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January 2011 Credit Card Bill


January 2011 Credit Card Bill was one of the better one recently. We didn’t use the card much last month. Check it out.

Pet – $31
Gas and oil change – $98 (Gas price going up)
Public Transport – $17 (Actually $47, but I get $30 reimbursement)
Medical – $120
IKEA – $240. Got a fold out chair bed for grandpa when he come to help with baby RB40.
Baby sling$12
Internet – $40. Went back to Comcast…
Cable modem and shipping – $75 (rebate available, see more below) This is also the first electronic item purchased in 2011. This is a replacement for the Clear modem so I did not break my New Year resolutions. 😉

The cable modem came with a rebate, but they want two months of cable bills to be included so I will have to file it later. I’m sure they made up this rule so people will forget about the rebate. We only have cable internet and canceled cable TV a while ago.

* We give ourselves $100 allowance each every week to spend on discretionary items:  groceries, shoes, shows, dinners out, and whatever else we want.

January 2011 compliance rating – 98% (621/633)

I guess we have to start giving baby an allowance (budget) of his own. We’ve been using our allowance to buy baby stuff and it’s cramping my style. 😀

The IKEA furniture is a little fishy, but I’ll give it a pass this month. I don’t think there will be any more furniture purchases in the foreseeable future anyway. The place is full.

So we get an A this month. Woo hoo! All in all, one of the lowest credit card bill in a while.

Credit card bills are tricky because often people will forget about how much they’ve spent until the bill comes and then reality sets in. The reality of the situation is that bills and expenses accumulate and they come from all directions. Unforeseen things such as the dentist, the car needing service or a higher than expected phone bill.

During the course of the month, you can have the mental strength to be conscious of your credit card bill as you go but it is easier said than done. Also it’s important to enjoy life and do things such as going out to restaurants, the movies and concerts. Living frugally as a monk may help the bottom line but it’s not much fun.

One solution is to find extra sources of income to counter the expense. There is the ability to take a freelance job but how much will you earn from it and how much time can you devote to it? These are all considerations to weigh up.

Cash purchases in January
sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens
$413 – Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Lens & Filters & Lens Cleaning Kit

I saved up a few months for this lens and it is so awesome. I love it. It came in time for me to take baby pictures and that’s priceless!

parts of this post were brought to you on behalf of wonga and intercasio.

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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • 101 Centavos February 23, 2011, 3:51 am

    Hey RB40, good insight on the rebate rule. I agree that complexity in the compliance rules discourages redemption. There’s probably a darn bean counter somewhere measuring the impact of each new tweak in the regs.

  • LifeAndMyFinances February 23, 2011, 3:53 am

    Looks like all the expenditures are reasonable Joe. Pretty sure that you will need to have an extra fund for that baby!

    • retirebyforty February 23, 2011, 9:40 am

      The last week has been OK because we did not spend any of our allowance on ourselves. We were too busy adjusting. 😉
      We’ll see how much we need to budget for Baby RB40. I’m thinking 40 bucks a week, we’ll see.

  • MoneyCone February 23, 2011, 6:21 am

    With Jr. on board, you’ll have to get used to bigger bills, so watch out! 🙂

  • Aloysa February 23, 2011, 7:52 am

    What I am really curious to see is your February bill! I bet your compliance rate might go down a bit. Baby RB40 might take of that. However, I might be completely wrong. 🙂 Happy you are back! I missed your posts.

    Cool lens. My Mom does photography and she is obssessed with cool stuff like this. So I get to appreciate lens like yours. 🙂

    • retirebyforty February 23, 2011, 9:42 am

      I’m sure the compliance rate went down with all the diaper, wipes, and other unauthorized purchases. :p
      The lens is really cool. I was able to take many pictures without flash and I’m getting a lot of good pictures!

  • youngandthrifty February 23, 2011, 11:49 am

    Wow, that lens is sure sexy! That’s a really close up lens too, you’ll have to post some pictures up, I’m sure they will look amazing. I love the feeling of saving up for something and then finally getting it.

    Hope you’re getting some sleep with the new baby! 🙂

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc February 23, 2011, 6:43 pm

    Congrats for keeping up with your resolution! I think it is good that you get a transportation rebate. That certainly adds up. I hope February ends up even better.

  • Everyday Tips February 23, 2011, 7:08 pm

    I so envy your credit card bill updates! You are doing a great job, and you will love having a good camera when that baby arrives!

  • Deidre February 24, 2011, 6:55 am

    Nice lens!! I cut up all my credit cards several years ago and am on a strictly cash basis. It has its ups and downs too. I admire that you are moving in that direction! It took me awhile to get used to the all-cash rule 🙂

    • retirebyforty February 24, 2011, 9:31 am

      Thanks! We use about half cash half credit right now and it’s working out pretty well.
      We use cash for discretionary spending, you can see my money flow chart here.

  • retirebyforty February 24, 2011, 9:29 am

    I asked the Mrs. and she is already signed up with Amazon. I don’t think we’ll get much hand me down though. Most of our friends and family do not have little kids. We are a bit late to the party. 😉

  • Money Reasons February 24, 2011, 7:08 pm

    I think you got the correct call on the rebates!

    Sweet lens! I’m sure you’ll make great use of it. Take lots of pictures of your baby, they grow so quickly 🙂

  • Buck Inspire February 25, 2011, 12:35 am

    Nice catch on the rebates, I try to do it right away so I don’t forget. Way to go for staying compliant. I thought things would go out the window with Baby RB40. Keep it up! 🙂

    • retirebyforty February 25, 2011, 9:18 am

      I also try to send in the rebates as soon as I can as well. I hate waiting around. Hopefully the rebate company is still in business next month!

  • First Gen American February 25, 2011, 2:39 am

    What an exciting time. No worries on the baby clothes, you can get a whole garbage bag of them on craiglist for $20 or $30. Clothes are plentiful online for the first 2 years when they grow out of them fast enough that they don’t wear out.

    Congrats to you.

    • retirebyforty February 25, 2011, 9:17 am

      Hey, good tips. We got a bunch of clothes from baby shower so we are set for at least 6 months. After that, we probably hit Good Will and will keep an eye on craigslist as you suggested. thx!!!

  • Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog February 26, 2011, 8:41 am

    Way to go keeping the spending low this month! The rebate rule on your modem is lame – I think 101 centavos is right – there’s someone counting the return percentage between the difference of a month wait and a 2 month wait.

  • Squirrelers February 28, 2011, 11:58 am

    Great job on keeping expenses low – you guys are good. As for the furniture, that’s a necessary expense, as it’s a good idea to provide comfort for older family that helps with the baby. I did something similar before with a mattress purchase. As for the camera….baby pictures are priceless. It’s a magical time. Tough to argue that purchase!

    • retirebyforty February 28, 2011, 12:51 pm

      The sleeper was a necessity. FIL is helping out for a month so he had to be pretty comfortable. Sleeping bag on the floor might be OK for a few days, but not a whole month! I love the new lens. 🙂
      I’ll have to put up more pictures soon.

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