Wednesday, August 12, 2015

July's Goals Update

July was another crazy month.  I feel like I type those same words every month, and yet, every month feels more crazy than the last.  Maybe it's that way every year in the spring and summer, or maybe it's the hormones, who knows?!  Anyway, July was very productive despite the craziness.  We were able to get the travel trailer ready and packed to travel in August, we got everything priced and loaded to do a flea market in August, we helped a lady that we work with clean out her garage, we had a good bye dinner with friends who are moving to Arizona, we celebrated Howard's second 4th of July, we worked and survived 3 different events here at the museum, I got a bladder infection and was put on some antibiotics which I found out I am allergic to, but survived the worse case of hives I've ever had, and this was in addition to the normal working, cleaning, shopping, coupon clipping, and mommy duties that I normally have.  So, I would say we did good in July.  There were some goals I didn't get to, but hey, that's life right now, and I'm okay with that.  Here's what we crossed off in July...
  1. De-clutter the whole house in January, February, and March -- Done!
  2. Do a Deep-Spring, and Deep-Fall Clean in March and November  As well as keep up with my weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleaning chores. -- I managed to stay caught up on all of my cleaning tasks, as well as the laundry!
  3. Paint the Windows/Sills/Trim in the Kitchen and Nursery. -- Still hasn't happen yet.  Unless we get a cool day in August, it probably won't happen until Fall, when I can open the windows and not cook from the heat.
  1. Write a 'love letter' to Joe each month - I did this again this month.  I wrote him a nice card, and he loved it.  I try really hard to thank him for everything he is doing or trying to do around the house to make sure that he feels appreciated.  It's hard, but I am trying, and I think it makes a BIG difference in our relationship, and our overall mood with each other.
  2. Take a trip to Maine in June with the hubby, and Howard.  Done!
  3. Take a Trip to Ocean City in August -- N/A
  4. Get together with family at least once a month -- Joe and Howard got together with his family while I was working one day, and my dad managed to come over on several days and spend some time with the three of us.  I am hoping to get together with the rest of my family in August, but it will probably be September with every one's work schedules.
  5. Plan and Execute Howard's 1st Birthday Party -- Done!
  1. Have 2 Freezer/Pantry Challenges (January and July), post updates on the blog, and defrost the chest freezer -- Done!  I did not blog about our pantry challenge in July, mainly because what we were eating wasn't really picture and blog worthy.  We ate a LOT of weird combinations of stuff just to get it out of the freezer.  We are going to continue to eat down the freezers and the pantry in August in between our trips away from home.  I am hoping to empty them out even more, and redo our inventory sheets by September.  We do a LARGE flea market the beginning of September every year, and we use most of the money we make stocking up for the winter when I don't work as often.  So, my ultimate goal is to have the pantries and freezers almost empty and then to refill them for the next few months, and update the inventory sheets when I do that.  
  2. Post my Menu Plan, and Weekly Spending Report every week, along with at least 1 other post per week.  This may be an update, a reveal, a recipe, a shopping trip, some Aldi Deals, or a frugal find. -- This goal really fell by the wayside in July.  Not only did I only post 1 menu plan, but I also didn't post any of my pantry challenge updates, or anything else extra.  But sometimes, that's just how it is.  I blog because I enjoy it, I do NOT make a living from it, so sometimes is takes a back burner to working and paying the bills.  It's a serious bummer when that happens, but it does happen.  Hopefully I'll have some free time during our vacations to do a little extra blogging in August!
  3. Plan and execute a 31 days post for October. -- N/A
  1. Lose at least 20 lbs -- So far I am down 18 lbs from what I regained.  I am working hard at making better choices with what I'm eating, and trying to just not eat as much at one sitting.  I am working at getting more protein in my diet, but sometimes that just takes too much time.  It's a process, and I am trying to make it work for me, so we'll see what August brings.
  2. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and do exercise of some kind everyday. -- I am trying to drink more water, but I drink a LOT already, so that it hard for me.  Also, it is really hard to eat healthy when you have a husband and son who refuse green foods, and are rather picky.  If I hard more time and energy after working, I would just make two meals, but I really don't feel like doing that.  I am working hard at creating a core of about 10 or so recipes that we all like, and that I can make healthier on my plate, like tacos, but they can still eat them how they like them.  Unfortunately, it's a lot harder than you might think, since I need the recipes to be budget-friendly, and easy/quick to make as well. 
  1. Do at least 5 Flea Markets throughout the year, and list at least bi-monthly on Amazon/Facebook Yard Sale. -- 2 Flea Market done to date.  I did not list anything in July, and I don't plan to list anything in August, since we will be away more than we are home that month.  We are doing 2 large flea markets, 1 in August, and 1 in September, which we have been gathering and pricing things for this month.  I plan to start listing on Amazon and maybe even ebay again in September
  2. Earn Swagbucks everyday by completing the daily poll, toolbar log-in, and NOSO offers daily.  (Try to earn $10 a month) -- I'm up to 2,068 swagbucks, only 132 more and I can cash in for the $25 Amazon reward! It is a LOT harder to save up for the $25 gift card than it was to earn the $5 ones.  Which is probably why Swagbucks made the switch.  I would like to cash out for this by the end of August, and be well on my way to another before Christmas -- a girl can dream right? 
  3. Set a monthly budget, and coupon and deal shop as needed to stay within our budget. --  We had a little screw up with the budget again this month, I guess twice a year isn't too bad, right?  Anyway, we spent all cash, so I'm not as concerned about it as I might be if we still had credit cards.  So, we ended up spending a little over budget this month, but some how I had the cash in the envelope to cover it, I love and hate when that happens at the same time.  It's nice to have the money to cover the additional expenses, but then you're like, where did this money come from?  So in the end, we will be starting August out with a fresh envelope and cash, and not worrying about how I messed up something somewhere.  I did post my July budget update here.
  4. Put at least an extra $100 a month on Joe's Credit Card starting in May -- I was able to put $200 extra on the credit card this month.  That is such a nice feeling.  At this rate, we should have this paid off in less than 2 years.  That's the plan anyway.  
  1. Scan the huge-a** box of photos we have had since my mom died two and a half years ago, and get them sorted to give to people, as well as put the ones I decide to keep in albums. -- I'm not even planning to work in this until later in the year, possibly not until Fall, we'll see.
  2. Continue to work on Howard's baby book 
  3. Try something new at least once a month and blog about it.  I have a LOT of new recipes and crafts I want to try -- Did not happen again -- I am seriously considering putting this off until next year, but, we'll see.
How was your July?

July's Budget Update 2015

July was a month full of purchases.  It seemed like every time I turned around we needed to buy diapers or wipes.  Even though we use cloth most of the time, we still use disposables during nap and night times and when we are out and about.  I think it was because Joe took Howard out more than usual this past month.  Howard has also finally gotten a break from teething, and that molar finally came in.  So he has been eating up a storm.  He's a grazer, which the doctor said is actually healthier for him than  just eating 3 big meals.  Anyway, because of that, I feel like I am always preparing food for him or feeding him.  I swear that child eats all day, and is still as trim as ever. 

I'm not sure where he gets the skinny genes from, maybe it skips a generation?  So, with all of that going on, in addition to getting ready to sell at a massive flea market, taking care of Joe's grandfather's bills and lawn, taking on double shifts at work, and doing my general house/budget/coupon stuff, things have been a little hairy around here.  But it will all pay off next month when we get some much needed vacation time!  Here's how things worked out in July...
  • Week #1, Part #2: $35.68 oop (part #1 is here), Earned $13 ECB's, $6 Saving Star Rebates
  • Week #2: $113.80 oop, Earned $18 ECB's
  • Week #3: $100.53 oop, Earned $15 ECB's, and $3 Saving Star Rebates
  • Week #4: $32.24 oop, Earned Zero
  • Week #5: $35.05 oop, Earned $7 ECB's
Total OOP: $317.30
Total Earned: $62
Total Remaining from July: Zero!

Weekly Spending Report: 08/02-08/2015

I LOVE having a full grocery money envelope at the beginning of the month, it is always full of such promise.  I get excited in seeing how far I can stretch that money each month, and how many deals I can stock up on!  This month will probably not hold much in the way of deals shopping, as we are away 16 of the 31 days, and that means buying more 'vacation-like' foods.  We'll see how it goes, we will probably eat from the pantry when we are home, and that will balance out the splurging we do before each trip.  This week's shopping was before a trip, hence the high totals.  Next week will be better.  Here's what I ended up with...

  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $11.27 oop, Earned $5 ECB's (not pictured 1 bottle of water with a sports top for Howard to try using, since he will NOT take any kind of sippy cup)
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip: $54.57 oop (no picture, but includes 6 bottles of apple juice, 2 boxes granola bars, 2 boxes pop-tarts, 3 boxes PB wafers, 3 boxes crackers, 2 blocks of cheese, 2 different kinds of frozen individual frozen pizzas, hummus, pistachios, bagels, 2 loaves of bread, and a bag of potato chips)
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $63.21 oop (no picture, but includes 2 reduced danishes from the bakery, a package of Berger cookies, a 6 pk of Howard's Organic Yogurt, Roast beef from the deli, 2 packages of Rice Krispy Treats, a jar of Jif PB, 5 packages of Crystal light mix, a large bag of Cape Cod Reduced Fat Chips, a package of Cheese Penguin Crackers for Howard, a 35 pack of Water Bottles, 10 gallons of Spring Water - since you can't drink the water where we were camping, and 2 packages of Hot dogs)
Total OOP: $129.05
Earned: $5
Total Remaining for August: $170.95