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Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Summary

I'm putting it all out there. And it ain't pretty:

We made a lot of progress during the month of January. Hoping that it will carry over into all of 2013.

On the weight loss front, I am down 3 pounds since 1/1/13. Yay! That is motivation to keep going and continuing my Couch to 5K program.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Couch to 5K

Yesterday was my first Couch to 5k exercise day and I am still alive, and believe it or not, not very sore at all. I realized just how out of shape I am, and how extra weight can really drag you down.

My 60 seconds of "jogging" were at speeds that I used to walk when I was in shape. But I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and I would rather start out slow and build up speed rather than burn myself out in the first week.

We have started watching the Biggest Loser this season and am very inspired. I think to myself, if they can push through a workout, then I can too.

Week 1 of Couch to 5k is 3 30 minute workouts, alternating between 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking. You warm up and cool down for 5 minutes each also. My goal is to do the other two workouts Thursday and Saturday this week, and maybe even throw in some pushups and situps.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Success and Failure

I went over budget at the grocery store yesterday by $35. It is a failure but it's a whole lot better than we had been doing. And we have meals at least thru Sunday and maybe more.

Baby Step #1, $1000 in the emergency fund will be complete THIS Friday. Very excited about this, and now we can concentrate on Baby Step #2, the Debt Snowball. We will be sending as much as possible to our smallest balance credit card and the minimum on the rest. For us, that is one of our Capital One Cards (yes, they are so generous to give us two credit cards) with a balance of $662.85.

Capital One #1 is going down!

I figured up yesterday that if we had no debt payments (including car) we would have an extra $550 a month. I want that money to be working for me instead of paying for something that we bought years ago.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu Plan & Goals for 1/28-2/3

It is really hard sticking to a $60 a week grocery budget. Some do it for less, I've seen as low as $40 and I just don't know how. We are still eating pretty well though, it's not like we are having rice and beans every night, although we might some time if we really get on a saving money kick.

Monday: Manwich, Frozen Fries
Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Tuna Casserole
Thursday: Salsa Mac
Friday: Baked Fettuccine Alfredo
Saturday: Potato Soup
Super Bowl Sunday: Chili, Sausage Balls, Charleston Cheese Dip, Chocolate Eclair Cake

How I did on my goals from last week:
Clean the microwave done and it was so easy
Clean and organize the fridge/freezer in kitchen and basement
Find 10 things to throw away or donate I found 10 things to toss out, but didn't find 5 things a day like I had hoped.

Goals for 1/28-2/3
Clean out and organize the fridge/freezer in kitchen and basement
File taxes
Declutter 10 items this week.


   

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Microwave - Check

I got one of my goals for the week out of the way already. I wish I had taken a before picture, but am kind of glad I didn't because it was pretty BAD. Those 2 marks in the front won't come off. It stunk pretty bad too and I was afraid of the smell meshing with anything I happened to be microwaving.

I also got my period yesterday. Don't think I have ever looked forward to one so badly. Now we can start this month's fertility cycle! I'll start clomid Saturday night and will see the doctor on Feb 4 to check my follicles and get a shot of Ovidrel. They'll determine then what day we go back and hubby makes his "donation" and they inseminate me. They said there is about an hour in between the two so they can process the sperm and pick out the good ones!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Clearing the Clutter

Our house (we rent) is not big, right around 1000 square feet. We've been there for 2 years now and have accumulated a LOT of stuff.

I am going to make it one of my goals every week to clear out the clutter! In my previous post I challenged myself to toss or donate 10 things this week, but I've decided that is not enough. I want to toss or donate 5 things a day instead. Now to get the husband on board with his boxful of magazines that he totes around from place to place. I bought these e-books yesterday to hopefully help me focus!

I added a widget to the side bar to show where we are on our $1000 emergency fund. Almost there!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Menu Plan 1/21-1/27

Several meals from last week got moved around so some will be scheduled for this week instead. We have been *mostly* good this past week and weekend. We did eat out at Taco Bell and McDonalds, and had another secret shop to Papa Johns Sunday night, but we have done much better than we used to do. I have a 3 lb tube of hamburger that we need to use so there will be lots of hamburger meals this week.

Monday: Melt in your mouth chicken, baked potato
Tuesday: Salsa Mac

Wednesday: Burgers, crinkle fries with Cane's sauce
Thursday: Baked Spaghetti
Friday: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Saturday: Baked Penne
Sunday: Frozen Pizza

Goals for the week:
Clean the microwave
Clean and organize the fridge/freezer in kitchen and basement
Find 10 things to throw away or donate

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grocery & Bank

I've started going to the bank and grocery on Fridays and it has worked out really well so far. I can run to the bank during work and take out cash for our cash envelopes, and then can stop and get groceries on my way home.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Taxes and the Budget

The budget is getting tighter! I was inputting some of our tax stuff into the software and it doesn't look like we are going to get as much of a refund as I expected. I usually put our numbers into 2 different online software programs (Turbotax and H&R Block) to double check.

I am going to incorporate into the menu that 1 night a week we just have sandwiches. We'll be on rice and beans before too long!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 1/14-1/20

I'll first start off by saying that we were bad last night and went through the drive-thru at Little Caesars. $15 for 2 orders of Cheesey bread and a pizza, but at least that was enough for dinner last night and lunch today.

What led up to me not cooking was not getting home until 7 pm last night. My intention was to make lasagna, but at that point I wanted something quick. It's a lot easier to cook when I am home early in the day.

Here's this week's menu. We are going out to eat for JC's birthday Wednesday (gift card) and I am doing a secret shop from Papa John's Tuesday night. They reimburse me the cost of the pizza up to $20 plus I get paid an additional $8 for my input. The website I go through to do this is here.

Monday: Lasagna
Tuesday: Papa Johns Secret Shop
Wednesday: JC's Birthday Dinner out at Carabba's (gift card)
Thursday: Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches, Baked Potatos, Baked Beans
Friday: Chicken Roll Ups, Macaroni & Cheese, Spinach
Saturday: Baked Penne
Sunday: Chicken Enchilada Soup

Friday, January 11, 2013

I have cooked 10 days in a row!

I am very excited that every day in 2013 I have cooked and we have not eaten out once! We can do this! We can stick to a budget!

Today I threw some stuff in the crockpot to make a Tortellini Soup. I need to come up with more recipes like that. So easy!

We are going ice skating this weekend. I haven't been in years, but love it so much. I'm really excited about this and hopefully won't bust my butt.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Next Week's Grocery Budget/Fertility

I have been planning and looking ahead toward what to schedule for next week's menu. Next week is also JC's birthday and he wants a white chocolate fudge cake. Those extra groceries will probably put me above my $60 weekly grocery budget, so I am going to bump the budget up for this week to $75.

I've also been working really hard at moving any extra money over into savings so that we can build our Baby Step 1 $1000 Emergency Fund. We are about half way there!

We also went to a fertility specialist this past Monday, and we feel like we have hope and a plan now. I have been on clomid for the last several months, but this month we are going to bump my clomid up a bit and do artificial insemination. The plan is to do this for 3 months (@ $600/month) and if it doesn't work during that time, move on to something else. The doctor also put me on Metformin, which is a diabetic drug but is also used to treat women with Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome (I am not officially diagnosed with PCOS). It can help with weight loss so hopefully I can see some results. I have gained over 50 pounds since our ruptured ectopic pregnancy in May 2011.

(Photo credit http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/White-Chocolate-Fudge-Cake)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 1/7-1/13

Monday 1/7 - Manwich with frozen french fries
Tuesday 1/8 - Melt in Your Mouth Chicken, Mac and Cheese
Wednes  1/9 - Baked Alfredo, Garlic Bread
Thursday 1/10 - Tortellini Soup, Grilled Cheese
Friday 1/11 - Tuna Noodle Casserole
Saturday 1/12 - Potato Soup
Sunday 1/13 - Frozen Pizza

Accountability

Here we are, yet again.

Things are changing in our household. The hubby and I have made a fairly decent combined income over the last year, and we've spent all that we've made and then some! Hubby is getting ready to reduce his hours so he can focus entirely on school, so we are getting ready to find out just how tight we can tighten the budget belts around here.

I watch and read a lot of money shows, blogs, etc.; now it's time to start putting all that information to use. Following the Dave Ramsey plan, our first goal is to get $1000 set aside for an emergency fund, then we will focus on our debt repayment.

As far as our budget goes, I have jars and envelopes set up for all of our discretionary expenses (Mix of Princess/Dave Ramsey). My goal is to spend less than $60 a week on food and household items, and only eat out once a month (using gift cards from Christmas).

MENU PLANNING is a must! I will plan our menus for the coming week on Fridays, and hit the grocery store up Saturday morning.

2013 Financial Goals
1. $1000 in emergency fund
2. $60 a week grocery/household budget
3. Dinner out/date night once a month
4. Menu plan every week
5. Pay off $2500 in credit card debt and do not charge again! (current balance - $6825.47)
6. Pay off $694 in medical debt (current balance - 694.05)