April was an eventful month including beautiful days mixed with wild soaking rains. Our Easter day was filled with lots of family from far and wide, and we had a blessed time together. I was egged and gluten-ed at some point throughout, but I survived nonetheless to share our month’s expenses with you.
Jeter was with us only a few weeks and I decided to get him and Ruby groomed for a fresh start into spring and summer. Ruby needed a shave down, which I normally do, but I thought it would be nice to get her professionally done. Jeter just needed a bath and his nails clipped, but he hates baths and getting his nails done. I figured I’d let someone else try their hand, much to my dismay.
Needless to say, I won’t be taking them back for grooming any time soon. The shave down was no better than what I do myself and Ruby is pretty easy going with it. Jeter, oh Jeter, he promptly came home and got muddy leading to a second bath almost immediately.
After spending $70 + tips I was none too pleased to find his nails not trimmed either, as she thought they were short enough. My guess is that she couldn’t get him to calm down. Back to keeping it in house and saving quite a bit in the process, though I’m spending a bit more on Jeter with regards to bones, treats, and toys. Overall though, he’s added a LOT more life and personality to the house and Crab wakes up every morning saying, “Good morning Jeter. Jeter! Jeter! Jeter!” and looks for kisses.
DIY in Style
We became fancy new owners of two raised garden beds this month, built by the best contractor in the world, Chris. He found this amazing design online and with the vegetable gardening and herb use classes I took I was anxious to get my garden going in April. I am so glad he convinced me I would rather have raised to hip height beds, as I originally just wanted boxes on the ground. These are so amazing, so easy, and I’ll have a better time keeping them weed and animal free.
Coming up this month, we’re working on an amazing new project in our living room that is going to make a world of difference in keeping our space neat and tidy. I look forward to sharing that soon!
Chris’ birthday, among several other family member’s birthdays, was in April. We celebrated with dinner to our favorite restaurant and his favorite Mocha Pie.
Cooking Up a Storm
I took a cooking class again and made my own gluten-free flour tortiallas in advance of the class. More to come on what I learned there.
I also perfected a gluten-free sandwich bread. Finally! What a successful month for gluten-free baking and cooking. I’m finally getting the chemistry correct and understanding the new principles of gluten-free baking.
I want this, I need this… Oh, nevermind I don’t.
Let me tell you a story about how I spent $40 to save $1,700.
I rented a lens that I had been lusting after for several weeks during the month of April. I actually planned to use it on Easter, but ended up returning it the same day it came to my house.
It was a lens I thought I just had to have, but in reality, once I held it in my hands I realized I had little use for it currently and could probably wait to use it again for some time.
It is a zoom telephoto lens and a new high-end L series from Canon. I soaked up every review, drooling. I spent $135 to rent it for five days, and within 4 hours of receiving it, I sent it back to get a $95 refund.
Whew, I could’ve splurged on the lens to the tune of $1,700 or more. I’m so glad I just went with the idea to rent and saved the money. I found I liked it, but not enough to add it to my collection. From here on out, I’ll rent first before I buy these types of expensive gadgets.
Here though, for your enjoyment are two photos I snagged at the beach before I returned it. If I ever sell my 70-200 and get into landscape photography, this will be my go to lens.
April was a wild ride and I couldn’t believe how much we accomplished over the course of just one month. We did have a week off for spring break which was nice, and I had a few other days mixed in. With all that time home, we definitely got a lot of projects done around the house and made some awesome things in the time we had. Plus, we have a ton of fun memories together, too!
I’m pretty pleased, I thought it was going to be much worse! What saved us was the credit card hacking and rewards we received for just food shopping. Yup, you read that right, just from food shopping, we reaped over $250 in rewards. Not every month will be like that though.
Let’s see how April shook out financially.
|Item||Amount||Frugal Mom$ter Musings|
|Food/Clothing||$324.11||This includes credit card rewards which brought our total down tremendously.|
|Household||$1,092.03||So many DIY projects last month! Chris built new garden beds that needed dirt, we picked up a few extra Easter items, things for the doggies sprinkled in, and started a new DIY project in our living room to come soon!|
|Insurance||$178.50||Regular insurance and we had to register my car again for the year.|
|Leisure||$0.00||Wow! DIY and gardening were our leisure choices of the month.|
|Pets||$69.66||I paid for the two pups to get groomed which I won’t be doing again anytime soon.|
|Total Spent||$3,871.20||$100 less than March, despite the many DIY projects.|
Wondering why some bills may be missing from this report?
The September 2016 Expense Report will answer your questions.