Welcome to this week’s edition of Thirsty Thursday where I tell you all about the random thoughts in my head and you sit back and enjoy my craziness.
This week I wish I was drinking: some sort of coconut drink. I’m inspired by The Single Dollar and wish I too was on a tropical vacation!
1. Trader Joe’s is SO MUCH more expensive than Safeway. The difference could very well be in what we buy at each store, but I was pretty amazed to go back into my beloved TJ’s after a few weeks of Safeway shopping, and proceed to rack up a $100 for a little less than a week’s worth of groceries. We tend to buy much more prepackaged food at TJ’s than we do at Safeway, so I think that definitely has an influence over our grocery bill. I’ve also noticed that TJ’s doesn’t always carry non-organic items so I end up buying organic zucchini for $2.50, and spend more because of it. Lastly, they tempt me with their treats and easy to make meals that I randomly pick up instead of sticking to my grocery plan. Damn those marketing geniuses.
2. We’re going backpacking for one night this weekend and of course it’s supposed to rain. Seattle has been beautiful for the past, oh, about 3 weeks in a row but as soon as we decide to spend more than 4 hours outside the rain commences. I’m really hoping that it will be delayed a day or two and we can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, but if not I guess at least we’ll get some backpacking in the rain experience?
3. Last week I brought my lunch and made coffee every day. It felt awesome and I was shamelessly proud of myself. One of the first things you read when you google “how to save money” is “bring your lunch to work” but it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? So getting that crossed off the list felt great and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do the same this week. Usually we try to make sure that we have enough lunch fixings to last us Monday through Friday and pretty much eat the same veggie/hummus/cheese sandwich with either a side of carrots and a cheese stick, or sometimes we get really fancy and buy a bag of chips instead. Planning ahead is key for me to stay on track and achieve our budgeting goals, and I’ve found that grocery shopping on the weekends with a plan in mind helps a lot with that. I already failed on the coffee front this week since I was in need of caffeine after dying on the stair master before work yesterday morning, but buying a 12 ounce drip coffee one time per week for $2.04 is still better than doing it five times per week.
4. Newlywed financial advice can be found in every corner of the internet, and at times it can be overwhelming. Our first job as husband and wife was to combine finances, and then we tracked our spending, made goals, and finally began paying down the debt we have. I think our next step should be figuring out what to do with our money once we’ve saved it, and whether or not we should be putting cash towards retirement or into another fund. I tweeted about this earlier, but the Newlywed Money Bootcamp looks like an awesome package for those of us just getting started in our marital finances. Mary Beth over at Workable Wealth seems like a relatable, genuine, and smart woman that I would trust to know what’s up in the financial world. I’ve also made an appointment with a TIAA-CREF advisor, since what little retirement savings we have is being switched over to that company. I literally have no idea where to start with retirement planning, or if we can even combine our retirement plans and make one large one for both of us, so hopefully an advisor can give us some basic tools and we can go from there. I’ve also considered checking out some free financial planning sessions at the University of Washington, and think it would be good for Mr. M&M and I to get the advice of someone who knows what they’re talking about, as opposed to me rushing home and spewing out the blog topics I read up on.
What are you Thursday thoughts? Any ideas on financial planning or other random thoughts you have right now?