a. Who we are We are a single parent family with 4 children and one WOHM mumma.
b. Where we are going (your financial goals) My savings took quite a hit (it was more of an annihilation) in 2010, and I also got behind on my bills. I plan to be caught up on all bills (including the ubiquitous Student Loans) and have at least $1,000 in my savings account by the end of 2011.
c. How we plan to get there My budget is tight, but it works if I stick to it. If I plan meals/grocery shopping, turn down the thermostat and the water heater when we don't need them to be on (i.e. during the day when no one is home and at night while we're sleeping), bring my lunch to work, and do all those other little thrifty things that add up, I will meet my goal.
*stick to the grocery budget - this mostly means planning meals, adhering to the meal plan and NOT eating out or ordering in. It also means bringing my lunch to work, instead of paying $5 or more for a sandwich downtown. (I got a cute little lunch tote for Christmas, so that should help me stay motivated to bring my lunch.)
*use the envelope system for "non-food" items (hygiene supplies, cleaning supplies, et cetera)...when the envelope is empty, that's it for the month
*reduce the bills that are not "fixed" - water and power are the biggest targets; I think my phone bill (LANline) is probably just about as low as it can possibly be (local phone service only...no long-distance or other features)
*posting my spending (or, I hope, my LACK thereof) every day will also help by keeping me accountable.
Bring on 2011!
brought my lunch from home
no drive day
turned down water heater when not needed
turned down furnace when not needed
ooops! I fell off the wagon...
3 January: a pear, 2 string cheeses and a fruit leather for my daughter's school snack: $2.50
haircut for my 2nd son: $14.95 (paid for with Mall gift-card)
cologne for birthday gift for my 2nd son: $57.00 (mostly paid for with Mall gift-card)
5 long-sleeved T-shirts for my daughter: $20.00 on clearance (paid for with Mall gift-card)
dinner for 3 at food court: $12.05 (mostly paid for with Mall gift-card)
tin of C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve at Bath & Body Works: $5.00 (paid for with Mall gift-card)
I am kicking myself for buying dinner and the salve. If I would have thought about it, I could have bought my daughter the little Playmobil set she wants for Easter instead.....All told, the entire trip to the mall cost me $9.00 out of pocket, so it wasn't catastrophic. I just feel that I could have planned a little better.
4 January: box of cookies, a pear, Odwalla smoothie, 24-oz container Greek yogurt, 1/4 lb dried cherries, 1 bottle ketchup, 1 jar almond butter, 1 lb box spaghetti noodles, 1 jar cherry jam, 2 lb bag grated cheddar cheese, 4 tins sweetened condensed milk (for my youngest son's Spanish class cooking project), 16 oz container sour cream, 4 limes, 1 head garlic, 5 lb bag oranges, 3 lb bag onions, 12 oz fresh blueberries, 4 avocados, 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms, 1 bunch fresh basil, 12 oz fresh raspberries, 1 packet tortillas: $84.57
100 oz bottle of Tide with fabric softener: $11.99
5 January: water bill: $84.69 (but that amount is for 2 months, so it's actually not that bad. The monthly budget amount is $50, though, so I'm sad that it's more....) HOWEVER....phone and water bills are now officially caught up (next ones are due in February), so I'm very happy about that!
focaccia bread: $7.50 (I just couldn't get motivated to make the dough for Refrigerator Rolls last night, so I had to buy bread for tonight's dinner....)
postage: 40 cents
6 January: 2 bottles lime fizzy drink, 1 bag cookies (for potluck lunch at work): $7.37 (if I'd remembered that I was supposed to bring cookies, I could have made them at home......)
6 packets Ricola cough drops, 8 toothbrushes, 1 gallon colour-safe bleach, 25 lbs dog food:$41.46 (Costco)
1 box dishwasher tablets, 1 bottle facial cleanser, 5 bars hand soap, 1/2 oz bottle lavender oil, 100-count bottle L-lysine tablets, 1 box bunny fruit snacks (for my daughter's school snack), 3 boxes granola bars (also for my daughter's school snack), 1 bunch parsley, 3 6-oz containers Greek yogurt, 1 box crackers, 3 LARA bars (for my desk at work), 3 lbs vegan margarine, 2 bottles lemon juice, 2 boxes veggie bouillon cubes, 1/4 lb dried pineapple, 3 1/4 lbs sushi rice, 1 jar Veganaise, 8 lbs course sea salt, 1 head cauliflower,1 lb shallots, 1 large knob ginger, 3 boxes yogurt tubes (again, for my daughter's school snack....I'll be glad when she's too old to need a snack at school!), 1 lb portabello mushrooms, 5 oz baking chocolate, 1/8 lb nutritional yeast, 1 jar blueberry jam, 2 6-oz containers vanilla soy yogurt, 3 lbs seitan: $141.79
Edited by kathirynne - 1/7/11 at 8:09am