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!
- Have more “no spending” days than days when I spend money. The minimum goal is 15, but I’ll take more!
- Only spend according to my strict budget (I am supposed to do this every month actually). See below for budget.
- 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).
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!)
Other…………..$300 (the goal is to keep this as low as possible by not spending)
What goals do you have for the short month?
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!
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