Do you ever have those interactions with a peer that just leave you feeling crummy? For whatever reason, whether it's self induced feelings of inadequacy, ignorance, or just a feeling of slight jealousy? As I "near the age of 30" I definitely have those moments. Somewhere along the line I adopted this idea that I was supposed to be in a certain place in my life by the time I reached "this" age. There were things that I was supposed to have accomplished or succeeded at. I'm not sure where this list of things or how the idea of being a certain person came to be imbedded in my mind. Heck, I'm not even sure what this list of things includes! But I wish it hadn't. Somedays it makes me feel lazy, unworthy, stupid, unmotivated, dissatisfied or a little like a failure.
But who's expectations are these? and why are they weighing down on my with so much pressure?
I mentioned this feeling to a friend the other day and she just stopped and starred at me in disbelief. And I get it, I shouldn't feel defeated by my self imposed expectations. After all,
I know you aren't supposed to use the words "always" and "never." Because I don't "always" wear my seatbelt - but almost always. And S doesn't "never" switch out the empty toilet paper roll with a new one - just almost "never."
But I feel like I "always" try to budget well - and I "never" seem to have quite enough the way I want it.
Like this month - I thought I was doing so well on my way to saving a wad of cash until the "always" unexpected came us and soaked up "all" of my planned savings for the month PLUS some!
So here's to one more tank of gas this month, only $100 for the grocery store and well, that's about it folks! No more spending for me this month.
It's my goal this month to save $350 IN ADDITION to my regular monthly savings.
A lofty goal...
We are almost 1/2 way through the month (I only get paid monthly, so it makes it easy to plan) and I may just be on track to make my goal. But that means no DIY projects that require purchases. Because I don't really think that my bank account will understand that I SAVED money by spending money to build a new console table. Even though the supplies will probably cost around $45 - that's $45 that I would rather put into savings right now. So I'll try to patiently wait until next month to build my little project - and maybe if I budget well I can still save my $350 extra and still do the DIY project....
I found this great blog and it empowers me to see women doing these amazing things! Back in September I "built" a headboard for our guest bedroom. And I have to admit, it is fabulous!
The best part was the expression on S's face when he got home from work and found me in the garage painting what he thought was OUR head
board from the Master bedroom. Nope. It was a new and awesome headboard for the guest room! I think he was most freaked out to realize that I was using the table saw (and still had all my fingers) and that I had done something so cool.
I really want some new furniture but I prefer to not spend a fortune right now - which means, no new furniture. Unless....I can build it fo
r significantly less cost. With the warmer weather out lately, it means I could spend some time in the garage while Seth is at work and build myself a console table and/or bookshelves!
So in my quest to save money I did something fun this weekend. And not only did I save about $60 but I didn't spend a lot of time doing it!
I'm in need of some new work pants. I have a few pairs of black pants - that fit in a variety of ways. Some are short and I wear ballet flats. Some are tight and it has to be a "skinny" day to wear them. Others are wide legged, and one is a really nice pair of sleek pants that I have to wear heels with. Aside from my small army of black pants, however, I have few lower body garment options. I love how my gray Express Editor pants fit and thought about heading to the mall to check out any possible sales or clearance pants knowing that I would still spend $40 on a pair of pants.
Well, instead of going to the mall I decided to hit up the local Goodwill. Thankfully my local Goodwill happens to be smack dab in the middle of a very affluent neighborhood in Denver. When I first moved to Denver 6 years ago I frequented this Goodwill and often found some surprising pieces. It's like the designer or name brand Goodwill. It's awesome.
I didn't have super high hopes, but I thought I would just pop in to see what they had. I found....
...a step stool, that is necessary for reaching my shoes in my closet and some of my dishes/spices/cooking pans in the kitchen. It will look so great when I get a chance to paint it!
...some awesome (we'll pretend their vintage) necklaces in blue, green and a funky gray. They had some amazing pieces and so many!
...these almost brand new looking Express Editor brown patterned pants! Perfect for work and in my size! I just need to hem the bottoms a bit and they are ready to wear!
All this for $22!! I don't know if it was just my lucky day or if I will always find these awesome deals at my local, yet posh, Goodwill. Either way, I think I might have to make the Goodwill a more regular stop on my shopping days!
In an effort to reign in the spending and start an aggressive savings plan, I am tempted to start a system that makes me reliant on cash. Let me explain.
When we were kids my parents would give us money. It was our responsibility to divide the money into "giving," "savings," and "other" envelopes. It was a way to teach budgeting and making good financial decisions by prioritizing how you use your money. The first division of the money always went to the "giving" envelope which was then used as our offering at church on Sunday. Savings was always second and then whatever was left over was ours to spend.
Well, I feel as if I have made a budget every month, but when it comes down to the end of the month several categories of my budget just never fall into line with what I had wanted to spend. Particularly, groceries and eating out. These categories seem impossible to control. I go to the grocery store, pick up some stuff, swipe the debit card and away I go until two days later when I'm back at the grocery store, picking up some stuff and again swiping the debit card. Before you know it, I've spent (in my opinion) entirely too much money on food for only two people. And yet I still feel like you open the cabinets or fridge and there's nothing to eat!
So I was thinking....If I use the envelope system and literally put cash in an envelope and only pay for groceries out of the cash envelope then when the money is gone that means I'm done. And hopefully I will make smarter decisions when using my cash as I see it quickly dwindle away throughout the month.
Already I've been to the grocery store 3 times this month and it's only January 8th! $75 here, $25 there and I'm already almost 1/2 way through my monthly grocery budget with 23 more days left in the month!
What if I go to the bank and get in cash what my remaining budgeted allotment is and start the envelope system mid month? I might be too chicken to do it. But maybe it would help me get to my savings goal this month (along with no more trips to Target, WalMart, Joann Fabrics, etc).
I wonder if I could get S to do the same with the "dining out" budget? Think of the money we could save!
Do you dare me to try the grocery budget? Maybe if I can show S how much we saved then he'd be willing to try it with other parts of the budget!
Ooh, I think I might be up for the challenge (I am naturally competitive afterall!).
Today, after coming home early from work due to a killer head cold and possible fever, I spent one hour on the couch -- READING! So, that sorta counts for a good thing towards the New Year aspirations, right? Granted I was on the couch, but instead of watching TV I attempted to finish a book that I started back in October!
It's a good one, too. If you are interested in a fresh perspective on the national health care debate, I highly recommend The Healing of America by T.R. Reid.