Making Things Balance

I love making our budget balance.  I think that using that as a guide gives me peace of mind.  I know that I can do something, spend something, take care of a need when I know everything is balanced. Quicken and Quickbooks are excellent for the daily planner like me.

But planning long term doesn't seem to be my forte.  I can save up for something in the short term, but long term goals seem lost on me. It seems that something always comes up that prevents me from saving for that big trip or big ticket item.  I always relied on making payments.  It's an easy way not to sacrifice and scrimp.  I need to figure out a way to save and not be able to touch it.

This week in review:  Costco has become my favorite place to save.  I usually stick to my list and come out with items we use at a much lower cost.  I have been comparing per ounce sizes of many items between Costco and Pavilions and I'm pleasantly surprised at the savings.  I've been able to stock up on toilet paper, pap…

How To Give Your Budget A Kick In The Pants

Multi-Tasking Doing things step by step is a good idea.  We follow Dave Ramsey's principals.  It keeps you focused on one single goal.  Multi-tasking is not my forte, so I've learned to do one thing well and when it is finished move on to the next thing. In life, this doesn't always work.  With three kids, sometimes I need to do three things at once.  Usually no one gets my full attention and nothing is completed quickly or accurately.  Sometimes I don't even hear what they say.  So to focus on one child at a time while the other two wait, works much better for me. Even in cooking when the rice needs to cook while the chicken is baking and the veggies need to be steamed, I usually get two of the three done and we end up waiting for the third thing to finish cooking.  Our home budget had been humming along in slow mode.  Small deposits going into multiple tiny sinking funds, for future purchases: Christmas, auto repairs, animals, accountant, insurance.  Nothing was ge…

The Budget Committee Meeting

This week in our Financial Peace class we talk about a spending plan or "budget".  Even though I'm facilitating the class, I'm doing the homework and following the spending plan as well.  I should be doing this faithfully anyway, right?!  This week our assignment was to prepare the budget for May and present it to the budget committee meeting.

Since I'm the nerd, I prepared the budget and presented it to my free spirit husband. 
It was the first time in a very, very long time that we had this meeting.  I generally take care of the household finances.  As long as we have food on the table and the bills get paid, he's happy to trust me.  I like this since I'm a micro-manager when it comes to money.  But that is a shortcoming of mine that I need to work on.  I want the plan to go my way without anyone messing with it.  I know real mature!  Since we have a partnership, it is/was a great idea to work on this together.  We had a great talk and I felt like we are …

A day in the life of a grocery shopper

4/28/13  Sunday was a good day.  DD#2 sang in church, very cute.  After church I taught my 2nd Dave Ramsey FPU class.  It is going well.  I think it is making classmates think about their money more.  They all have different reasons for coming to the class.  But paying more attention to where their money is going will at least give them some options for making changes. Savings is definitely high on their lists, but didn't prior to this seem to be a priority. After class, I used my envelopes and got my cash out for groceries.  A few good things were on sale, so I stocked up.  I planned more than a week's worth of dinners.  There's lots of ideas for breakfasts.  So next week should be a little lighter.  The only thing that will need to be added next week is lunch stuff and fresh produce.   The total was $187, so I dipped into the auto fuel cash a bit.  My classmates seem to think $160 is quite low for groceries per week for a family of 5. I am still shocked when my bill get…

Kids, Work, and Me?

The days when your children are in elementary school are full.  Too full sometimes.  I sometimes get to 9pm and realize I've hardly sat down.  Not a lot of me time in there.  Balancing kids, work, relationships with husband and friends, and me time isn't easy.  Sometimes I just need a time-out.  That is what I did.  I snuck away and read my book last night and enjoyed a bit of quiet time.  Yes, dinner was late and yes the kids went to bed late, but I still spent time with DH and got to bed at a reasonable time.
When I focus too much on a certain part of life, mainly financial, I create unbalance.  I've found that prayer and refocused attention has greatly reduced anxiety.  Thinking about other parts of life give me joy.  I've been baking more, playing more, reading more, enjoy friends more.

Today the dog is going to the groomer.  He needs it.  I love having a dog that doesn't shed.  Paying for someone else to groom him might not be someone elses idea of frugalism,…

Homemade Pizza and Dental Expenses

March 13 - Lots of homemade and partially homemade goodies lately.  I made homemade pizza dough and turned it into pizza pinwheels.  Then we have had 3 days of bento box type lunches.  It's been fun to get ideas off of pinterest and bento box websites.  Abby seems to have enjoyed all the lunches so far.  You'd think all the homemade items would save me money, but actually our grocery budget has been going up, up, up.  I set aside $160 for this week and blew through that and another $30 before Wednesday.  I had to make another run for butter, sour cream, and cheese for our baked potato bar tonight and that plus a few other items ran up another $40.  So now just this week, we are up to $230 for FOOD!  Next week won't be a light week because we are out of all meat in the freezer and I'll need to get at least ground beef and chicken, plus all the other odds and ends.  I'm really going to have to sit down with the budget and take a long look at our grocery consumption.

Starting October's Training

I know, I know.  It's been a long time since I've blogged publicly.  I haven't stopped writing, just haven't published anything.
My health and well-being has really been on my mind lately.  The business is plugging along.  We've been gearing up for our busy season in our family with three birthdays and a Halloween party.  Beefing up and spending out the sinking funds for gifts and parties.  I've also started a new taxes fund (real exciting), so that we won't get stuck with a big tax bill again next year.  I've been more focused on me and not quite so stressed about money which is a good thing.
I've lost 18 lbs so far in my quest to become stronger and sexier!  ha!  I feel like I'm getting more out of the gym classes than I've ever gotten.  I worked more on my arms this week and boy do I feel it!  
Today, 10/18/12 I started a couch potato to 5K training regimen   It starts out slowly and builds up to a full 5 K run over many weeks.  Today I just…