Friday, August 19, 2011

Financial Diet



Oh me, oh my, I'm going on a diet. No, silly-billy gumdrop not a food one (although that might not hurt), but a financial one! Actually I could probably kill two birds with one stone, because my financial weak area is FOOD! I eat out almost everyday at least TWO TIMES a day! This is all very bad on my pockets. I just re-joined or should I say re-engaged with Mint.com and they show you via a handy-dandy pie chart where your money for the month is going. Let me tell you it's SCARY when you see what you WASTE your money on!

Well, here goes these are the Basic Guidelines:
(For more detail, check out the original post here on Verbal Melange.)

1. Identify and list ALL your monthly expenses. Track them on a spreadsheet for better organization. A reader highly recommends using Mint.com, a free budgeting website. I've never used it (I use an Excel spreadsheet), but I hear it's awesome.

2. Figure out what expenses you can cut. What you cut is up to you, but remember that the more you cut, the more you can save.

3. Start saving! Take all the money that's leftover when you subtract your expenses from your income, and set it aside for savings. This is money that you only touch in true emergencies. There aren't many ways to fail at a financial diet, but using your emergency money for non-emergencies is one of them.

4. Reward yourself. It's important to set aside a little "petty cash" each month, so you don't feel like a scrooge. Decide how much you want to set aside for each month, and stick to it.

5. Spend wisely. Save some extra cash on groceries by clipping coupons, whether they be from the Sunday paper, junk mailings that you usually toss, or stuff you found online. For clothes, try to only shop at thrift stores for a month and see how much money you save. Or, stick exclusively to the sales racks at already-affordable stores like Target and Marshall's.

6. Share! If you have a tip, email verbal{dot}melange{at}gmail{dot}com. It will be added to a list of tips on the Financial Diet page of the blog, and we can really help each other with this one.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's Up Wednesday


I've started working on making some positive changes in my life by focusing on the person I want to be and part of that is the 30 Day Mom Challenge and my own As If Project. So, this post is to show what I've accomplished so far this week.

#1 - I did the mom challenge and asked my son what is one thing he wanted us to do this month and he said he'd like to go to the museum. I asked him if he wanted to go to the Children's Museum in Baltimore and he told me, "No, I want to go to a REAL museum." So, we'll be heading out to the Air & Space Museum in DC this weekend! I'm so glad that I get to fulfill a wish of his. So many times we get caught up in doing things for our children that we think that they should be doing without even asking them what they'd like to do. Asking your child their opinion, listening, and actually following through gives your child a wonderful sense of importance. Who doesn't like it when someone listens to them and tries to make their dreams come true!

#2 - I organized my pantry. I should have taken a before and after shot, but I didn't. Just trust me that it was a MESS! I found 6 rolls of paper towels that I didn't even know I had. I also decided to do something with the food items I've bought that no one in the house wants to eat. I made a breakfast treat basket that I will be bringing in to my office filled with granola bars, breakfast bars, and other morning goodies that we decided to pass on in our home.

#3 - I'm making strides to get my financial house in order. I rejoined Mint.com so I can see where my money is going and operate under a budget. It's scary when you see how much of your money you actually throw away on things you don't need. I also ordered all three of my credit reports as well. YAY ME!


So, what's up with you this Wednesday?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Motherhood Mondays


This weekend we had a lovely time at Jim Barnett Park. I'm so glad that the weather is getting a bit cooler, it had gotten so hot here that we weren't having very much outside time.   Here are a few pics of the boys having fun.























30 Day Mom Challenge

I found this on iMOM and this is going to be my goal for the next 30 Days.  I will update everyone on my progress here.


If you'd like to participate in this challenge you can download the pdf.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

As If...



Totally Random, but On Topic – You know how in the movie Clueless that Alicia Silverstone’s character always said, “As if”. Only as an adult did I get that the writer was playing off of the Valley Girl speak of always saying, “Like” and “As If” is a synonym for Like. Very clever.

So this post is about acting as if (or like) I have the qualities I desire in my life. If I act “as if” eventually I will become the person I desire to be. A variation of faking it until you make it, if you will.







So starting today I will act AS IF, I am:

  • Someone who is organized (desk, car, and bedroom look like a hurricane on a daily basis)



  • Someone who is calm when thrown for a loop 



  • Someone who is totally put together (Yes, it would be nice to be able to find my workout gear when I need it, um yeah)




  • Someone with a great weekly excerise routine (it would help to be able to do the above first)




  • Someone who cooks dinner at least 4 times a week instead of going out every night (BAD FOR THE POCKETS)



  • Someone who has EXCELLENT credit (despite the short sale drama I’m going through)



  • Someone who writes everyday (whether that is blogging or writing my novel)



  • Someone who is always prepared (why would’t I anticipate that the baby would decide to spit out all of his apple sauce onto his shirt while we’re in the car going somewhere important!)


So, what's on your AS IF List?


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