Budget Binder

I have taken the advise of all the guru’s including one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer at Broke-Ass Mommy and I started a budget binder.

Even though the Goodwill near me is GREAT, I didn’t expect to find one that I actually liked.  I spent a whopping, .99 Cents and I like it!


Cash baby!  CASH!  Winking smile

Budget Binder – The idea is if you write it down,  you spend less.

I started to do just that!  In this .99 cent binder!


More embarrassing than my scribble is the $43.00 bathing suit purchase!  More on that in a bit.


But believe me when I tell you, there is not a Clearance Swimsuit rack to be found!!!

I live in So. Cal, so you would think suits would be available year round.  NOPE!  We had to go to a specialty store.  At least I found one less than half price, but REALLY?  Over $40.00!!!  Twice what I budgeted.

I’m writing down the item and the category, for instance, clothes and the price.  I’m also saving receipts.

I even added a little envelope to help me keep coupons handy.


My Budget Binder will stay right here at DEBTGIRL Central!


See it hiding back there?  Hopefully, I won’t need to use it often and when I do, it will be for budgeted items.

Now, if you are wondering why I needed to buy my daughter a bathing suit in November, here’s the scoop:

Our cousin has earned a boat load of Hilton Reward Points and this coming Friday, we are heading to SeaWorld in San Diego.   The hotel is completely free for us!   And since that is paid for, I decided to give my kid  a HUGE SURPRISE.   A swim with the dolphins!

Expensive?  OMG YES!

Am I STRUGGLING with the guilt of purchase, OH YEAH!

Will I be sorry?  If I have an emergency and can’t pay for it because I squandered $430.00 on a swim than yes, I’m going to be very, VERY sorry.

But keep your fingers crossed that I can make up the cost using my budget binder and common sense spending!

The food budget has been cut in half for the next couple of months and that means Thanksgiving will be the basics!


Do you look at opportunities like this (free hotel) as an opp to do something out of the ordinary or would you have taken the free hotel and been happy with that alone?

I think I should have done the latter!   But I can’t wait to see her face when I surprise her!


7 thoughts on “Budget Binder

  1. I think I would enjoy the hotel and probably spend what I would have spent on a normal weekend at home doing something fun or taking my cousin out for lunch to thank him. Not sure about the dolphins. It is going to be an amazing memory, that’s for sure. If that is also her Christmas gift, even better!

    • I know, that is what I should have done! Trust me, Ugh!!! But we haven’t and won’t be taking any major vaca’s for a long, long time! I just thought this would be a nice break and OMG, it is such a splurge! But I LUV the idea of making it a present. I am going to take a Chistmas Card and put a print out in it and actually have her open it that morning when I tell her. That is a great idea because now her BIG present is done!

  2. I’m jealous! I have always wanted to swim with the dolphins! I think it’s a splurge, but I do have to say that I think it’s a wonderful thing to do for your daughter, especially now, I would do the same. I don’t think some parents realize how stressful a bankruptcy or other financial woes can be on a kid (at least it was for myself growing up). This will be a nice escape! I’m also a fan of the budget binder, I use mine weekly to keep up with all my numbers.

    • BK is so hard. We live in an area where everyone has everything and we don’t have even a smidgen of what others have. It’s fine by me. I love our condo and our life. I have learned to really appreciate the small things. But for my kid, who is 13 it can be hard. I think that there are lessons to be learned for her. However, I also think she deserves a thrill and I am the only one that can provide them. So I guess out of guilt for not having trips to Europe and Hawaii, etc, I justified this expense. Believe me though when I say… I am cutting just about every corner to make it happen. YOLO as the kids say!

  3. Wow, thank you so much for the mention, it brightened my evening! (You can’t see me but I’m totally doing a happy dance.) You are rocking that lovely binder and the trip to San Diego sounds amazi-balls. Now for some tough love. Do you have an emergency fund in place? If not, promise that once you return, scrounging up an emergency fund will become your top priority. Capiche? Hope your daughter has a lovely time, she is in for a real treat.

    • OMG you are so right. I do NOT! Isn’t that terrible. I am working on it, every month put SOMETHING toward it. I hope this month DECEMBER does not stop tha process because YES this trip did!!! Ugh!!! I swear, it is my first priority, I will not waver! I am going to be better than ever this xmas!!!

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