Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 25-31: Weekly To Do List and Menu

I'll a little (ok, A LOT) late on this post, but for good reason. My Mom and sister, Lane were visiting Sunday-Wednesday and we had a blast. However, nothing got done! But It's 4pm on Wednesday and they are back home in Florida, and I'm here trying to catch up on my week. So first here's the menu for Wednesday-Saturday:

Wednesday: Chicken Quesadillas, Yellow Rice, Corn

Thursday: David has duty, so probably Chicken nuggets and Easy Mac for me!

Friday: Breakfast (Grits, Eggs, Bacon)

Saturday: A group of girlfriends and I are hosting a Halloween Party at our house!

OK, and now for the To Do's:

Last weeks:
1. Start working on re-organizing the garage, this will be done a few minutes each day, and the mostly on the weekend when David can help me. Yes, and it looks great and is much more convenient!

2. Finish my "Bat Project". Did work on it, but didn't complete it.

3. Wash my truck-although this one is sort of depending on the weather. It needs to be washed, but it's been too cold lately to get out there and do it. Um, no. Didn't even try to do it!

4. Re-Organize the pantry and make a list of all Holiday baking needs. Yes!

5. Deep clean my office. Yes!

6. Take and post pictures of my Halloween Decor!!! Not yet, but I have a good reason. I bought a few more things, but they are paper and it's supposed to rain. So I will finish up Halloween morning and take pictures that night it all it's glory.

And now for this weeks! This one is a dozy since the Party is Saturday.
1. Clean the house and get it ready for the party.

2. Get the garage decorated.

3. Bake 4 dozen cupcakes, and 2 batches of Rice Krispie Treats.

4. Take pictures of the decor before the party.

Have a great week!

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 25-31 Menu

It's already the last week of October!!! This is a fun week at our house, my sister Lane and my Mom (and their dog Buster) are here visiting while Daddy it out of town for work. They will be here until Wednesday, and then on Saturday we're having a huge Halloween party here. I'm super excited-I love Halloween. So here's the plan for this week:

Sunday: Spaghetti, Green Beans, Garlic Bread

Monday: Out to Dinner

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken, Potatoes, Broccoli

Wednesday: Breakfast (Grits, Eggs, Bacon, Toast)

Thursday: Chicken Taco Manicotti

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: PARTY!

Have a great week!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Productive Day!

Whoa, am I tired! But I've gotten a lot done today, and it's only 4:30. David started his motorcycle safety course today, and since he wasn't going to be working out before work, I made him breakfast. So my day started about 5:30am! My normal wake up isn't until about 7-ish. But I love days when I get up early, I seem to get a lot done. Then later in the morning I called my mom, who told me that she and my sister are coming to stay with me Sunday-Wednesday for Lane's Fall Break!!! I am thrilled. I haven't seen them since the 2nd, and I didn't think I'd get to see them again until Thanksgiving so I am super excited about that. Daddy can't come, he has to work and stay there to take care of the animals.

That sent me into a cleaning frenzy! Now, mind you, I stay home all day and clean regularly but when I know someone is coming over I kick it up a few notches. Today I managed to vacuum all the baseboards, air vents, window sills, closets, mattresses, dryer vent, and floors upstairs. I also cleaned 2 bathrooms, and the laundry room. I still have lots to do, but dang! my arms are tired for dragging that vacuum cleaner all over. That was all in addition to my normal cleaning-I did a load of dishes, laundry (which still need to be put away), and general straightening downstairs. Can I just say I will be thrilled to death when we move into a 1 story house. Luckily, my laundry room is on the 2nd story, where all the bedrooms are. But still! I hate stairs, and I especially hate vacuuming them.

All this cleaning did make for a good day budget wise, although I did leave the house to go to Sonic. But since it was Happy Hour, and I got a large Coke for less then a dollar, I'm totally not even counting that. I paid for it out the change in my truck's ash try! And I think I deserved it!

Also, David's motorcycle jacket came in today. I am so happy. He's ecstatic about how "cool" it is. And I am loving that it's armored with back, elbow, shoulder, and neck padding "just in case". I am getting used to the idea of him driving it, but I can't really say I'm loving it. He's at the Marine Corps motorcycle safety course today and tomorrow, so that also makes me feel better. And I have to say I am loving the $8 a week it takes him to drive back and forth to work. (Verses the $40 a week on the truck!) And the cheap insurance. It's still a little nerve wracking though!

I think that's enough rambling for today. Time to go cook some dinner! Y'all take care.

Monday, October 19, 2009

No Spend Challenge

Back at the beginning of the year I did them a lot, but slacked off once I got the budget down. Lately we've really been able to save and it's been nice. But sometimes I feel like even though I use cash, and stick to my budget, I still waste money. For example, I get $20 a week as Blow Money (money just to spend as I want/need). If on Saturday, I still have $10 I'll go to Target and buy whatever I want, or I'll go out to lunch. And I have a problem with that. Just because I HAVE the cash, doesn't mean I need to SPEND that cash. Even if it is within my budget! I seriously need to reign in the spending a little. Even though it is just $5 here, $3 there. If I don't need it, it's still WASTE. Not that I think we don't all need a little wiggle room, but I've taken a lot lately!

Today is Monday, and I've already done all the grocery/household shopping for the week. I also have enough gas in my truck, and DH's spending doesn't count (since he rarely spends anything). I can't think of anything Tuesday-Saturday that I'll need. The only thing I have coming up is a birthday party on Saturday, but I've got the "Gift Envelope" for that. If you saw my "To Do" post, you know I have plenty to keep me busy. Plus I just started a series of books, and I've finished 1 out of 6 so I want to read those as well. With the weather being SO nice (mid 60's) Bear and I have been taking lots of long walks. So I have lots and lots to keep me busy and have no need to spend a dime! I'll check back in periodically!

10/18-10/24: To Do List

I made the comment to David yesterday that it was almost one month until I could put up my Christmas Tree! I've never seen anyone roll their eyes so far before. I won't call him a Scrooge, but he's not real Jolly either! That's OK though, my enthusiasm makes up for his lack. But it's true, the holidays are practically here and it's time to get on the move. A few of my good friends and neighbors and I are planning a "sure 'nough" Halloween Bash in our neighborhood! I am so excited about it, we've already had planning meeting and we're going out on Wednesday to do some shopping. I've started making a few decorations, and the outside of my house is almost ready (I'll have to make another post about that!). But with the Halloween Party, there is a lot to do to get the house ready (we're having it here!), and then as soon as that's over, we jump right into Thanksgiving and Christmas! I need to start now to get everything ready, and we all know I'm a planner. So I think from now until the new year, and maybe after, depending on how it works, I'm going to post a weekly To Do list.

So what needs to be done this week?

1. Start working on re-organizing the garage, this will be done a few minutes each day, and the mostly on the weekend when David can help me.

2. Finish my "Bat Project".

3. Wash my truck-although this one is sort of depending on the weather. It needs to be washed, but it's been too cold lately to get out there and do it.

4. Re-Organize the pantry and make a list of all Holiday baking needs.

5. Deep clean my office.

6. Take and post pictures of my Halloween Decor!!!

Feel free to join me!

October 18-24 Menu

It's finally cold here! This morning when I got up at 6:30 it was 38 degrees. Considering I live on the Gulf Coast, that is COLD for us. But I am happy. I've been craving chili and all sorts of baked goods, and apple cider-just waiting on the weather to drop!

This should be a fairly "normal" week for us, we don't have too much going on. So here's the plan:

Sunday-FFYS, or Fend For You Self!

Monday: Grilled Chicken, Mushroom Rice, Broccoli

Tuesday: Mexican Pizza, Corn

Wednesday: Breakfast (Grits, Eggs, Bacon)

Thursday: Spaghetti, Garlic Bread

Friday: Leftovers, or Frozen Pizza

Saturday: Lunch-Weeks leftovers, or Sandwiches and soup, Dinner-Birthday Party at Friends House.

I'll also be doing some baking-pumpkin muffins, blueberry muffins, and probably some breads.

Have a wonderful week, and stay warm out there!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oct. 11-17 Menu

Happy Columbus Day!

David was off work today, so he and some friends went on a motorcycle ride. Bear and I stayed home and cleaning house, which after a long weekend, really needed some TLC! I have supper in the crockpot and it smells yummy. Now we're all just hanging out enjoying the rainy day. Hope your Monday is great, too!

Sunday: Tilapia, Broccoli, Squash, and Tomatoes

Monday: BBQ Chicken, Baked Beans, Corn Bread, Fresh Tomato Slices

Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff, Green Beans

Wednesday: Meatball Soup, Garlic Bread

Thursday: Fish, Rice, Peas

Friday: Black Bean Empanadas, Corn

Saturday: Lunch-Pizza, Supper-Grilled Beef Kabobs, Potatoes, Carrots

I'm also planning on making a pie (probably apple) and baking a bunch of muffins to freeze!

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 5, 2009

80 Days Until...

CHRISTMAS! Have you started shopping, making lists, putting together a "game plan"?
I love my Mama, she has the best ideas! Since David and I, and she and my Daddy are all trying to save more and pay off debt, we've decided we'll draw names for Christmas this year. We asked my brother and sister, and they are fine with the idea, too. To make it even more fun, we've made it into a game. We each drew a name from a hat, and we have to spend $20 or less on that person. The person who spends closest to $20 without going over wins! We're all so excited about this, not only does it mean that we'll only be spending $20 each, but the contest to spend $20 makes it so much fun!
*If you notice on my "October Goals" post I changed the Christmas Savings Goal. Normally I budget $50 for each of my 5 family members, so only spending $40 will saves us a lot, and we can lower the amount we need to save for Christmas, and add more to Debt Payments!

October 4-10 Menu

We are really loving the new grill! Plus, with the great weather we've been having, it's been nice to eat outside. Of course, as I type this it's raining outside, and supposed to continue all week. But I do love the rain, too! We're also trying to eat healthier with more fish and veggies, so here's the menu this week:

Sunday-Sandwiches, it had been a long day of driving home.

Monday-Tilapia, Broccoli, Homemade Hush Puppies

Tuesday-Grilled Chicken, Rice, Green Beans, Rolls

Wednesday-Chicken Salad Sandwiches, using the leftover grilled chicken.

Thursday-Crockpot Soup, we have Bible Study that night so we'll have soup before we go.

Friday-Spaghetti, Garlic bread

Saturday Lunch-Leftover Spaghetti, Dinner-Tilapia, Rice, Brussel Sprouts

Have a wonderful week!

No New Debt- FAIL!

Yes. We did it. We took on more debt. I am not happy about it, but I am not upset by it either. I think the difference is that now I have a plan, and we have our budget set up in a way that will allow us to work our plan.

We had a car that was having a few mechanical problems, and since I don't work or go to school I had pretty much stopped driving it. It's been paid off since early 2007, but we were still paying $100 a month on insurance for it, and not driving it. We decided to sell it, but hadn't actually gone as far as to put it up for sale yet. Then, a neighbor was at our house and David mentioned we were probably selling it, that I didn't really need or want it anymore, and our eventual plan was to purchase a motorcycle for him to drive back and forth to work and leave me with the truck. The neighbor said he'd be interested in the car for his teenage son. And wouldn't you know, he had a bike that David liked that he was willing to trade for it. The value of the car was much lower then the value of the Bike, so we traded our car and $1,500 for the Bike (which is worth a little over $3,400). We had enough cash on hand to pay for the bike, but didn't want to dip into the Emergency Fund. We had been planning on buying a bike with Davids bonus later in the year, maybe early 2010. So, after much thought we decided to take out a small personal loan, pay for the bike, and pay it off as soon as possible. The payment is $65 a month, but we'll save $20 in insurance and $60-80 in gas, so we'll put all of that toward the payment each month. As soon as the credit card if paid off (December) we'll be using the snowball to pay off the bike. However, if the bonus comes in before, the bike and card will both be paid off immediately. It also means that the $4,000 of the bonus we had earmarked for a bike can now be saved for the Fully-Funded Emergency Fund.

I know taking on more debt may not have been the best option, but we do take some comfort in the fact that we do have a very workable plan. And we are grateful that we've spent the last year working hard, so that we are able to work this into our plan.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Goals

Fall is my all time favorite season. I love everything about it-the smells, colors, crisp air, football, apples, sweaters, crunchy leaves, open windows, bonfires, soups, Halloween, and the anticipation of the coming Holiday Season. This time of year makes me so happy, and excited to just be able to experience it!
I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air. -Nathaniel Hawthorne
October Goals:
1. Pay $250 to the Credit Card
2. Save $100 for Christmas*
3. Pay $150 to the Bike*
4. NO New Debt
5. Post at teast 10 times.
6. Take more pictures!
After I posted this we changed out plans for Christmas shopping, and decided not to attend the MC Ball, so I changed the goals to reflect the new plan. We also added the new Bike Debt.