Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's all about the budget!

  Let's talk money!
    This used to be my most dreaded thing in adult life. We have now been doing the cash envelope system from Dave Ramsey for the past three months. In this time I have learned so much about what we have been doing with our money.
 Our budget for the month looks something like this.

WOW yes that's what I said too but here we will look at how we stay on budget.
Clothing is one that I really love to do it's a fun challenge. I have learned that if I buy my clothes at the consignment shop or thrift stores. I have learned that our local consignment has three dates and each one has a price with it. Along with that if the last date is a month or more out there is additional savings.  Our kids clothes come out of their allowance which has made our house run much more smooth with the kids all having jobs to do.  Even if it is just the cat and dog and their rooms.  They have a mother chart to fill in for extra chores they do around the house.  They have 5 categories they put their allowance in each week savings, tithing, clothes, food/treats, and Fun (toys or extra activities )  Our budget works out to be $150 for me a year and 150 for my husbands clothes a year and $300 for outer wear which I rotate who needs new outer wear each year.  So My Husband got new snow stuff this year next year the kids will and I will the following year.  We also get hand me downs here along with some great thrift store finds as much as possible.
 Food is a huge part of our house hold budget that runs smooth if I have the planning put into it like I should.  I run a menu plan that goes Crockpot or campfire/BBQ grill Sunday, beef on Monday, Chicken Tuesday, Breakfast Wednesday, Pork on Thursday, Friday pizza, Saturday is soup in the winter and make your own/leftovers in the summer.   We get about 75% of our beef homegrown and split two pigs with the neighbors so that is all the pork we need for a year.  I would love to get garden produce so we are working on plans for a garden at our house this summer. (I head one at our old house)  I am learning to coupon slowly and that is helping out too.  I buy my flour and oatmeal in bulk and any other dry baking goods possible from Country Life Natural Foods. I will store it in totes in my pantry and make premixed pancake and waffle mix to save on these Items from the store.  I like to get produce from Bountiful Basket if possible in our schedule.  I get coconut oil from Bountiful Baskets whenever it is available. I use the jars from it to store bulk backing goods in after too.
 Our mortgage is a 5yr loan and we have it only taken out of my check so the $920 is put in savings for the year.  Part of the $920 is pulled out each month but because I only work 9 months we budgeted that to be covered by my income and thats all I work for.   Once that is done I can retire right? :)   Fuel for our vehicles is one area that we have to keep track of as well as we try to make sure we are not on the road more than we need to each day.
   The rest of the Budget is our monthly bills or money we move to savings for annual, by annual or quarterly bills.
   If you have any questions on this please feel free to ask. If you have any of your own advice please feel free to share it in a comment below.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Organizing my Day :)

   Saturday is a huge day for me in my organization and planning.   This week has more than usual knowing that we have company coming next weekend the final Saturday of February.   Lets take a look at what I have in-store for today!
  I set up my daily plan in two types The days I work and the days I am home. From I filled it in with what I wanted added to it and here is what I got!

This is how my day typically looks if  know something is going to happen I will note it in the notes.  When I added this to my Day Runner I printed it in B&W cut them, laminated them back to back and three hole punched them and stuck it in my today section. That way if I am not sure what I should be doing then I can just flip it open and see,  I also laminated it and posted it on the fridge.  Remember: I am just starting this plan so I still need reminders everywhere to keep me on task.

 In my planning for today I have to think about the whole month of March. March may be thrown off some with our first family vacation on the cash budget.  I have the trip itemized out on paper but that means that I have a lot more food prep with trying to do homemade traveling snacks.   I am looking at doing that in my posts the first week of March.

   I am looking at my menu plan for the month using a meal planning template  I didn't want anything detailed here as I usually only plan the meals we are home for.   I cropped it down to just the image, printed it two to a page and laminated one of them to the front of my grocery list then I added it to put in my menu part of my planner.

   Today during my down time with the kids we made donut muffins!

    I love the Fly Lady but feel overwhelmed by her a lot of the time so I took her ideas and try to incorporate what she has to offer to my planner as well as you can see above in the daily plan that I try to shine my sink daily and get dressed from head to toe every day.  I also keep my bible study sheets in the today section these are one of the few things in my planner not laminated for easy permanent writing in.   These are simple things that make me a better wife and not forget to drink water (I am sipping on a pop) But days I have pop I try to drink three times as much water at a minimum.

Happy organizing will make your walk as a wife a lot easier.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


OK so It's time to look at my Day Runner :) I put it all together and I love the way it turned out so here we go! Remember I am trying to be as budget wise as possible and that is one reason I am doing the Planner.

  I used My favorite scrapbook paper cut to size on my paper cutter (I have had since 2003 that I got at Walmart then). Take any colorful pens that kinda matched the paper I used.  You could use a Laminator that holds Scotch-Thermal-Laminating-100-Pack like the one I borrowed from my neighbor.  (she has a lot of cool gadgets I don't have yet!) and a three ring hole punch that you can just the hole punches on because planners all come with different hole punches.  My third hole punch was not working so I had to punch the top and middle flip it over and line up the middle and punch the bottom hole whail repenting the middle hole I need a new three hole punch.
 I did dividers with categories I chose and wrote on the tabs before I laminated the dividers. My Today section which at this point only has my daily bible study notes in it because I want to laminate my today to do list sheet but I am not sure what PDF I have that I want to use on it!  Then I have GOALS  this one is at the front because it is a reminder that I want to see often It has my 1yr, 5yr and 10yr goals I made with my husband that is a key part of how all this became about.  Then I have a weekly planning section that I have a place for each of the other members in the families activities and a menu for each day.  My monthly section at this point are the basic monthly pages that came with the day planner that I look at to fill out the weekly planner part. I already put our March family trip in the February section. I guess I was just excited to go somewhere warm.  My yearly section has a page that I list out all of our family birthdays and anniversaries on so that I can plug them into the monthly plans.  This all sounds very repetitive but it has really helped me stay on top of life the last few months.  I also have a laminated version of the years calendar so that I can quick glance to see what days weddings may fall if I have bookings and cross off the days I have booked for family or work.  

     The budget part of the planner has become one of my favorite things the past few months. I look at it as a challenge and game I have to try to win in the days each month allows or a puzzle of money to put together and I will look at how I have been doing that in a future post. The Menu has been another great section I love I have a list of our families favorite meals decided into Beef, Pork, Chicken, Soups, Lunch foods, and Breakfast this makes menu planning easy as I try to do one night of each meat and a soup Saturday or Sunday. Friday is usually Pizza other than on days that got crazy like today so I will switch tonight and Friday nights meals.  The kids and I eat at school for Lunch and my husband has the left overs or sandwiches for his lunch at work.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Starting Over Again

   I am not an organized person nor am I one that loves to keep a clean house but over the past 12.5yrs. I have realized this is something my husband needs me to do.  In the past few months I have been trying to reboot and become more organized and hope that that will lead to a cleaner home in the long run.   I look into blogging to help me be accountable to both myself and my followers.

  My top three goals for February 2015:
  1. Start a blog on household management to better my marriage.
  2. Continue staying on my cash envelope budget plan.
  3. Make a planner to help me stay on top of life.

  So to start the blog I have been reading on blogging here is My first read on blogging!  I love to get informed and there are so many places to read on this topic so check out some of my favorite spots. I will list my favorites at the bottom of this post. I chose Blogger over other sites for my blog because of the ease of it I have a personal blog on blogger that I have posted on and off on for years.  I like to stick with what is simple and familiar to me. If I am going to take time out of my life as a wife mom and full-time paraprofessional I need a place that is quick and easy.

   OH HOW I LOVE MY CASH ENVELOPE SYSTEM!! We recently did the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University and we have done this before but it is much more near and dear to our life style now.  We just purchased a fixer up house and we were not following the Dave Ramsey budget but now that we have we put the updates on hold for a while and started back at the Total Money Makeover I do a budget review each week to make sure we are on track.  We have been on the budget for the past three months and it is working well.  I was so blessed with a daughter that can sew and she made me a Budget envelope wallet and it makes it so doable compared to the paper ones that fell apart right away.  Here is the pattern she used to make my envelope wallet!

  Organizing my life is a huge goal for the year of 2015!! This is going to be the most difficult of the three for me because that means there will be a daily commitment to follow through on this.  If I am going to be 100% honest I struggle with accountability to myself. I know that it will come with great rewards but It seems so hard to follow through on every day.
  The first step I took on this was looking through apps for my phone in this technological world I wanted to have it all at my fingertips to work on whenever I wanted.  I tried about 10 different apps but I did't like any of them for my purpose.  I looked online and found the home binder system and loved it for a month!  I wanted to work on it on my break at work and it was so big and bulky so I am currently waiting for my Day-Runner to come on Monday.  Then I can set it all up but I spent a part of the day yesterday laminating my devisors and thepages I wanted laminated.  Thanks to my great neighbor for loaning me her laminator.  I will be following up with posts on my Day Runner next week when I have it all put together to show the step by step of how it is done.

 My other goals for 2015 are to build my wedding photography business and learn to coupon. I will touch more on these subjects but for the month of February I will focus on the three I am targeting this month! Hope that I can be open an honest with my struggles and we can learn together what works and what doesn't work so please feel free to leave your comments below so that we can grow together to be the best wives and homemakers possible!