Three weeks in now

We are just over three weeks into the new year and doing pretty good. We are still spending too much on groceries, but have not spent a single penny on eating out. I am proud of that.

I may have to adjust our allowed grocery money as I think food has gone up more than I realized. When you are spending without thinking like we were,  no real budget, just buying food each month, you do not pay attention to what things cost. Trying to keep our  groceries at and non food groceries together at 300 is a real challenge. I will still try to keep it close to that, but I know I am at around four hundred this month with a week to go.

The eating out habit is broken, we do not even mention it as an option , and haven’t since we started Jan 1. Neither one of us has  suggested it at all but we have pointed out on the days that were crazy, oh, this is the kind of day we would have grabbed some dollar burritos. We do not grab the dollar burritos, we find something to make in our own house. I can not even explain what a significant change that is. I am very proud of us. We still do a bit too much impulsive buying in the store though, and that can add up to a hundred or more a month, so more care will be taken to avoid unnecessary purchases and keep the impulse items down to very few.

We are going to try making a menu up that we repeat for a month at a time. We will see, I hate that idea but I am willing to give it a try !!!  It will help to keep the grocery money down, but  am afraid it will be boring.

So, in a week or so I will be posting what we s pent on groceries this month and how we did over all.

I am pretty happy with this  month and the start of our new year !!!

Eleven days in

Well, we are eleven days into our challenge year. I am still very excited and motivated about what we can accomplish this year by making our money go where it needs to, versus where we thoughtlessly spent it.

I cannot say we have made much progress yet, two paychecks in, but it is in the budget and by the end of the month I will have my progress for the month to share. I will compare our spending on everything this month, to last Jan last year. I have all my reciepts from every month last year and plan to compare monthly. It ought to be very interesting and not something I look forward to seeing, all the money that could have been channeled so much more wisely. It is however, something I need to see so we never repeat it again.

We are eating healthier, and that makes me happy. Hopefully I can post some weight loss achievements end of the month too.

Anyway, not much to update yet, but we are off to a good start and plan to have a lot to show for our hard work and tough decisions.

Moving along in our challenge

Mindset will be everything this year and I firmly believe it. Once you remove all thoughts about the behavior you want to change, for us, eating out much too often, it is much easier.

I know David wanted to eat out yesterday but we went and bought eggs and sour cream and made breakfast at home. Breakfast burritos. We had the other ingrediants already. Now, normally we would not go and buy groceries to make something last minute like that, but we had to finish up our shopping for the week and so I had to pick up eggs and s our cream anyway. We will only buy what is on our lists from now on and eat what we have at the house.      If we make a  habit of going out and buying groceries, that is not any better than just going out  to eat whenever we want.

I am  very excited about this year and looking forward to changing our bad habits. I know we can since we have set our minds to that goal !!!

So, on to the next day and another day of eating at home.

12 month challenge

My husband David and I have set a year long challenge for ourselves. 12 months of being very careful with our money and breaking our bad habits.

We eat out entirely too much and spend way too much impulsively on stuff we really do not need, both at the grocery store and out at yard sales, t hirft stores and places like Target or Walmart. Wants versus needs.

We used to be very frugal out of necessity when raising our four kids,  but as money was not so tight we developed extremely bad habits, and now it is time to break them.

I saw myself do it at the grocery store the other day, adding this and that, but made myself put each of them back. It would have  added twenty wasted bucks to the grocery bill for things we did not need.  We have been doing this for years now and it is time to stop it. I am tired of living check to check and not having any savings and we are frankly getting too old for this kind of irresponsible behavior.

David retires in just over twenty years and so that means we have only  twenty years to set us up for our retirement. We do  have some money in our current 401k and we need to keep uping the percent of his check we contribute, there is no match whatsoever. He will get a small pension, just over a thousand, but that is not much, so our work is cut out for us.

We also have a lot of weight to lose, around two hundred between us, or just under. I have to lose around 120 and he has to lose about 60, so around 180ish we have to lose, a large person, what he should weigh between us.

So, we have started our challenge and I will keep track of our progress on this blog. I will add a catergory for our budget goals and monthly spending.

One of our  goals for this year is to stop eating out almost entirely. So far we have allowed my birthday in june, his in August and our anniversary in November. That is it. Far cry from 200 to 300 a month. Some months are even worse than that !!!

Our next goal is to cut our grocery bill way down. We have been spending as much as a grand a month for us and sometimes for the kids , our daughter and her  husband and kids live with us. So, we are chopping it down to between 200 and 300 a  month, period.  Buying only for ourselves for this year. Once every few months an extra hundred or two to go to Costco and split the cost of all the non grocery items, t paper, paper towels, dish soap, etc, along with some  grocery stock up those months,  with the kids, and I think our youngest daughter might go in on it with us too.

Yard sales and thrift stores are our entertainment, our favorate thing to do and I am even writing a book on having  yard sales because we are very good at it, both having and shopping at them, and only because of  some research photos this summer,  we decided on on trip a month with a limited budget for that one yard sale day a month, and that is it. Thrift stores probably the same. After we hit some  bill payment goals this June, we can budget in maybe on trip a month for the thrift stores too, but only as the budget allows and very limited spending. If we try to cut it too much, down  to zero, we will set ourselves up for failure. We do want to try for zero visits to thrift stores though if we can but will allow the one a month IF we really feel we want to go that badly.

We are also going to be starting our eating plan tomorrow. Really cutting back to healthy eating and more excercise.

So,  a twelve month challenge. It will be hard and it will be a challenge, but I am really excited about it and hope we can even do zero eating out for the year and zero thrift stores and only the four or five yard sale days for the year,starting after June 1. I would say NO yard sales, but I do have to get p ictures for the book, but we will take budgeted money only and forty or less for the day, but still push ourselves to not spend it , just research !!!

So I want to use this blog for my benefit to keep track of all the things we are accomplishing.

I decided to put this in its own category too so I may do all my posting here, but will see. 

So, day one started yesterdsay and of course we are on plan at day two, lol !!

Will post daily and will be brutally honest with how I am feeling, what we talk about and how we are doing and if we blow it. Which I am determined we will not.