effort. Constant maintenance is key!

And I couldn’t have a cheat meal on Saturday, so I had one on Sunday. Funnel cakes were on the menu as my cheat meal, but LOCMom didn’t want to eat them with me, so we opted for Chinese food instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

chinese food 1

MMMMMM… GOOD STUFF! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค Had the leftovers on Monday and it was all so awesome still!

So yup, that was my weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, it rained this weekend, so check out this cool rainbow outside of my house!

rainbow

Sorry for the reflection of the room in the picture; I tried. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But still, pretty huh? ๐Ÿ˜€

How was your weekend?

Punishing the poor – A rich person in power’s favorite past time

Hey everybody! So we’re going to take a different direction today. We’re going to be talking about the poor. You know, people who live in poverty like me that can’t have over $2000 ever. Ever. I figured that I can talk about this since I live it every day, so get ready, ya’ll!

So… Today it was announced that this particular rich person in power, Ben Carson, who is like, in charge of HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, aka the affordable housing program for the very poor in the United States) wants to raise the rent poor people pay on their affordable housing from 50 bucks to 150 bucks. It may not sound like a lot to your average joe who is not poor, but for people like me living on SSI, paying up $100 more for anything is a big difference that affects your low income by A LOT. Even better, old Carson wants to tack on work requirements for the poor who are not over 65 and are not disabled. Because those poor people deserve to obviously toil for the life of poverty they are trapped in already and is hard and impossible to get out of except by lottery winning luck, am I right?ย Obviously, I am being sarcastic.ย I mean, it’s all good to work, but working a minimum wage job at $7.25 an hour almost every day is not going to get someone out of poverty.

Why is this a problem? Well, it should be obvious. For those of us living in poverty, haven’t we suffered enough? Or aren’t we suffering enough already? For example, me being on SSI. People like me living on SSI and are disabled mentally and/or physically are not given enough to live on by Social Security. Can you live on under $1000 a month alone? Obviously, in this economy, you cannot. With everything going up and with wages stagnant, it is not just people on SSI or who are retired and live off Social Security alone who are suffering. Working people are suffering as well! Unfortunately, another not so well known fact is that SSI and regular Social Security payments for retirement have not kept up with inflation. Yup, you read that right. It has been YEARS since Social Security has been updated and it is no wonder that the people who rely on it alone are poor. It does not help that people on SSI cannot have over 2000 bucks in order to lift themselves out of poverty. It is wrong, enough said. I’m sure people who are well off financially can see why this would be a problem financially.

And for Ben Carson’s “poverty is a state of mind” comment, if you know anyone who is in poverty or are familiar with poverty, this is not the case. People who live in poverty are not poor or are a “leech” to society by choice, if at all. They live in poverty because they were born into it and were not able to get out of it or they were not fortunate enough to find a job that offers a living wage to lift themselves out of their circumstances and still cannot and in thus, live in poverty. They then have no choice but to accept help from the government for food stamps, SSI, HUD, WIC, or whatever else to get by so they can live a somewhat decent life that does not make them and their children suffer 24/7. The economy is not like the 50’s where you can just get a good paying job because you have a high school degree or walk into a business and ask for a job and you get it. And no matter how a certain someone who blabs on and on about it, coal mining jobs are disappearing and are not coming back. Ever. So you can forget that and the black lung that comes with it.

Also in the news annoucned earlier in the year, but still relevant, they mention that our president has a proposal to cut back on SNAP money. And that is by offering SNAP recipients what they call an “America’s Harvest Box” aka, The Slop Box. Ooooh, what’s going to be in this particular America’s Harvest Box you ask? Probably fresh fruits, fresh veggies, fresh meats, and fresh dairy products, you say? Well, I hate to be the THAT person, but you’d be wrong! Let’s break down what is going to be in this here box:

Shelf Stable Milk: Oh boy, dried milk! Yup, because I want to prepare dried milk every night just to get some protein instead of just buying the liquid stuff! Hooray for more work that I have to do in the kitchen! /sarcasm

Juice: Ah yes, SUGAR! YES, I will drink all of the sugar, or juice, that has had the fruit it was made out of nutrient’s and vitamins ripped out of them and put in a drinkable form! I’m sure nobody will get fat from drinking said juice from a can or in an already liquid form! /sarcasmagain

Grains: Quinoa or bust. Or maybe even brown rice. And you can bet they won’t offer this grain they are going to give us in bulk either. It will also probably be in a processed food box or boxes with artificial seasonings to go with it or in a small baggy that you can probably buy for a buck at the dollar store. In all honesty, this grain will probably be white rice. Guarantee it.

Ready-eat-cereals: Oh boy, more sugar! Also starch if the cereal is posing as something “healthy”. Because as an adult who cares about my health, this is the last crap that I would ever eat. Heck, some cereals, if not all, have vitamins sprayed onto themย because they lack that much nutritional value. Just no. UGGH.

Peanut Butter: You can bet it willย shattyย peanut butter like Skippy. Gotta’ keep those processed foods companies in business, dontcha’ know? Heaven forbid the peanut butter they would ever give us would be something that is not filled with sugar or just made from, y’know, just peanuts?

Canned Meat: Because nothing says health food like a can o’ meat full of salt and the bad kind of fat for your body! Maybe even some sugar mixed in to keep you addicted. Heaven forbid we would even be offered canned salmon or tuna in a can! Can’t have those poors eating something that may be good for them! /yetagainsarcasm

Poultry or Fish: Now, here is something I approve of… if it’s fresh. We would probably just receive this stuff already canned, but I’m hoping for it to be something that people could prepare in their own kitchen. But this “luxury” fresh food offered to us could be, like, the worst cuts of a chicken or fish ever. Like chicken legs or wings, or un-deboned fish. Uggggh…

Canned Fruits and Veggies: Oh boy, look! More salt and sugar in your diet than you need from each can of fruits and veggies that you and your family consumes! Heaven forbid poor people should eat fresh fruits and veggies because they deserve to! I mean, what is the world coming to?!! /sarcasm No, as a fellow poor, I do not want any canned fruits and vegetables that obviously have preservatives and excess salt and sugar in them. Frozen veggies and fruit would be a healthier bet because they are both freezed at peak freshness in this manner. But still, nothing beats fresh fruits and veggies. I would be miserable each day if I had to eat frozen or canned fruits and veggies all of the time. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

And that’s it for this list. So… MMMMMM! Sounds appetizing, does it all not? And they want to slash SNAP money from your SNAP budget just to giveย you this wonderful Slop Box! although, I would probably qualify for Food Stamps, I do not get them as of yet and probablyย never will because of the work requirements or sooon-to-be work requirements that are required to have them in a lot of states. Plus, if I sign up for them, it would cut into my SSI for sure. So even though I do not have any SNAP benefits, I feel for the people who do and are going to be affected by this nonsense that the president’s budget proposal offers. What this Slop Box idea does not understand is that by giving American’s money for buying their own food instead of giving them some random food they are forced to eat or they will starve, they are giving them theย power to buy their own food and make their own choices. For example, some people have food allergies and if somebody getting this Slop Box is allergic to peanut butter, what are they going to do with said peanut butter? If it were me, I would obviously throw it in the garbage. Can’t eat it, so why keep it around? That goes for the other foods offered in the box as well. If people don’t like the food they get in the Slop Box, heck, they can just donate it to the food banks so someone else can eat it. Key words: if they want to. But they will have no choice if they don’t want to starve, so I guess they may eat it? My best bet is that they will probably give it away or just not take it home with them at all.

So yeah, you can see I am a little peeved about all of this. To close, I believe that no one deserves to live in poverty. NO ONE. The United States is one of the richest countries in the world, yet we cannot provide adequate help to our poorer fellow American’s, but have billions to throw at the military and corporations and their CEO’s? It’s insanity and it will always be wrong. I dream of a day when our poorest of citizens like myself will no longer have to suffer financially or in any other form and live a happy life in the “greatest country in the world”, so they say America is. Ergo, there are better countries out there, but that’s what they say, right? I just hope it happens someday. That is one of my dearest wishes.

What do you think about these latest poltical developments affecting the poor?

News Sources:

Washington Post

Politico

Forbes