Monday, June 21, 2010

Spending Fluff

Last week I proposed a challenge. A financial challenge that had nothing to do with crafting or cooking or {I'm sure some of you were arguing not blog worthy} fun. I know some eyes were rolled at my typed words & that's okay. So perhaps I'm the only one answering my challenge. But am I a huge nerd {or maybe a tad competitive} to take a challenge & do my best to learn everything I can from it? Those of you who know me know that winning never hurts either. Even against myself. :)

I'm hoping this challenge will at least wake up some of you comatose aisle wanders & $1 bin ransackers. {You know who you are.} Hopefully it will inspire you to be aware of your consumption habits & take back the control to be resourceful & responsible with every incoming penny.

Discretionary income
is income after subtracting taxes and normal expenses (such as rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, medical, transportation, property maintenance, child support, inflation, food and sundries, &c.) to maintain a certain standard of living. It is the amount of an individual's income available for spending after the essentials (such as food, clothing, and shelter) have been taken care of:
Discretionary income = Gross income - taxes - necessities
(Find Wikipedia resource here)

I knew this challenge was coming so I was able to compensate the week prior to make sure I was prepared. But are we always prepared for a lost job, or an injury, or an accident, or car failures? Um... no & that's why we ALL need a nice cushion in savings to help get us through rough patches. Spending all of our disposable income on stuff is frivolous. And some families do this every month & that's why debt is so abundant.

The whole concept of discretionary/disposable income can be deceiving to some. Most of this category should be labeled SAVINGS or mission fun or college fund or retirement fund or emergency fund ... the list goes on... It is acceptable to have numerous saving funds. :)

It's quite easy to keep track of your spending when using your debit card because you can look up all of your purchases on-line & then categorize them according to your household's budget.

Here's my DISCRETIONARY spending from Monday, June 14th - Friday, June 18th:

$7.46 - Nielsen's Frozen Custard


$10ish - Wal-Mart {not needed snacks}


- Ross {return of not needed FLUFF}


$18.38 - Pachucha {lunch with Husband & kids}

$1.50 - Costco Smoothies

$26.99 - Father's Day gift

$21.75 - The Home Depot {sudden urge to paint an ugly bookcase}
$19.85 - Barnes & Noble {The Overton Window for Father's Day}


$15.64 - The Home Depot {Father's Day gift}

$20 - Pei Wei {Dinner with family}


Total: $81.64

Yikes. That would have been way worse if I wouldn't have returned that Ross merchandise. Granted it was Father's Day & I bought gifts... but it still was quite a week of consumption. And I overshot our budget for "entertainment," "eating out" & "gifts."

To motivate & revolutionize your home this week, please ponder this question when consuming temptation arises. {Because that's exactly what it is..
a temptation & for some an addiction.}

What does a good deal really mean if you don't need it in the first place?

Let the spending stop in our home's first. Good luck!


  1. Very Well said Heather! Great Post!

  2. I thought you were going to say that was a great week for you! You would not want to know my total for the week. :(