Budget Shmudget

November 2, 2009 at 10:08 am 31 comments

I had a fantastic weekend. Friday night was our blogger meetup. We went to Gravitas. They were really accommodating and we had a great area set aside just for us with a fabulous bartender. With that said, if I’m going to give it a TRUE review, I have to tell you that it was a bit pricey. They had this amazing drink made with strawberry and vanilla infused vodka. It was incredible! Although it was also $9 and that hurts me a bit.

Saturday I dropped Rookie off at her grandparents’ house because I love free child care and headed up to visit Lauren (from Texas). Stephen was out of town on a bachelor party camping trip so she invited me to spend Halloween with her and her family. God blessed us with a BEAUTIFUL day so we spent the entire afternoon and evening outside. I got to meet her family and eat her dad’s red beans and rice. By this point in our blog relationship, you should know that I don’t eat any sort of tubed meats. To clarify, it’s not that I absolutely will not eat it, it means that I don’t really enjoy it. However, these red beans and rice had sausage in it and they were shockingly delicious. The flavor of the beans was out of this world. I had a great time hanging out with them and think her mom must have really wanted me to like her because she let me sit in front of a campfire and make s’mores. It worked.

I stayed the night at Lauren’s on Saturday night. On Sunday we sat in the kitchen reading cookbooks and working on our weekly meal plans while her husband watched football with their dogs. I realized that it’s fun to do meal plans with someone else. You get to try new recipes and get new ideas. If you’ve never done it, do it. Find someone with a similar cooking style. Oh and also, with the same food budget.

This is huge. Lauren and I both keep our families on strict budgets. We buy sale items and do happy dances when we find bargains. If you can’t relate, then it will make no sense to you when I say that I get a high when I think about saving money.

Stephen and I are pretty anti-debt. Not entirely, but for the most part. We know that there are a few areas of life that often require debt. Houses, cars, and college. But beyond that, no debt. So when we need something, we have to budget. My mom recently bought us a beautiful dining room table that she found at a resale shop. It is brand new table but the furniture store took it to the resale shop because there weren’t any chairs. It was only $100 and it is gorgeous. So we need to buy 8 pub height chairs and those are not cheap. The going rate for chairs is about $129-$169 for a set of two. Do the math. We aren’t talking pocket change here. So we’re saving. We probably won’t be getting them until the new year since this is such an expensive time of year. And we are okay with that, as long as we plan for it.

Stephen also has a desire to bike. He’d like to get a road bike and take this up as a hobby. He’s been casually saying this for a couple years and he’s finally decided he’s serious. We talked about it and decided we’d start budgeting to get him a bike. I don’t even want to tell you the price of bikes because if I type it, it might make it real. Little by little we are setting money aside for this. So every penny matters.

I have a couple ideas for Stephen’s Christmas present. His birthday is in January so I have to buy two gifts each year. I really think we should start celebrating his birthday on his half birthday so we can spread it out a bit. But whatever, nobody asked me. I was flippng though an ad on Saturday and saw that one of the items I was thinking about was on sale. I figured now was as good a time as any to go get it. (Sorry I can’t tell you what it is, he reads this. Check back on December 26. I’m sure the anticipation is killing you.) Not only was this item on sale, but there was a mail-in rebate as well. So I went to the store on the way home from Lauren’s on Sunday. I found my item and didn’t see the rebate form next to it. I went to check out and asked the lady if the form would print out. She seemed very unclear about what I was talking about.

This annoys me. I tried to stay calm but it really bothers me when people have NO clue what they are talking about when it is their job to help. So I explain… “This ______ is regularly $___ but it’s on sale for $____ and there is an additional $___ mail-in rebate. I need the form for the mail-in rebate. Do you have any idea where I get that? They are normally located by the product but it wasn’t over there. Did it print out when you finished my transaction?” Crickets. Ugh. She stared at me and said, “I think it’s in the box.” Umm, no. I told her that’s not how rebates work and I was 99.9% sure the form was not in the box. “I think it is. With that paper that tells you that it will work for a certain amount of time.” Oh dear. “The warranty? No. The warranty comes in the box, the mail-in rebate does not. Can you please tell me who to talk to so I can get this figured out because I don’t want it without the form.” FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER after she’s checked out 3 other people and talked to 2 people on her walkie talkie (“This lady needs her warranty-” “No, rebate.” “–Oh, her rebate.”) she tells me to walk back over to the product to find the form and Evelyn who is supposed to be helping me. I walked back over there… still no form. And I assume there was no Evelyn, although I wouldn’t know because I have no clue who Evelyn even is. I made my way back to my lovely cashier and she asked me if I found Evelyn. “Well, I actually don’t know Evelyn so can you just return this. This is getting ridiculous. I’ll go to another store.” And then Evelyn showed up with my form.

It may be important to know that the rebate was for $10. I told you, every penny matters. I will do anything to save a few bucks. Our budget doesn’t have much wiggle room so I think it’s important to do what we can to protect our precious budget. However, you can be as careful as you want but sometimes things come up. Sometimes something comes around and smashes your budget… and your husband’s nose. (Please don’t look at these photos if you have an issue with blood.)


bloody nose

The guys were riding ATVs over the weekend and Stephen hit a branch or a bump or a crater and hit his nose on the handlebar. The ATV didn’t care about our budget. Neither did the doctors.


Luckily the helmet took most of the blow. They said that if he hadn’t been wearing his helmet, he would have smashed his face in. Apparently he tore a lot of tissue in there. He has 8 stitches outside and “a lot” inside. Say a little prayer for him today, he’s in quite a bit of pain.


 It may not be necessary to say this but we definitely won’t ever be fitting an ATV into our budget.



If you are participating in Ten on Tuesday tomorrow, you can find the questions by clicking the “Ten on Tuesday” button on the right. Please don’t post them until tomorrow morning. I’m going to ATTEMPT a Mr. Linky so we can get all of your links in one spot so it’s easier for everyone to visit each other. Bear with me, I’m not good at this blogging thing.

Entry filed under: Blogging, Chelsea, Nights Out, Stephen. Tags: , , , , , .

Seven Quick Takes (vol.13) Ten on Tuesday (4)

31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Spotty Prep  |  November 2, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I can’t believe the price of road bikes!!!! Truly shocking. My husband has a mountain bike he rides as a road bike- he can’t go as fast but it saved a ton of money and works for him (he rides by himself on trails).

    We don’t have any credit card debt, either. We save and save- we were engaged for over 2 years to pay for our wedding in full.

    Poor Stephen- I hope he feels better soon!!

  • 2. osarah  |  November 2, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Ouch! I’m so sorry about Stephen’s nose! 😦

    Stephen, I hope it heals quickly and you’re feeling better soon!

  • 3. Aunt Bonnie  |  November 2, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Oh my. You had such a nice weekend and Stephen was out smashing his nose in. Ouch! Hoping he is back in shape ASAP.
    So sorry, Stephen! No more ATVs for you:)

  • 4. Molly  |  November 2, 2009 at 10:52 am

    1) POOR STEPHEN!!! I couldn’t look at the pictures but OUCH! Tell him I’m thinking of him.
    2) We’re huge budgeters too. Yet another reason why I’m bummed you live in Houston…we could do cheap things together. Ughhhh. FINE.

  • 5. Molly  |  November 2, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Oh yeah, and my Ten on Tuesday will probably be on Thur or Friday this week because of the big baby news!

  • 6. jill  |  November 2, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Oh yikes! Poor Stephen! I am glad it wasn’t any worse. I’m kind of anti-ATV.

    Good for you being anti-debt. We are the same. If we can’t afford to buy something we don’t get it. Unfortunately so many young people our age don’t follow the same logic!! Oh and glad you had a fun weekend w/Lauren and food planning 🙂

  • 7. Caroline  |  November 2, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Don’t you love budget planning? Something outrageous always happens.

    I am so glad Stephen is ok. Whew!

  • 8. Kathleen  |  November 2, 2009 at 11:41 am

    David and I just started our very strict budget this month. I’m super excited! But I really need to do that meal planning thing. We want to drop a LOT on the amount we spend on food. I wish I hadn’t been working this weekend so I could have hung out with you and Lauren!

    Oh, and David’s birthday is early in January too. I haven’t even begun to think about gifts for him or anyone else in my family. But I have thought a lot about what I want! 🙂

  • 9. Jimbo  |  November 2, 2009 at 11:47 am

    What a post! Stephen, hope you get better and feel better as quickly as possible. The ATV accident is Murphy’s Law in action and the reason that Dave Ramsey (shout-out to Dave!) tells anyone who listens to his show/reads his book(s)/ or takes the Financial Peace class to have an emergency fund saved up that is off-limits except for emergencies.

    Good for you guys for being big budgeters. Sarah and I have had a budget since we got married but we got really serious back in September because we started taking the aforementioned Financial Peace University. It fits my wife’s love of organization (and spreadsheets) and my, how do I put this, “tightwad-ness.” We pay cash for just about everything (we use “the envelope system” and I didn’t pull out the debit or credit card one time during the month of October) and it is the most freeing thing in the world to know that, yes, you can buy that because, yes, you do have it budgeted and, yes, you do currently have the cash. If you don’t have it, you don’t get it.

    I think that’s the biggest thing budgets teach you: discipline. Getting into debt is, first and foremost, a discipline problem. A lot of our economy is centered around convincing Americans not to exercise discipline (easy credit, huge marketing and advertising budgets, consumerism=American dream, etc.) and sticking to a budget requires setting limits and saying no. Right now, we are trying to save up for the Christmas gift-giving budget, a $1700 tuition payment due in January, AND paying extra on the car payment. It’s hard…but we’re learning that it’s doable.

    Sorry about the long comment; love the post and good luck with saving. Again, get better soon Stephen.

  • 10. Sara  |  November 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Poor Stephen!!! Owie!

  • 11. Lyndsey  |  November 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    um… remember the time that rookie broke her toenail and it hurt and bled and you couldnt stay in the room because it was bleeding and she was in pain and it was just too much to handle?

    How on earth were you taking pictures while someone STICHED STEPHEN’s FACE????????????????????????

  • 12. Lyndsey  |  November 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    disregard comment based on our email conversation. 🙂

  • 13. kelly  |  November 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    omg. this makes me never want to ride an atv…EVER. i’m supposed to at my friend’s ranch in a few weeks. maybe i’ll just watch 🙂

  • 14. Kristin  |  November 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    OMG, OWWWWWWWW. I hope he’s not hurting too bad. And I feel you on the budget. I bought the dude a giant coloring book this weekend. It was all of five bucks. Well, it got left in the cart at Wal Mart and wouldn’t you know it…it’s STILL driving me crazy!

  • 15. Kyla Roma  |  November 2, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Oh no! I’m so sorry about his nose, that’s awful!! I’m anti-debt too, we have our mortgage & the cars and that’s it – and we only bought a second car because the first one will be paid off next fall.

    It’s all about priorities. We had a beautiful wedding that we could afford- so we only had 30 people, and it cost $3000. We saved the money and stuck to our budget- no negotiations. When we go to a movie, we use 2-for-1 passes, we do our big grocery shop on the first Tuesday of the month when you get 10% off. We save 2% of our house’s value and 2% of our car’s value every month, and set aside money for vet bills. We even save for one vacation a year by taking the average cost & dividing it into 12. And we overestimate our household budget by 10% so if something happens we’re not in a mess.

    I can’t imagine having to pay for hospital bills too though! I’m not sure how we’d factor that in. Mister is a dual citizen & we’d move to the US in a heart beat but beyond the paperwork, the health care stuff totally freaks me out. You’re brave!

  • 16. Alyssa  |  November 2, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Ew ew ew! I hope your hubs is feeling better because I hurt just looking at the pictures! I totally am in the same boat about the budget thing…my hubs gets so mad at me when I ask questions about pricing and rebates and all that jazz…he just doesn’t get it! I had to help the Old Navy cashier yesterday!

  • 17. Samantha  |  November 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Oh gosh, that looks so painful. I hope Stephen feels better soon. I’m sure you’re taking good care of him! My hubby has always owned an ATV, and he’s broken his share of bones and had his share of stitches because of it. (Luckily, we couldn’t fit it in the U-Haul to bring it to SC, so it’s still sitting in PA. Secretly I am happy about this.)

    I am the exact same about budgeting, and we’re completely anti-debt, too. We just paid off my car, which we were so excited about, but then our new puppy ran into some medical issues, and we’re going to have to shell out a decent amount of money soon. So I feel your pain! I think my heart aches a little every time money comes out of our accounts. All that saving and then unexpected things happen…

  • 18. Southern Gal  |  November 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    ATVs are so dangerous. I’m sure you know this by now. I’m so glad you’re not even considering buying one. Our town has had too many people killed on them. One was a 13 year old girl riding with her brother. They traded and she got on the larger one. She then hit a hilly spot. She flew off and the ATV came down on her and crushed her chest. Another big guy was riding up a steep hill and he fell backwards with the ATV landing on top of him. This happened to my dad and he was blessed enough to be able to hold the thing up over him and push it off. These things are dangerous!

    Your husband’s nose…that’s got to hurt. Looks like he tried to cut off his nose! Praying he’ll be healed up soon.

  • 19. Cousin Kim  |  November 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Poor baby! I hope he’s feelin better REAL soon! Did they give him lots of good pain meds?? :o) Next Halloween he better just stay home with his wife that protects him! :o)~

  • 20. Debbie  |  November 2, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    okay first of all…OWWWWW!!! omg, that looks so painful!

    second, who decided to chronicle the stitches like a TLC documentary about the safety of ATV riding?! only people with sweet blogs do that! excellent blogging skills, my friend! 😉

  • 21. Darla  |  November 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm


  • 22. Rachel  |  November 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Oh Stephen… Take lots of drugs and feel better. Motorized sports are dangerous… A jetski revved into my face and I ended up with 18 stiches… not fun. If you’re like my husband… milk it for all it’s worth. 🙂

    And Chel, how did you get the pictures?

  • 23. Jenny Walker Jinks  |  November 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    so i was complaining to courtney about my toothache…guess it could be worse! get well soon, steven 🙂

  • 24. Maureen  |  November 2, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    So, no mother wants to see her child hurt like that, so I am very grateful that you called and told me first! I am also grateful that he wasn’t hurt worse than he was. My poor boy! Please give him a big hug from his mommy!

  • 25. Julia  |  November 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    No debt. Great! We made the mistake of buying a house before we sold our condo. We sort of rushed into it due to circumstances. We have been paying two mortgages for three years.

    How cool your husband reads your blog.

  • 26. Stephany  |  November 2, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    I wish I was anti-debt. I just have to get OUT of debt first to become anti-debt. Stink.

  • 27. Lisa D  |  November 2, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Ouch. Poor Stephen!! Ow!!!

    I could benefit from being a little bit more budget conscious. I am definitely anti-debt so my only debt is school & my mortgage. But I don’t budget shop enough and I am so impatient so when I see something and want it, i have a hard time not buying it… but if I would just wait a couple of weeks, it would probably go on sale… Like clothes at Banana Republic or Ann Taylor Loft.

  • 28. Big W-D  |  November 2, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Taking the stitch pictures is probably the most disgusting thing I’ve ever done with my cell phone. I took them, then I sat down for a little bit.

  • 29. This Heavenly Life  |  November 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Stephen – Don’t be a hero! Take your pain medicine! And feel better soon. To keep you occupied while you recover, try to come up with a cool superhero name that involves stitches and/or noses. ….Go!

    Chelsea – I am so awed by your budget-sticking. Good work. And good luck on saving up for a road bike. My husband just got a brand new one, and the only reason I’m not crying over the $1500 (If there was a way to make those numbers in CAPS, I would. Because those numbers deserve a raised voice.) price tag is because it was a present from his momma. God love her.

  • 30. d.a.r.  |  November 3, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Owwwiiieee!! Hope he feels better and heals well.

    And we are the same way about our budgets. The only debt we will have is our home, we refuse to have any more. And even that is scary to us. But, like I’ve blogged about recently, furniture is EXPENSIVE!! And we are going to have an empty house for a while because we refuse to rack up a gazillion dollars in credit card debt. It blows my mind how carefree so many people our age are about debt!!

  • 31. Ten on Tuesday (53) «  |  November 9, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    […] How do you feel about motorcycles? Remember when Stephen almost lost his nose?? (<- link) Well that was only an ATV and he wasn’t being careless. So, yeah, I’m not […]

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November 2009


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