Monthly Archives: January 2015

On your mark, get set…February!

Tomorrow is a celebration of my 6 month-long endurance as a football widow! Some may call it the Super Bowl; I have termed it “The final day of the missing husband”. It is also the first day of February! Every February, I take advantage of the shorter month to pull back and try to spend the least amount possible. I’ve done different versions of this each year; here are the rules I will engage this year!

  1. Have more “no spending” days than days when I spend money. The minimum goal is 15, but I’ll take more!
  2. Only spend according to my strict budget (I am supposed to do this every month actually). See below for budget.
  3. Track all spending by daily blog entries outlining where my money went for all my readers to see (and judge! yes, I am giving permission).

Budget:
Gas…………….$350 (hopefully prices stay low and I can save money in this area)
Food……………$525 (about $131 a week)
Eating out…….$200 (This is mostly for my hubby who refuses to brown bag!)
Medical………..$75
Other…………..$300 (the goal is to keep this as low as possible by not spending)

What goals do you have for the short month?

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January Recap

It’s a rainy Friday where I live today. I’ve had the desire to remain in bed since my alarm went off at 6am. To stay motivated, I created a list of thing to get done today so that I don’t sleep the day away. Number 4 on my list is blogging, so here we go. I decided to recap January since it is practically over. There has been a few successes and many failures this month. Lets review:

Finance: Save for trips and 6 months/in-case-of-life fund –  Win!
We did pretty well in this category thanks to a surprise bonus my husband received. Current savings: $1,433 (increased by $1,200). I’m 5% towards my goal!

Health: Lose 20 lbs and keep it off! – Fail!
I literally worked out once in the month of January and last night had cookies for dinner.

Health: Learn two new recipes a month (one allergy friendly that my kids) – Win mostly
This month, I tried two new recipes (stuffed bell peppers and stuffed chicken). In the words of my daughter, “This actually tastes good, Mom!” For the most part, I enjoyed it. The chicken was nerve-racking because I never can tell when it’s done. I rewarded myself by purchasing a thermometer to help with that issue. The fail comes with the allergy friendly recipes. I tried barley, baked beans and vegan pizza all which my son refused to eat. 😦 I am really at a loss when it comes to him.

Health/Finance: Meal plan weekly with at least 4 servings of fruits and veggies! – some progress
I only meal planned one week this month, but I have been offering veggies and fruit at each meal. No one is really eating the fruit and veggies but me. Much work needs to be done in this area.

Family: Teach my daughter 23 basic rules to reading phonetically – some progress
I have found an online tutoring service that she’ll start next week. I am hoping to see some progress. I tried working with her, but think I might be mildly dyslexic myself. There was a moment we were both struggling with the “e” vs. “i” sound while my husband and son thought we were insane. We’ll get it together!

Family: Ensure my son transitions well to kindergarten – some progress
We have a speech therapy assessment coming for him as well as his kindergarten placement assessment this month. It will be interested to see how he does.

Other:  Blog at least two times a week – FAIL! Well, this month has been better than some other months.

I am excited to do better in February!

Rethinking the budget, again!

I probably spend way too much time obsessing over our budget. In an ideal world, I’d be throwing every penny I have into paying off our mortgage and truly being debt free. However, I know myself. I could easily lose track of the important things in life on a quest to eradicate debt. What does Suze Orman say, “People first, then money”? My family should be a priority when I look at how we spend money. And myself! Hey, I am a person too, right? So with that, I have decided to automatically contribute to an IRA account. Its only going to be $150 a month, but I thought I should start some where. Since I don’t have a 401K at work anymore, its important that I do this. I should be maxing out my IRA, but that is a goal for another year. If there is any money left over at the end of the year, I will trying to add more.

Financial Goals for 2015
Roth IRA – $1,800
College funds for the kids ($100 a month per kid) – $2,400
6 months emergency fund – $20,000
DC trip (summer) – $4,000
Louisiana trip (Thanksgiving) – $4,000
Total money to save this year: $32,200

Savings to date: $228.41
Cash back from credit card: $55.04
Savings from 1/9 paycheck: $173.37
Needed to goal: $31,971.59