Friday, January 31, 2014
Horse year is suppose to be a fortunate year that brings luck and good things. Sounds excellent!
January, you were good.
Here is how you shook out.
Budget-This month we were able to put over $1,000 away. In just the first month! It makes me kind of sad that this money will be put towards a new kitchen in a home we will not be living in much longer (hopefully), instead of a big trip. In the long run though, it is providential and absolutely the way events should be transpiring.
We have done so, so good on our budget.
The only meals we ate out at were from Subway, and were both less than $15 each, for all 4 of us (+ an Ibotta rebate!)
We only bought what we needed. Which happened to include new clothes and shoes for my kid (growing too fast!). It was all bought on clearance online, and with Ebates rebates (if you haven't signed up please consider clicking my link!) & extra coupon codes + free shipping.
I also committed to helping at the hospital about 12 hours a week, to bring in more income.
We had to get the car serviced ($171), had an enormous electricity bill ($369! usually around $240 as our entire house is electric, we have no other heat source), Our dog had an ear infection ($89), and I have had to get a tank of gas every week to get to work (about $160, but I will be reimbursed for this) . I also decided to support a friend who is running her first 35 mile Ultra Marathon with Team World Vision to provide clean drinking water to those in need ($25).
February's savings should be even better.
Health- I have only managed 1 run a week since working more, but have gotten out hiking or walking at least 4 times a week. I even share at least one of these ( #48Walks on instagram) , each week. My yoga practice is something I do daily, and I have added more meditation thanks to signing up for The Joyful Mother's Mamaste meditation group as part of a personal experiment.
Family- It has been good financially that I am working, but this has come at a personal cost. My son is knee deep in serious separation anxiety. When I leave for work he is crying and begging me "don't leave me, mama!". Luckily he is with his Grandma and she takes excellent care of him. I have to remind myself that this is temporary.
I have been spending my mornings with him distraction free, and have a fun and interesting project or sensory time we can do together. I cannot say if it has helped or not.
House- Oh lord, this one I am making slow, slow progress on. There is such a wide range of things on this list that even when I cross 1 or 2 off a day it seems like they are instantly replaced by something else. Its an infuriating game of whack-a-mole.
I am so pleased with how well we did, and I am pumped about February!
I have many goals for this month,far too many to list here (not to mention some are downright boring..zzzz..) But I will still be focusing on saving, saving, saving & trying to get a few more runs per week in.
How did you do sticking to your goals in January?
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
This decluttering results in a giant pile of stuff. Some will be sold, most will be donated, and some will be upcycled, salvaged, repurposed, DIY'd, and live happily again as something completely different.
I have to be ruthless during the decluttering and reorganizing process.
But let me explain- using things I already have is one of my favorite things. It kind of feels like free in my flawed logic.
I have limited myself to 5 upcycling ideas because I feel pretty confident I can get these done in a reasonable time frame. There a few things we legitimately need, and a few that I just legitimately want. I will be looking through our cast offs with these things in mind, and getting rid of the rest that afternoon.
Without further ado, my 5 upcycling projects:
5.Repurpose an old pair of pants or a skirt into draft dodgers.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
2. Red Dresses- its usually date night, after all! Show off your fitness resolution successes in a brand new red party dress.
5. Twinkle lights. Buy them now for like $1.00 per box and twinkle light your place up for a romantic evening.
I've already gotten the twinkle lights and the tissue paper, and will be making a few projects to decorate this place up for Valentine's day. The best thing about these projects? They are less than $1.00 each to make now that I have done my clearance shopping.
Creativity is important when you are on a budget. A budget does not mean you shouldn't have a good time, celebrate, give gifts, or decorate for holidays. It just means you have to be a bit more creative. From that necessity the very best ideas are borne.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Of course, Saturdays are always tricky for me as I have to shift gears quickly to keep the kids entertained alone. My husband works Saturdays, so I am on my own.
Even though all I actually want to do once a Saturday rolls around is lay on the couch drinking tea and reading something interesting, that is not going to be a reality for several more years. I am ok with that. Especially if I remember that when I get the time to myself I crave it will mean that my babies will be all grown, and I will be missing these days.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Everyone has that store.
Protip #1: Input the amount of the item before you put it in the basket.
Protip#2: Do not give this calculator to your toddler halfway through the shopping trip and expect an accurate balance. Bring them their very own or;
Friday, January 10, 2014
When I was 13-16 I remember fantasizing about college. Getting out on my own, what would that look like?
I would get a solid amount. I would reach a happy balance. I would feel really quite pleased with myself that I had it all figured out. It was a great comfort at that time. I knew when the time came I would make it just fine.
It is not always easy, though.
This year we have made travel a priority. To do this though, we will have to follow a pretty strict budget.
It may feel like the budget is in control for a while, but every step closer to the goal makes a difference. Even if it is only a tiny step forward, forward is the right direction.
The control you show today directly affects the freedoms you will have tomorrow!
Thursday, January 9, 2014
I feel like I've read this story before.
The heroine starts out on an epic quest, determined and focused on her goal. Nothing can stop her (you may even wish to add a cape to this heroine if it helps) from reaching it.
Then inevitably her best laid plans are thwarted.
At this point, said heroine, always finds her feet and ultimately defeats that which has sought to destroy her. Right?
Have you read this story too?
What I'm really trying to say is, I am experiencing quite a setback.
Just in the 1st week of 2014 I managed to put $375 into our savings. The next night, I discovered a very, very bad home repair issue. It is so bad that we will have to tear part of the floor in the kitchen up! There is costly home repair and then there is costlyhomerepair(!).
Despite being a bit discouraged, I am so thankful for these reasons:
1. I never liked that kitchen anyway. It functioned well, so I didn't mess with it too much. This is obviously a sign from the Universe telling me I have put up with it long enough.
2. This home will eventually be a rental home, a kitchen update will bring in more rent. Eventually. It is something that we can tick off the list of things we need to do to get this house rental ready.
3. I have been working at the hospital quite a lot this month, which is extra income that will hopefully help offset this new expense. Sure we might not get too far ahead, but we are also probably not going to move backwards either. Grateful that the opportunity came up.
4. Its super fun to play around designing new spaces. This is excellent motivation.
I will be having contractors come to look at it on Friday. At which time I may have an actual freak-out.
I'll get back to you.
Monday, January 6, 2014
This works all the time for my kids.
Bonus points for combining several of these in one day!
3.Take a walk. Walking boosts endorphins in as little as 10 minutes.
5. Do yoga.
6. Find a quiet place and just be.
8. Play a game.
9. Call a friend or family member. Bonus points for skyping.
10. Play with your kids. Then hug them, a lot.
11. Take a bath.
12. Drink something hot. Even if it is just water with a lemon.
13. Write something.
14. Draw something.
15. Help someone else out.
16. Go play outside. Nature is the original stress reducer.
17. Find a source of water. Rivers, lakes, creeks, ponds, or ocean. Doesn't matter, just find some and do what you want in or near it.
18. Breathe deeply.
19. Visit the library, read in a quiet corner.
20. Stretch your body.
21. Say something nice to yourself, and mean it.
22. Take a nap!
23. Do toe-ga. (Warning: if feet kinda skeeve you out- skip this one)
24. Take a hike.
25. Go for a run.
I could really keep going on and on. You don't need money to beat stress. You just need to prioritize your time!
What are some of your thrifty stress busters?