Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Number crunching...

I'm on a budget.  I've been on a budget since 1983...for reasons I may explain later.  I suspect this budget thing could be considered an addiction.  I used to carry a list in my checkbook of what I could spend and when.  Obsessive, right?

For most of these past 29 years I have records of what I budgeted, what I spent, the budget-vs.-actual numbers and anything I was able to save (and not). When I bought my home 20 yrs. and 1 month ago, I knew, going into the closing, almost to the penney, what my payment would be and how I was going to keep this homeownership thing afloat.  I prove out my checkbook every month...to the penny...and I don't give up until it balances.  I could never imagine being off by a few cents....oh, the humanity!  Yes, some of my friends think I'm nuts.

Right now, I'm crunching numbers with my sights set on retirement.  Mind you, the big event is probably about 2 to 3 years in the future.  But, when I think that I just celebrated 39 years with the company I work for, the big day will be here before I know it.  Instead of a full-out budget, I've been keeping track of just my expenses since January 1 and, with a few unexpected events, I'm pretty much on target.  That is until the past two weeks when the checking account statement arrived and my hairdresser moved to a high-end salon.


I really really really thought I had deposited $640, not $620 like my statement shows.  But, alas, the deposit slip revealed the truth.  I must have put that $20 in the gas tank.  Ugh!  OK, all is not lost, no checks bounced, and I made it to another payday.  Whew!  And then there was the visit to the hairdresser this past Saturday.  Ooooooo, a new salon with a spa and a manicurist and a boutique and gormet coffee with treats and a shampoo girl that does more for my attitude than a Xanax or Valium and, ultimately, new prices!  I actually thought they had overcharged me...after all, I blew out my own hair.  But, no, I was wrong!  In fact, I got a $15 break from my hairdresser;  correction, at these prices, he's got to be a stylist.  Don't get me wrong, he's worth it.  I've never had more care-free and healthy hair than I have now but, I have to admit, I had sticker shock.  Going from paying $85 for a color and cut to $115 will do that.

So I'm revising my expense list and my retirement target date has not changed.  It's all still good...or at least it will be once I can wrap my head around these bumps in the road or when I discover where I can find an extra $30 to add to that hairdress expense.  Keep calm and carry on!

7 comments:

  1. You and my mother are two peas in a pod when it comes to balancing the checkbook. Oy.

    I once paid a little over $100 to get a color and cut and that was the last time... I do my own now. Just can't justify it. :)

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    1. Nancy, I'm thinking along the same lines. Used to do my own color until I changed it lighter to cover all the gray. Now I can't recall exactly what color it's supposed to be so I really have nothing to lose. Clairol here I come!

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  2. Holy moly...you would die if you knew how I budget...LOL. I manage to do pretty good...but I wing it! Everything is e-banking for me...so I keep a mental note of the few outstanding checks I have. As far as the hairdresser goes...well, my Mom taught me to color my hair from a box. But thing she taught me too! I save hundreds of dollars...no probably thousands!!!

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  3. Loved this post, Helene. I am in total awe - awestruck actually! I just got some highlights put in my hair after about a year of growing it out to it's natural colour (brown-grey). You would keel over if I told you what I paid . . . eek I almost keeled over!

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  4. I love this post.I used to think we were separated at birth but now I think not .. sigh .. however I too have been thinking about retirement, not acting on it, just thinking ... but I did after paying an unbelieveable (truly I was speechless when handed the bill) amount for a haircut decide to stop going to hotsy totsy salons and use my local salon and the gal who blow dries my hair weekly to cut it .. well .. I think she does a good job but its not the same .. sigh sigh sigh .. Toonman said I could retire right now if I stop shopping and traveling .. he's right but if I do stop shopping and traveling I am sure I would end up killing him and retirement would turn into life in jail .. do you think they have a decent hair cutter behind bars?

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    1. Ha, ha...maybe we were separated at birth and I got the check balancing skills! As far as the retirement situation goes, I'm playing it year-to-year but I do know several women in that 'killer' mode. And there is a good hair cutter behind bars unfortunately everyone is getting the same cut...then again, you can get that out in the real world too. Finding a great hairdresser is worse than looking for a new doctor!

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