Wow, five weeks into budgeting, meal planning and homemaking already.
If you missed last week, you can find it here: End of the Month
So, here’s the latest update:
Honestly, I feel like we might be *finally* hitting our groove. At least as far as getting used to entering things into YNAB. Still playing catch up, a bit. For example, Wolf’s pay cheque. I knew we needed things for the house, and mentally budgeted for it, but didn’t sit down and put it into YNAB first. Things like, Bazinga’s pool (plus one for the kids), a crock pot and blender. All things we’d discussed, and agreed on, but didn’t budget for first. Whoops.
Another thing is that we’ve agreed that ‘wants’ wait til the next pay period. Impulsive spending is a killer for us. Heck, transferring from the free blog site to this one, with hosting costs was an impulsive spend, vs a long-planned one. We knew it was going to happen, but the actuality was more ‘here and now’ than ‘next month…’ That’s something that definitely needs to change and be adjusted.
I also received a letter this week, informing me that my credit card was going to jump over 7% in interest. I called, and discovered that there was another card that carried for less interest that I’d been paying before, plus less annual fees, so we made that switch. I’d had a ‘money back’ card, that gave you a percent of every dollar you put on the card back once a year, but some quick math showed that I was spending more in fees and interest (especially once the increase hit) than I was realistically going to be earning, so bye-bye went the money back card. The other issue I’m going to look at this week is if it would work out to be cheaper to transfer the balance remaining to the first card, or keep on track for just paying the second one off.
I’ve been using Plan To Eat for this. I’ll be doing a review tomorrow, and hosting a give away, so be sure to be here to enter!
The meal planning has hit a bit of a snag, hence the crock pot purchase. Weather has already hit that ‘too hot to cook’ stage of the year. Blech. I find when it’s too hot to cook, eating also becomes an issue, because we’re simply not finding our usual meals appetizing. Hot, heavy meals when you’re already feeling sticky and blech just doesn’t go over very well. The crock pot is absolutely going to help on that end. Not heating the house up to make supper will help a lot.
Figuring out ‘cooler’ meals that are still filling and high in protein is always a challenge for me, to be honest. Thankfully, Budget Bytes had a new post specifically for hot weather meals, so we’ll be trying a few of those out. Thank you Beth and Budget Bytes! If readers have suggestions for meals, feel free to leave a link in the comments!
Also throwing another snag in both meal planning and budget was Canada Day hit on the first Tues of the month. Normally, grocery stores around here give a discount on the first Tues, but because of the holiday, they moved it to the 8th. Luckily, I’ve been stocking up on sales and such, so it didn’t kill us off, but it did impact meal planning.
Which brings me to the challenge for this week: I need to go through my food stores, and use that as a basis for meal planning. I’d really like to get to where we do one big grocery shop, once a month, and then coast the rest of the month, picking up perishables (fruit, veggies, milk, eggs, bread) for the rest, and just hitting sales too good to pass up for our ‘standard’ stuff.
Keeping on top of what we have in the basement, as far as canned and dry goods goes is probably one of the bigger challenges. I’ve made and posted lists for myself several times, but danged if we keep them up to date.
Still my fatal flaw, but I *am* seeing improvement on this front. Slowly but surely. Life still throws this off more than any other area, though. RSD flare up, teething (and therefore up all night) baby, these normal bumps in the road can completely throw me off following my schedule. It’s not the fault of the schedule, it’s the fault of *me* for getting thrown, if that makes sense. Once again, my goal of the week is to get this nailed down. I figure every bit of progress is one I didn’t have before.
So, that’s week 5.
Head back here tomorrow, for the review and give away for Plan to Eat!