Friday, July 2, 2010

July begins

Here are some things that have been happening:
  • Yesterday was the last day of C's garden camp. There was early pick-up. We missed the program (in which C was going to do a rainbow dance while wearing a rainbow shirt), but we brought a vase, scissors, and water for cutting flowers. The camp is at a public school in the suburbs that has a very tidy and well-managed garden on the grounds. They have a butterfly garden, a plantation of 9-foot-tall wild sunflowers (the bushy kind with small, multiple heads), grapes, and cantaloupes growing vertically and ripening in panty hose. C was very excited about having the chance to harvest small purple grapes from the grape arbor.
  • D said: "Mary had a little lamb that lived on whole wheat bread."
  • We've been having grey, rainy days with temperatures under 80 degrees. It reminds me of the weather we had the first July we moved to Texas three years ago.
  • Yesterday was the end of our June budget. We did save over $600 for our house in June, as planned, but we squeaked to the finish line to do it. I went $160 over our original budget for the month, but I got $100 birthday check and there was some business income or reimbursement that brought us even, so in the end, we were not over budget, and our house savings were as planned. I always forget how expensive the summer is.
  • In our July budget, we have projected savings of $159 for the house this month. I expect things will be better starting in September. Looking at our savings, if we bracket our basic emergency fund and the money alloted for other savings projects (camp savings, medical saving, car fund, household maintenance, etc.), it looks like we have $13,000 available for the house purchase. That's not quite enough, but it's a fair start.
  • Competing with the house fund are some smaller goals. I've finally decided to go for a better phone, so after some research, we've settled on a HTC Touch Pro. It's a smart phone and we'll pay something like $235 total upfront (which is a lot), but we'll be able to hold onto our old $50 a month service plan. I was planning to hold onto my existing cell phone longer, but we are going to be on the road later this summer, and it would be awfully nice to have internet access. The other competing goal is travel. We've got a West Coast trip this summer, we are planning to make a family trip out of a conference in Baltimore in the fall, and I'm hoping to make a long-awaited trip to Russia in a year. Put all of this stuff together and I suppose it sounds like we're living high on the hog. I suppose we are.

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