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Archive for October, 2009

The Search for Simplicity: The To-Do List

October 27th, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Just checking in...

I notice that when I'm feeling the need to get motivated or inspired I head to Savingadvice or I flip through a few familiar books that I have. The computer at home is up and running (another wipe and fix, this time by brother-in-law), but it is faster to do internet at the library (dial-up at home is cheap but slow.)

So here I am and already I feel more energized. I usually just run through the recent posts of everyone, like Ima Saver, Tightwad Kitty, BA, mjrube94, Lux Living Frugalis, Whitestripe, Gamecock, etc. There are so many and I love to read practically all of the recent posts. It helps me stay on track.

I'm still striving for ways to simplify my life, but am overwhelmed by my lack of energy. And lack of enthusiasm. I am now inspired to create a daily to-do list of just 5 things. What a wonderful idea. Sure beats the 375 things I've been lugging around in my head like a concrete block. Of course, I have to put it into practice, which is the first thing to put on the to-do list every day, i.e., make daily list of 5. (ha ha)

I won't keep track of it here, because I don't get on the site everyday, but I do have a notebook/planner that I can use. I'm also reading another book on how to get organized. (Can't remember the title exactly: From Chaos to Order, I think).

Anyway, on the financial side of things, I did finally order my will kit, but now need to fill it out and get witnesses (heavy sigh). I increased my 401K contributions by a percentage. I researched dental plans. (They're EXPENSIVE!!) I withdrew $500 for our Christmas shopping (spouse and I, $250 each)--we decided that the full $1,000 wouldn't need to be used for Christmas gifts and have no requests for anything big. My checkbook is balanced to the penny. The church's checkbook is balanced to the penny. It's almost time to tweak the budget for 2010.

Keep blogging everyone! I can pretend that it's ALL done to inspire little ol' me!!

Grocery and Household Spending Thru Sep 2009

October 8th, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I tallied up the grocery receipts (all stacked up in a shoebox since my last calculation in May.)

2009 Planned spending for Groceries and
Household Supplies/Toiletries: $3,600

Spending through Sep 30, 2009: $3,119.62

Yikes. Looks like we're going to be over budget by the end of the year. Averaging $345 per month so far. (The plan was to average out at $300 a month.)

Bummer!

My estimate for planned spending was either a little low considering the kid is at home and not away at college or I got WAY too excited in the grocery aisles when I thought everything was ok.

We have a rotating dinner menu (6 weeks of meal ideas taped inside our cabinet door), but I notice I tend to over-buy breakfast, lunch and snack items for all three of us to get through the week. Something to work on.

I'll still challenge myself to see how LITTLE I can go over-budget by the end of the year. I can't give up trying.

September 2009 Challenge

October 8th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Added:
$130 in paycheck allotments

$180 as my automatic transfer on Sep 20.

$200 deposit from excess from Sep budget

$15.02 interest/dividend deposited

Wealth acct/Money mkt balance, $11,950

Balance toward extra mortgage payment Sep 30, $820

Total in account September 30, $12,770

Note: I just read over my blog entry at the beginning of the year regarding my $20 challenge, and how I planned to add to this account. I can't remember having any 'no-drive' days to speak of. (I said I would add $2 for each no-drive day.) That's crazy. The good thing is, I've "supersized" my $20 challenge in other ways and have made good progress. I have 3 months, however, to save $3,000 to meet the goal I set. Hmmmm.... It looks like it will take 5 months to do that...