January 2018 – Goals

January Goals:

  • Pay off my Capital One card
  • Do not go out for dinner more than 3 times
  • Pack our lunches for work
  • Continue to Simplify/Declutter/Minimize Our Home & Possessions

Our January Plan

Our first goal for January is to pay off one of our credit cards. Currently, we owe $745.01 on it. We are going to give it all we got to pay it off by the end of the month. My husband is going to be picking up some extra hours. We are going to be cutting as many things as possible to stretch our budget. This is a large but achievable amount for us. We are so excited at the thought of getting rid of this debt!

I am finishing up our budget binder today that we will be using as a tool going forward. I will put up a post about this soon once I have it finished. I’m really excited about this! We are also using the app “Every Dollar” and I write down all of our due dates in my day planner as well. This helps us to stay on budget and to make sure that our bills are paid on time. We are attempting to use up the things that we already own so that we will spend less. We are going to go through everything in our pantry, fridge, and freezer to use up what we already have. This will help us to lower our food costs even more for this month.

We have one dinner out planned for our oldest daughter’s birthday. She is still deciding on where she wants to go. Last I heard she was thinking sushi. We are secretly hoping not to have to use the other two nights but we wanted to make sure we had some wiggle room in case something crazy happens such as illness or a super late work night.

We are going to plan ahead each week when making the grocery list to include easy to grab breakfast items and items to pack for lunch. We have been tracking our finances and we both spend too much on buying food and beverages on work days. We have discovered that we are the death by $10 type. We take the time to really consider larger purchases but we never second guess those small purchases like a donut and coffee for breakfast. Packing our lunches and planning ahead for breakfast will help with two goals. We will be saving money and potentially making better choices about what we are eating.

The last bit of our plan is to continue our trip toward minimalism and simplifying our home and lives. We will be doing the 30-day minimalism challenge. I read about this on The Minimalists and have been wanting to try it. I don’t have anybody doing it with me. I just plan to try to make it through the 30 days because I think it will be good for our family and our home, especially after Christmas. The idea is that you get rid of one item on day 1, two items on day 2, three items on day 3, and so on until you hit day 30 on which you would get rid of 30 items. I have been considering this challenge for quite a while. As many of you know I have been making it a point over the last year to push myself to do things that I want to do but avoid because they are hard or not part of the social norm. This is one of those things that I know is going to be really difficult by the end. Just finding the time each day to complete the challenge will be difficult. I intend to take a photo each day and keep a running list of what I got rid of to share with all of you once a week. Wish me luck!

Here’s a link to the minimalism game: https://www.theminimalists.com/game/ 

A Year Without Cable!

It’s officially been a year without cable! Wow, time really flies by! In all honesty we don’t miss it at all. We missed it for about a month and then it was like we never had it to begin with. It’s funny that we thought we would miss it but in reality I’m much happier without it. We spend more time together, reading, and outdoors. It’s amazing how distracted our lives truly were and it’s sad that we never realized it until the distraction was gone. This was also quite a financial gain as well. We used to spend around $80 a month on cable. In the last year we have saved $960! I also know my kids better, have learned a couple of new skills, and surprisingly it lowered the overall family stress level. Now I’m not saying that during finals I was not stressed but overall our home life is calmer.

Miserly Moms

My third book of the year was “Miserly Moms – Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy” by: Jonni McCoy. This book is packed full of great ideas to help a family save money on the basics. There are recipes, crafts, and tips that you can use.

This book is about saving for what you want. Her personal story was that she wanted to stay at home with her kids and the things in this book helped her to do that. I get the pride in that. However, I didn’t expect that there would be so many comments on staying at home with your kids but she did include a chapter for parents who do work which made me feel a little better. I skipped the testimonials from stay-at-home moms in the first chapter. I like working. I tried the stay-at-home mom thing and it was so not for me. For those who do enjoy it or want to try it this book has information in it that you may enjoy.

On a side note: If you borrow this book be prepared to take notes. If you buy this book you may want post-its to mark pages. There are some truly awesome things in here!