May 2017 Budget Report


This month we visited Ian's aunt and uncle in Chicago (all expenses paid because they generously offered to fly us out and let us stay with them). We also had my brother stay at the beginning of the month, so we went over on groceries a bit due to several dining excursions. We also restocked several bulk items like toilet paper and such, which ate up more than we'd budgeted for personal and household care. This should even out later on, however.

We've discussed our plans a bit more and have decided to focus on accumulating our rainy day savings before we pay off the car. So our new goal is to get 3 months worth of expenses saved up. We'll see how it goes!

Rent: $1391.00
Ian Phone: $32.00
Beth Phone: $32.00
Internet: $45.00
Car Payment: $300.00.

REGULAR VARIABLE EXPENSES Groceries: $433.14 ($400.00 budgeted) Gas: $220.11 ($200.00 budgeted) Laundry: $7.50 ($15.00 budgeted)
BOTTOM LINE We overspent by $45.75. This came out of our "other&quo…

April 2017 Budget Report

This month was fairly average. We both started school again for Spring Quarter and have been quite busy. Ian has spent the last several months applying for various grants and fellowships and we found out that he is going to receive money over the summer beyond what we previously expected. (He is also working as a research assistant for someone at USC). I also found out I am getting a scholarship. In lieu of these unexpected funds, we reorganized our budget to accommodate an aggressive "pay off the car" scheme.  If all goes well (meaning we don't have any very large unanticipated expenses), we should be able to pay off the car by the end of the year. This is HUGE for us, considering we bought it last November.

Otherwise, things have gone well with the new system. Our "targeted savings" area is woefully slim, given that we are putting as much as possible towards the car. However, given our spending patterns over the last year, we should be able to pull it off.


March 2017 Budget Report

Hey all!

So this might be totally dumb, but I hope you'll bear with me. I recently came across a blog ( The couple who run it talk a lot about personal finance, and one of the things they do is present a monthly "budget report" explaining what went well, what went wrong, etc. I really like it - reading through their experiences helps me to think about my own and gives me ideas.

More importantly, it helps them to be accountable. I mean, I budget, but I find myself hedging around and not including certain expenses for various reasons (usually something like guilt). But I feel really motivated today so I'm going to try and hash out what happened to US this month and hopefully next month will be better. :)

So here goes.

I won't explain this regularly, but just for record's sake:
Ian and I get paid fairly irregularly and that is going to change this year as well. Last year I was employed, this year I am a student. Ian is a student but…

No Spoon

I forgot to bring a spoon. I packed a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup . . . and a bowl.

I should just keep a spoon in my backpack.

I fill the bowl with red goop and a can of tap water.

I go to my desk. The student who's desk is next to mine doesn't seem to be paying attention. He is listening to hard rock on headphones that are either of very poor quality or at a volume that will have him deaf within 20 years.

I begin to vigorously mix the soup with my pointer finger, glancing over every few seconds and hiding my hand under my desk if he happens to look in my direction. I look very suspicious. The red goop doesn't readily dissolve in the tap water. Note to self: the water solubility of condensed tomato soup is of a level that requires a spoon or at the very least a fork. Preferably a whisk.

Not a blunt, ~ 1.0 cm diameter, flesh-colored rod.

It blends to edibility. I drink the soup straight from the bowl. There are some lumps, but tolerable ones.

I find a spoon i…

On Having An Awesome Last Name

When your last name is Peacock, everyone wants you to dress in, eat from, decorate your home with, and transform into a Peacock. I receive at least one text message per week with a Peacock-related product included. (When I was first married, it was with greater frequency.)

I would be lying if I didn't feel similarly. I cannot pass by anything Peacock-related without feeling a very poignant level for regret that I cannot be a respectable 26-year-old in the eyes of my minimalist pseudo-professional millennial peers and wear Peacock regalia. I look forward to being 65 and feeling as though I'm justified in all things Peacock.

Truly, though, I should have hyphenated it with Black. I guess I totally blew it, because everyone says so. Even the Fedex guy I talked to the other day said so. But when I become a vigilante named "The Black Peacock" I don't want it to be TOO easy for them to track me down...

On another note, does your mind ever decide that a certain age just …

Foods I Prepared for Myself When I Was Young

In order of when I remember making them, starting with the earliest:

1. Bread balls (i.e. ripping white bread into pieces and squishing them into pebble-like balls. I would prepare a cup of these and then consume them.)

2. Saltines with cheese slices (cheap less-cool Lunchable style)

3. Buttery Tortilla (i.e. melting butter on a white flour tortilla, rolling it up, and trying to eat it before the butter dribbles out. Cinnamon sugar is a plus.)

4. Nachos (i.e. tortilla chips with sliced cheddar melted on top.)

5. Tomato Juice (but NEVER vegetable juice. I can taste the celery.) In a water bottle. Best consumed while laying on bed and reading.

6. Semi-cooked Tortilla Chips (fried corn tortilla triangles that you take out before they are really done because secretly you like the slightly soggy texture.)

Sometimes Los Angeles Makes Me Feel Like...

I may or may not listen to this song at least once every time I commute.