November spending totals: beating back our inner Scrooge

It’s not really transparency or disclosure if it all spills out in an unintelligible mess, now is it?

Blinkered idealism about the ease with which we might conquer the transition of caring for a newborn and a toddler drove us to this.   A month passed, the purchases piled up and our website went untouched and abandoned down the internet memory hole.  Or so it seemed.

When Eliza joined the family we squeezed a few last drops of creative juice and fiscal responsibility from our tired fingers and faulty Excel spreadsheets.  But we gave up these past few weeks.  It was either that or completely succumb to our inner Scrooge and let a silly internet experiment trump Christmas 2012.

Josiah helps us keep the Scrooge at bay.

Josiah helps us keep the Scrooge at bay.

Thankfully, the constant jingle-jangle of a radiant two-year-old’s innate sense of anticipation of Advent stamped its merry veto on our inner Scrooge. And that is a mighty feat when you consider how often I mutter “humbug” during the run-up to December 25.

All that to say, we encountered the sacred, the merriment, the hustle and the bustle and we have emerged with great hopes to bring this neglected site up-to-date. But the updating will have to be sparse since time is short and the spending is getting profligate (gulp).

When we last updated, it was Thanksgiving time.  Here’s the rest of what we spent in November:

There were several more trips to Wegmans where we spent the following amounts: $49.48 (milk, organic milk, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, frozen peas, 10lbs whole wheat flour, a pie pumpkin, bag of lemons, bag of apples, bananas, rutabaga, green pepper, box of pears); $3.90 (eggs, chocolate); $9.86 (milk, salt, molasses, canola oil spray, green leaf lettuce) and 20.55 (whole wheat bread, butter, 5lbs of honey, Ricola).  Plus, we bought another package of Wegmans diapers for Eliza ($6.55)

We also took Eliza to have her hearing tested almost a month after her birth.  It is mandated by the state of Maryland.  Unfortunately the state did not pick up the $35 copay.

On the 28th we filled the car with gas at Wawa for $36.00 @ $3.27/gl.

Alyssa took a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond for some household items costing a total of $8.17 on November 30.  She also stopped in at Walmart for $66.25 worth of stuff, much of it for the care and feeding of small children.

She also made her occasional stop at Trader Joe’s for the usual purchases (crisp rice, Joe’s O’s, dried cranberries, oat bran, bananas, farina, aluminum-free baking powder, chocolate, flax seed crackers, chocolate chips, English muffins, clif bar, bag of oranges, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter): $44.22

Selecting the family Christmas tree on a frigid November afternoon.

Selecting the family Christmas tree on a frigid November afternoon.

Since I’ve already dispatched any chronological order in this post, I’ll mention that on the weekend after Thanksgiving we cut down an extremely prickly pine tree on a farm about 5 miles from our home.  Josiah nearly froze during the outing and we even encountered some snow flurries during the tractor ride out to the fields on a windswept hillside.

I think the farmer’s wife who sold it to us for $21.20 said it was a Scots pine.  Not that it matters.  Its stiff, sharp needles keep Josiah at bay when he is overcome with the temptation to pillage Christmas ornaments.   When the kids are older and more self-controlled I’ll spring for a Fraiser fir.

On the way home we went to Graul’s, a local grocer.  We bought some pepperoni to make hobo-pies over the fire at home that night, plus some delicious homemade (storemade?) pumpkin dip and ginger cookies for dipping, along with some produce: $10.56. Josiah loved making his first hobo-pie that night.  Hopefully his next will be over a proper campfire.

Josiah learns the art of cooking hobo-pies.

Josiah learns the art of cooking hobo-pies.

On the day after Thanksgiving we took another short family outing to gawk at construction equipment and buy Alyssa some new clothes.  Net clothing purchases (after returns): $81.59.

To round things out, during November I purchased an $8 Groupon to a local Italian coffee and pastry shop and a $15 Living Social deal to a Baltimore restaurant where we went for our 1st anniversary more than six years ago.  It’s time to go back as soon as we can get a babysitter.

Finally, here are our monthly totals.  Bold means we spent more than last month:

November 2012
Medical: $35 (down from $730 last month)
Groceries: $267.12
Dining out: $68.91
Gas: $113.6
Entertainment: $5.08
Household: $136.73
Babysitter: $0
Gifts: $98.27
Postage: $9.00
Rent: $1,200.00
Cell phone: $71.00
Fines: $0
Travel: $0
Utilities: $121.18
Auto: $0
Internet: $34.99
Clothes: $81.59
Kids: $26.04
Personal Care: $0
Health Insurance: $514
Student Loan: $77.97
Total: $2,860.45

Here’s the real story: while having a baby is expensive, when you are spending most of your time post-birth at home caring for a newborn, you tend not to spend all that much.  There’s no time or energy, which is part of why we spent $813 less in November than October.  It also didn’t hurt to not have a $670 midwife copay.

Thanks for sticking with us this long.  If you thought this post was bad, wait until next month.  I’ve begin a preliminary tally and the carnage is breathtaking.  That’s what happens when you go and buy a house.

If all goes well, we’ll have it up early next week.   Merry Christmas!

Working together on the Moravian star for the top of our tree.

Working together on the Moravian star for the top of our tree.

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One thought on “November spending totals: beating back our inner Scrooge

  1. Hi A&A, Check out this view of Scrooge:

    This is the annual Christmas column from one of my favorite economists, Steven Landsburg. Enjoy!

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