Monday, November 12, 2012

Make It Count Monday, Week 3

It's Monday again! Time to reflect on last week and decide what to work on this week. We have a new theme around here, and that's trying to save money. We did pretty well over the summer when I wasn't working at all, but since I've gone back to work, I've relaxed a bit on budgeting. The reality is, if we want to buy our own house, we need to do what we can to spend less and save more. So at least one of my goals for this week is to figure out some more ways to save money.

Motivation: So without further ado, here's what I accomplished this past week: I did exercise, exactly one time. We went out for a walk yesterday, and I suggested we should try jogging for a while. I had been an enthusiastic runner up until I found out I was pregnant, and I was running 8 miles or more at least twice a week. I didn't run at all after I was about 5 weeks along, and I've only gone running a handful of times since Emily and Erin were born. Running made my stomach ache so much that I had put it on the back burner, figuring there was no point in hurting myself as a new mommy.

Given all that, yesterday's run was surprisingly easy. We ran about a mile and a half on the bike path near our house, and while we didn't time it, the pace felt reasonable. I didn't feel the aching that I remembered from the summer, either! I'm a little sore today, but not too much more than normal. We decided that it would be reasonable to plan on the Turkey Stuffer 5K on Thanksgiving morning, jogging stroller and all! I've done well over a hundred 5Ks, and hundreds more 3-mile runs, so I'm not too worried about finishing. I'm more worried about the girls deciding they aren't happy in the stroller, to be honest with you! But the race is at 8 am, so they should be fresh from a feeding and it won't be naptime. I don't really think the timing could be any better!

As far as other goals, including productivity increases, I slacked a bit this week due to lack of sleep. There were two nights this week, one of them last night, where either Emily or Erin decided 2 am was a reasonable bedtime, despite being put down at around 8 pm. I definitely had some productive moments, but not nearly as much as in the past weeks.

Direction:

I'm excited to try and run some more this week! I don't know if there will be time today, but I finally get to use my anniversary massage gift certificate this evening, so I'm fine with forgoing running in favor of relaxation for one day. I figure if I take the stroller myself (Dan will most likely push it during the 5K) and make it 2 miles, I could easily make it 3 miles without.

As I mentioned above, my other goal for the week is to make sure we identify some ways to save money. One of the biggest pitfalls is grabbing food outside the house. It may only seem like a few dollars here and there, but I always have to remind myself that if I'd hesitate to spend $3 on a box of crackers, I should hesitate to spend $3 on a cheeseburger. (I should also hesitate to buy the cheeseburger for other reasons - but I digress.)

Anyway, I know that with the holidays coming, a Christmas budget is a must. Simple Mom has a great (free!) printable worksheet for planning your Christmas budget, and since I bought a color ink cartridge yesterday, I can finally print that out and get going on it. I also bought the printable components for a home management notebook from IHeart Organizing's Etsy shop earlier this year, and I am looking forward to getting a notebook made for the remainder of this year and one for next year so I can really stay organized! Part of that is budgeting/finance pages, so I think that could help us make a better budget for sure.

Accountability:

I'm planning to set a reminder on my phone to go running for tomorrow and Thursday this week. This way, I'll remember in time to make plans before it gets dark. I can also plan my run around Emily and Erin's schedule so they are happier, which always makes for a more enjoyable time for all of us.

As far as budgeting goes, I'm going to sit down and work on a budget this week, and I'm planning to spend some time looking at Christmas as well. The worksheet is amazingly detailed, but pretty accurate as far as all the expenses go. I figure we will be marking a few of them as "n/a", but we can certainly use them as talking points. Reading through, it's amazing (to me) to think about how much money could potentially be spent on the holidays. I guess this is where they come up with the oft-reported idea that many people spend thousands of dollars each year!

How do you work to spend less and save more? What are your best holiday budgeting tips? Share below in the comments!

I'm linking up with Megan at Positively (Im)perfect for Make it Count Mondays! Head on over to check out her post, and don't forget to read the other linked posts too!

Positively Imperfect

3 comments:

  1. Awesome job on the running! I've been running off and on for the last three years. I've been a little more "off" than "on" in the last few months, though. I can't seem to get motivated!

    The saving money part is really hard! Since I started staying home a year ago, we've had an even harder time saving and planning for Christmas. I tutor 2-3 hours a week so we try to put that money back over the year for Christmas. Sometimes we have to use it for other necessities, but we do have a decent amount saved.

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  2. You are doing a great job:) I've been on and off for no excuse what so ever..lol:/ Saving money is so hard but we are also trying to do our best:)

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  3. Awesome job with the exercise! That's so exciting that you're doing the 5k...one of these days I might sign up for one.

    We are hurting on budget. And we just got a few more big blows this week like the fact that we will have to replace a car. So besides budgeting, how do you decide on Christmas presents? I started a 'secret' Pinterest board for gift ideas since they just made that option available, but I still have the hardest time finding things for family that are both under budget and useful/desirable!

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