Category Archives: Budget for Success

Will You?

YOU CAN Now that I’ve been getting back to running and participating in the #100byVDay challenge from the Tone It Up girls, so far I’m pretty much on track for the 6 week challenge. I decided I need a more concrete and measurable goal, other than just mileage.

I am going to combine my need to cut back on clothing purchases with dropping some pounds. I am not going to buy any new clothes/shoes/accessories until I reach my goal weight of 139#, this is approximately 13#. My date goal is by the end of March. When I accomplish this, I will reward myself with a little rose gold diamond half eternity band ( I found one on ebay for around $200- ), I’m really all about the rewards. This will add some sparkle to my wedding ring set, remind me of my healthy lifestyle and hopefully keep me on track so I don’t get back to this predicament again.

This spending freeze will not include second hand stuff.  I know I have to get a shopping fix somewhere and I can’t spend more than $50-/month on thrift/ebay/goodwill. Also I can use gift cards from my credit rewards which is like free money and doesn’t count right?

Since we are stuck in this polar vortex in the Midwest, running outside will not happen until we thaw out in spring.  I’m stuck on the treadmill. The treadmill is about as boring as you can imagine, thankfully I have Netflix and I can watch movies/shows while running and it’s a great distraction. I make little deals with myself, like I am only allowed to watch the shows or movies if I am on the treadmill. I can always churn out an extra mile or two if I’m in the middle of a good show or movie, even if the run turns into a walk, it’s still exercise right? I am so looking forward to Season 2 of House of Cards, but that doesn’t come out until the challenge is over in Mid-February. I need something NOW! I had heard that Orange is the New Black was quite an entertaining show, and I gave it a shot. Even though I didn’t think I was going to like it, as I’ve never really enjoyed prison movies at all, I was hooked after about 10 minutes. I found this series is based on a book, a true story, wow, crazy! What rock have I been living under?

What are you watching now? Do you make deals with yourself to accomplish goals? Have you ever given a show or movie a try that you didn’t think you would like, but then ended up totally addicted?

Fitness February – Admitting Defeat

This month was lots of traveling, then cold cozy weather when we were home. So that all added up to not meeting my fitness goals. I’m not going to dwell on it. I’m just going to pick myself up and move on.

I am hoping that I can get back on track with my running next month. This month I need to adjust my goal from 50 miles to 25, right now I stand at 12.5 miles, so if I can hit 25 that will be a win in my book.

As for eating, my snacking has been completely out of control. I am going to focus on just eating my meals and maybe one snack a day. I have gotten in the bad habit of snacking after dinner and that needs to change or I know I won’t be seeing any positive results.

Expense tracking was also a bust for February. I need to get back on track in March. I did pretty good in January, so I know it is possible. Maybe if I can break it down to weekly spending, then do more frequent updates, I will feel more accountable.

On a positive note, I haven’t really spent much money frivilously. I had the plan that I wanted a new wallet (which my mom bought for me at the Cole Haan outlet in St. Augustine, Florida) and I needed a new pair of comfy black ballet flats (I purchased at the Easy Spirit outlet-sheesh, I’m getting old, but I promise they are quite cute). The shoes are leather and have a fashionable quilted pattern and I really like them. I’ve been wearing boots lately, but once this snow melts I think they’ll be great for everyday with black pants. Black pants are pretty much my work staple. I own quite a few dresses, which I am trying to get in the habit of wearing a skirt or dress to work at least twice a week, just to mix it up.

Hope everyone has a happy Friday! I am ready to be done with this week and get some work done at home this weekend. After a week of vacation and a long weekend out of town there is plenty of laundry to keep my busy.

November Expense Tracking FAIL

Another month, another spend tracking fail. I started doing so well, I tracked everything I spent for the first half of the month. Then B started paying for some things, groceries, dinners out, random stuff and I realized what’s the point of my tracking if I don’t track B’s? Then I just sort of gave up.

Going to try again in December with B on board. Maybe by January, I’ll get it right.

The exercise and diet was also a bust. I got sick and didn’t feel well, stupid winter colds. So I just let myself rest and take a break. I don’t think I’m too far off track, but most likely will not make my weight loss goal this month.

I’m keeping my goals for the end of the year. I also have 9 Hot Yoga classes to finish before the end of the year, they are no longer doing roll-over when you purchase a new package and this annoys me to no end. Enough that once I finish this package I will not return there. They used to be so nice and accommodating. I vow to use all classes, then good-bye Hot Yoga, it’s been a nice ride. On to BalletCore and Zumba!

Weekend Update and Making Due

B likes to see movies, as in if he had his way, we’d be at the theatre weekly. I prefer to see movies at home with our own popcorn, where I can tear up in private. I love a heart breaker emotional story, but I prefer to keep those emotions out of public. Anyhow, I do enjoy the big dramatic action films on the big screen. I was quite excited when our local theatre put in an IMAX, I don’t mind paying a little more for that fantastic experience a few times a year. We are looking forward to seeing the latest Batman this evening, opening weekend has it’s own energy. However when I listened to the news this evening, there was a shooting at a theatre during this film. Senseless, tragic, heartbreaking, why?

Change of thought.  As we head to Alaska I think the countdown is between 40-45 days, yay!, we had a few necessary travel purchases. B needed a jacket that could withstand some rain and we found some nice deals at Dick’s Sporting Goods, check that off the list. I was less than thrilled with B’s camera that we used on our honeymoon to Hawaii last year, and for some crazy reason I can not find our video camera. So I thought, maybe I should just get a nicer camera that does both! How efficient of me! We aren’t getting a balcony room (when will I ever give that up) so we are saving sooo much money! I could totally justify that purchase, I even asked my facebook friends for recommendations and I had lots of options to choose. That is until I mentioned it to B. Well he was less than excited when I mentioned getting a new camera (given how rarely we use our current cameras, yes I meant plural, I forgot I have a decent Canon powershot). Once I realized that I probably wouldn’t use a new camera that much, and my sister-in-law already told me I could borrow her nice Canon Rebel slr, this was a frivolous and unnecessary expense. Also given how well I manage to take care of electronics (see above misplaced video camera), I had to admit this was not a wise use of our money at this time.  Maybe I will borrow a camera (and take better care of it that normal) and use that as a test run to see if I would like to make a spendy purchase.  Maybe I will just use my powershot? Either way, I have avoided an added expense and feel good about the decision. It feels good to make due.

From Designer to Sales to Thrifting?

I’ve always thought that Goodwill was just a place to drive around to the back of the store and drop off my bags and boxes of unused… dare I say…Crap? (clothes that don’t fit or are out of style, electronics that have been since upgraded, knick-nacks that need a new home, gifts that have never been used).

However since I stumbled on a blog called Thrift and Shout I see the potential for going in the actual, gasp, front door of the store! I have discovered that my Target must have a policy to donate clearanced out items (probably a nice write-off for their bottom line) so there are often clothing items or home goods direct from Target new with tags. It’s really exciting. In the past month I have found a few items for my closet:

1) Brand new tissue weight t-shirt from Target (love these light weight t’s for either working out or sleeping – cost $2.99

2) Finity (that’s the brand) navy work pants – navy is a hard color to find in work pants, and these have a little stretch in them so they fit great, these looked like they had never been worn – cost $5.99

3) The Limited bright pink summer pants – these are fun, but bold, I don’t normally go with the trends, but for $5.99 I couldn’t pass them up. With a neutral top I don’t feel so flashy.

4) Banana Republic floral button up blouse – I wore a cami underneath because the top was a little sheer, thank goodness! this was funny, because the buttons don’t seem to want to stay buttoned, they are a shell type material and a couple times during the day, I would find my shirt was open all the way, oops! Now I think I know why this shirt ended up at Goodwill. $3.99, still pretty, maybe I can wear it over a dress as a sort of open jacket?

5) Banana Republic floral t-shirt – I haven’t worn this yet, I wish I would’ve tried it on in the store, because it’s just sort of meh- Cost $2.99

6) White House / Black Market black jeans – I was really excited to find these, they look like they have been washed a couple times, but not really “used” the back pockets have a nice detail on them, and these pants fit me well, I was really happy to find them. $5.99

7) Silver necklace, it has a really pretty chain, but  a big pendant that I want to remove but for $1.99, it is work a little DIY time 🙂

So I spent a few dollars frivilously, but seriously getting so many quality items for such low prices, really makes me re-think shopping retail.

Everytime I drop a bag of items around the back of the store, I get a coupon for 20% off along with my receipt for donation, now I’m actually using the coupons, and having a lot of fun saving money.

June 2012 Challenge

This year has been going well. Our net worth goal for the year is $520K, and we are on track to hit it early! However, I haven’t been doing daily money tracking, I’m more of an overview picture type budgeter. I love to look at monthly details, and I really should keep track of mine, I’ve known this for years and never made it though the month. So that is one of my goals for June.

Also I have been slacking on the running, my knee has been giving me a little pain and I just have been lacking the whole workout motivation. Somehow I feel that June is a month to really get back on track. I am posting the goal of either running or walking 50 miles this month. This is an average of 1.67 miles a day, I know some days will be more, some will be less. But starting tomorrow, it’s ON.

Ok, one more goal for the month. We really want to get active with our side network marketing business, and I know that can’t happen unless I start telling people about it. So this month, I am going to talk to 10 people about it. Sure I know it won’t be for everone, but how will I know unless I talk about it? It has helped my allergies and my dad has been taking the heart health formula and his cholesterol is down 30 points in one month. He is only taking half of what they recommend.

Three goals, one month, how will I do? Stay tuned.


Don’t wait to experience joy and happiness

I am a firm believer that delayed gratification is sweeter. Have you all heard of the marshmellow test?  Yet, I also believe that you should experience joy and happiness in your everyday life.  I’m not saying that you should skip the mortgage payment for a shopping trip at the mall, no not that at all. What I’m saying is that sometimes we (those seeking FI) often postpone things or experiences with the idea that we will have plenty of time in the future to do those things, right now I’ll just keep my head down, work my little fingers off, eat ramen and enjoy life later. That’s all well and good (I like ramen once in a while too) , but what about today, this week, aren’t you going to get a little burned out?

As we are on this path to FI, I am going to squeeze some joy into my day. I am finding more things that bring me joy and I’m doing them, easy at that. Not all of these things / experiences are free, but I’m worth a little splurge on this road of saving, it’s part of my style 😉

Here is a list of things that I enjoy, and here’s my plan to incorporate them into my life.

1. Enjoy nature, take walks, visit botanical gardens. I love to look at gardens, but when it comes to weeding and taking care of them, no thank you, I’ll leave that to the professionals. How do I plan to incorporate this into my life, well, I plan to take at least one outdoor walk each week, I know that I should do more, but I know I can commit to at least one, and everything else will be a bonus. I have a few trails I enjoy, and I might scope out some new ones. Also we are going to be doing a little traveling later this summer, and I am putting the butchart botanical gardens on the itinerary.

2. Hot Yoga once every week or two. Now this is a pricey(to me) class, between $10-$20 a class depending how many sessions you purchase. But when I go, I feel a bit of sweaty luxury, I tune into my body and feel calm and serenity. I also am going to do a few yoga moves each night before bed. Just a little peaceful time to unwind and be grateful for my day. Maybe as I get more attune to the flow of poses, I will go down to just a class a month, or I will just do yoga on my own. Who couldn’t use a little more serenity in their life? However this is a barefoot class and I’ve been noticing all the well kept ladies with their pretty toes, which leads me to my next treat….this could very well spiral out of control….

3. Pedicures – I’m not talking the fancy smancy $60-$100 “spa experience.” I’m talking the cheap one in the strip mall for $20 that includes a bubbly foot soak and a quick hot rock leg rub down. The last time I had a pedicure was probably two years ago and I do miss this little treat. I’ve been thinking about treating myself to this little luxury for a few weeks now, and since it is quickly becoming sandal weather. I will put this on my luxury treat list for between 2-4 times per year.

Do you think I am being too frivolous with my indulgences? We’ll see how this affects my savings, will I still be able to stay on track with all my goals. Will these treats cause me to stray from saving in other ways? Or will these little pick-me-ups be just the small treats I need to stay the course? Time will tell, and I’ll report back.