I’ve had this post in my head since last weekend … Better late than never, right?
Right now I am struggling with life/work balance. I am so unhappy at work I have started looking for another job. I moved to the early shift and still find myself working at least 2 hours overtime almost every day. 😦 The only “bonus” is that I am still leaving work at a “reasonable” hour. I really thought that work would get better since we were bought out but that is not the case. It also does not help that just about everyone in my department is miserable including my manager.
Friday had me running around like a chicken with my head cut off as we’ve just implemented a new pricing process that requires multiple busy people to look at our costs before the quote goes to our finance department and then back to our VP of sales. If she changes a penny, it must go back to finance for approval …
The process is taking 5+ days. Unacceptable, but what can we do. It honestly feels like we are being set up to fail. I am told right now is our busy season and it will slow down but I am not seeing it.
On the fitness side, I am still managing to fit in at least a 20 minute workout into my day every day. My body is tired but I am getting it done. I want to increase the amount of time I exercise but I have not yet convinced myself to work out before work. And when I get home, some nights I am so hungry that I inhale a yogurt before exercising and then choose a 20 minute workout. I still have not attempted a Jillian workout.
I need to get a better handle on my food intake. I was supposed to start tracking it on Feb 1 but … I neglected to. Made myself the world’s most awesome sandwich for breakfast today and yesterday. Put it into myfitnesspal.com only to cry at how calorie heavy it is. No regrets, but it is an eye opener. Also my water intake has fallen by the wayside. 😦
Financially … I have not been as diligent as I used to be with my money. I have been having way too many coffees out. Considering I am/was a one coffee a day kind of girl and 99% of the time it was instant from home as I am not a “real” coffee drinker. I like coffee that doesn’t taste like coffee, flavoured is my jam. This new habit of going for a second coffee 3+ times a week needs to end.
Basically I am a hot mess and need to get myself back on track. This is the month to start focusing on me.
Princess has thrown down a challenge. Even though she’s been complaining that there is no food in the house, she is proposing that other than perishables we not buy anything else until September 15th.
This is completely doable as we have tonnes of meat and carbs in the freezer and pantry. So other than produce & milk we really don’t need to buy anything.
So I am getting on board.
Tomorrow I am going to pick up milk, yogurt, cream, eggs, some fruits & veggies AND NOTHING ELSE!! LOL I’m even taking Princess with me to make sure I stay focused. Although I do want some kind of sugary treat be it ice cream or Popsicles. Hopefully I can sneak it in the cart when she’s not looking. LOL
I know it’s the middle of May but I still want to do my monthly recap.
- Move at least 10 minutes every day – I worked out 14 times last month
- Stick to my budget – I was over by $14 but that’s because I used some of my income tax refund to pad my budget
- Read 3 books – I finished not even 1 😦
- Continue to work on my afghan – I’m stuck on a piece of the pattern that requires me to concentrate and I have not spent the time with it to figure it out
- Stop eating after 8 pm – I was good in the beginning of month
- Replace the batteries in my scale and watch – Done and done.
- Figure out what to do with my tax refund – Other than pad my budget last month, I think I’m just going to leave it in my savings
Wow this is much better than I thought it would be.
Since we are half way through May I’m not going to have too many goals.
- Stay on budget
- Establish a nightly prep routine
- Go to bed by 11 pm
- Start exercising
I think that’s enough for the next 2 weeks.
I don’t really want to talk about March. I was doing “OK” until I left the country then I forget I was on a budget. 😦
So I hope to distract you with what might be my only “win” this month. All the decluttering I did.
Ok, back to reality.
What was I supposed to be doing again?
- Participate in Carla’s March Take 3 challenge – I did join and post about it 🙂
- Come in under budget – Not even close
- Time management – Nope
- Declutter – Partly done, still have a box of CDs to rip
- Work on my afghan – I have added a few more rows
- Daily reading in the morning and evening – Nope
- Read 3 books – I only read The 21 Day Financial Fast
- Stop eating after 8 pm – If I was on point 30% of the time that was plenty
I am still struggling with getting my ducks together. I only exercised 12 times and that was only because since last week I decided to make sure I move every day.
- Move at least 10 minutes every day
- Stick to my budget
- Read 3 books
- Continue to work on my afghan
- Stop eating after 8 pm
- Replace the batteries in my scale and watch
- Figure out what to do with my tax refund
Maybe lucky #7 will be the magic number of goals for me this month.
I am a sucker for challenges or anything that gets me to do something a little different. Thanks Carla for “dragging” me along. 😉
Finance: Come in below budget. In all the time that I have been budgeting I can’t think of a time when I was under. I’m usually at best a little over. I’m not sure that this is the best month to try this out in as I have a lot of one-off expenses this month. All 3 passports expire in 2 weeks. Princess turns 16. I need to renew the sticker on my license plate. Property taxes are due. I am going to limit the finance part to the rest of my budget without these 4 expenses.
Personal: One thought. Time management. I don’t know where my time goes every day. In my perfect world I will have time for exercise, reading, crocheting and paying attention to my kids … oh and television cause it’s really important. 😉 This month I am going to try to master the art of working out in the morning, thus freeing up my evening to relax.
Decluttering: There is a pile of
crap stuff that’s been sitting in my dining room for far too long. I have tidied it up but I need to figure it out once and for all. Since I haven’t really looked at the pile in at least a year it is safe to say it’s not anything critical. I have 4 desktops to clean off and dispose of. Don’t ask why, I don’t have a good answer.
I think this is plenty.
I am fairly sure it is safe to say I took my eye off the ball last month.
- Stop eating after 8pm. – Not exactly, I would say I was successful 40-50% of the time.
- Read 3 books – I read The Butler: A Witness to History and When She Woke.
- Pick up an afghan and work on it – I pulled it out if the closet, does that count?
- Shop my freezer – I don’t think I bought any meat last month
- Get back on track with my daily morning and evening reading – Nope
- Continue to workout at least 5 times a week – I worked out 12 times.
Yup, proof I took my eye off the prize. On the financial front I was 1.44% over my monthly budget and I blame that on the creme brulee. 😉 Had I not gone out to dinner with my friend I would have been under budget. Lucky me I get another month to try again! 🙂
- Participate in Carla’s March Take 3 challenge, my 3 things to come
- Work on my afghan, pictures to come
- Daily reading in the morning and evening
- Read 3 books
- Stop eating after 8 pm
I think that’s enough for now. Sadly, I want to snack on something and it’s 9:48 pm. 😦
On Monday I got the dreaded you have reached 100% of your monthly usage allowance. 😦 In an attempt to reduce our overage I banned everyone from using the internet unless it was school related. When I checked this morning we were 6 GBs over our limit. This will be an additional $12 on the next bill. I would love to know what had changed this past billing cycle as we haven’t gone over our 60 GB limit in a long time and usually sit at less than 45 GBs each month.
Oh well, on to business.
- Fiscal fast for the first 8 days of January, with the exception of a lunch on Jan 7 – Done
- No-Low Spend Challenge
- Come in on or under my reduced budget – I was over by 4% if you don’t count my tickets to The Lion King, 18.5% if you do
- No eating out (except for the lunch I have on the 7th) – Nope, my cousin invited me out and I also paid for the meal my BFF “treated” me to as she has not paid me back yet and I don’t intend to ask for repayment as she frequently takes me out to eat.
- 15 “no spend” days – I had 22
- Continue to track my spending – I did this and for the first time ever my spending only took up 32 lines on my spreadsheet. (It’s usually in the 50’s)
- Shop my freezer – Mostly, but I still stocked up on some pizzas towards the end of the month
- Exercise 20 times – I tracked 27 workouts
- Read 2 books – I only read The Time Traveler’s Wife
- Give the blanket to my BFF – Done!
- Pick up one of the unfinished crochet projects I have – Nope, I have not looked in the bin yet
Not bad. I’m starting to think that multi-tasking is not my forte. But I worked out and tried to keep my spending under control, which were the important goals to me.
- Stop eating after 8pm. I find myself snacking while watching the 11 pm news. 😦
- Read 3 books
- Pick up an afghan and work on it
- Shop my freezer
- Get back on track with my daily morning and evening reading
- Continue to workout at least 5 times a week
On a different note, I forgot to tell you that I stepped on the scale on Saturday and pulled out the tape measure. I am down almost 4 lbs and 4 inches. I kinda expected it would be more as I am feeling rather lean. I am one pound away from where My Fitness Pal thinks I am. Blasted summer holiday weight gain that is fighting to stay with me. 😦 My cousin gave me bad news. She said once you get closer to your goal it gets harder to lose the weight. WTF!?! Well, I am taking that as a challenge and putting on my big girl panties. 😉
Lately I’ve been thinking about the end of the year. Not in an introspective kind of way but more in the importance society gives December 31/January 1. Truth is we are given a “fresh start” every day. This thought process of now that it’s a new year I get another chance to get it right is troubling me. I think we get a new chance every day we wake up.
I am going to attempt to change my mindset. No longer will I wait for next week or next month to do what I should have been doing all along. Case in point, this past Sunday I said I would start the 30 Day Sculpt and do all 5 weeks. On Sunday I did not take my butt off the couch. So I counted that day as my “rest” day and began on Monday. Tuesday night had me watching the ball drop THEN working out. As far as I am concerned since I did not sleep it was still a workout for Tuesday even if it was after midnight. 😉
Last year I vowed to:
- Spend more time with friends and family. I can’t say that I made a huge change in my visiting/hanging out. There are still lots of people on the list to spend time with. 😦
- Get active. According to myfitnesspal.com I moved my body 118 days last year.
- Reduce my debt. Not nearly as much as I would like
- Increase my net worth. Yes I have more than doubled my net worth. 🙂
- Learn and grow. I have no idea what I was trying to say here as this is as vague as it can get.
So I’m going to call it a tie. 😉
- I would like to say “yes” more often. I am far too comfortable chilling on my couch. So looking for cheap/free entertainment outside of my house is on the list. My BFF is now a part of several meetup groups and has informed me that there is no reason why we should be at home often anymore.
- I haven’t been on a plane in 3 years. I know first world problems. lol This year I would like to take my kids somewhere by plane. I will be on the look out for cheap vacation destinations. Having said that my BFF told me one of her meetup groups is going to South Africa in November … Oh to dream. For the 3 of us we are looking at $10K. I don’t think this trip is a possibility for this year, but hopefully for Diva’s
high school university graduation. I would say Princess but her dream trip is to go to England.
- I know I just finished telling you that I want to leave the house, but I also want to read more. Think there is a meetup group for that? Meet in the mall/park/zoo to read a book?? LOL I have picked 50 as the number of books I would like to read this year. I read 20 books last year. An Exacting Life has been reading books that she owns. Such a novel concept.
Most of these books I have yet to read. 😦 So no more putting books on hold at the library. It’s time to read and get rid of what I have.
In addition to that I would also like to read the Bible. Actually if I am not mistaken, the black book in the first cubby of the second row from the top is one of my Bibles. I have read the beginning and the end, but all that happened between Genesis and Revelation … don’t ask me about that. I will end my night with pages from the Bible. I will start my days with The Book of Awakening and The Daily Book of Positive Quotations. Both books are a page a day so nothing too overwhelming.
- I can’t forget exercise. Project Get Healthy continues. My goal is to beat last year’s exercise number of 118 days. I think I can do that. Especially when looking back to see large chunks of time without exercise. Ideally I’d like to lose some weight too but the most important thing is that I keep moving.
- On the financial front, more of the same. Stay on or under budget. I have set up my budget to keep track of how on point I am on a cumulative basis so I can tighten the reins before it is a complete disaster. Since I was over-budget by 10% last year, my aim is to be 5% or less. I would say 0 but that doesn’t feel realistic to me.
- Learn to really use my not so new camera and post more of my own pictures on this blog. I have taken 2 classes but still the best way to learn is to just go play with it so I will be doing that this year. My cousin bought herself a dSLR too and is going to take a course at her local college so I’m sure she will share any knowledge she gets. 🙂
I feel like I am forgetting something but I can’t put my finger on what yet. I’m sure decluttering my home should be on this list but let’s not get too crazy!! LOL
Another month end. Time is passing far too quickly.
- Exercise 16 times – 22 times!! Whoo hoo!! 20 minutes really is my sweet spot.
- Read 2 books – I read The Dinner and Better Than Good Hair
- 15 no spend days – Only 13, so close. I would have hit it if I didn’t take my sister to do her eyebrows twice. Really need to put her on a schedule that corresponds with a day I am already spending money. 😉
- Shop my freezer – I was doing this!?! LOL I don’t think I did this well at all. 😦
- Finish Christmas shopping by Dec 10 – I was finished on the 12th. Close but not quite.
- Finish putting together the blanket for my BFF – The blanket is put together now I need to sew in all the loose ends.
- Make Apple Pie cookies – No. I was planning to make and take these to my Dad’s for Christmas but I did not take the recipe off the internet so when I lost internet just before Christmas I was SOL.
- Stick to the budget – Not even close. 😦
- Fiscal fast for the first 8 days of January, with the exception of a lunch on Jan 7
- No-Low Spend Challenge
- Exercise 20 times
- Read 2 books
- Give the blanket to my BFF 😉
- Pick up one of the unfinished crochet projects I have
I think that’s enough given the no-low spend challenge is going to keep me on my toes.
I still have to decide on what, if anything, I want to accomplish this year.
Carla has done it again, issued a new no-low spending challenge. Starting January first she, along with a gaggle of driven folks, myself included, will be trying to be mindful of our pennies.
Ever since she announced it, I’ve been trying to think about what my goals will be.
Other than staying on budget, I’m not sure what else I would like to accomplish. My kids have suggested we refrain from eating out in January.
Right now, my goals look like this.
- Come in on or under my reduced budget
- No eating out (except for the lunch I have on the 7th)
- 15 “no spend” days
- Continue to track my spending
- Shop my freezer
Looking back over this year’s budget was not pretty. I wish I had thought to look at where I stood long before December. I overspent by 10%. 😦 No wonder I am not making too much headway on my debt. I spent a ridiculous amount on food. So I either have an unrealistic expectation about what it costs to feed us or we are gluttons. Or the more likely case, I am undisciplined. I will be keeping a much closer eye on my food spending next year.
Since I am determined to really shop my freezer, I reduced my monthly grocery budget by 17% for January. Other than milk and fresh produce I am not sure why else I might be in the grocery store/Costco next month. We will just need to learn to make due. This will also mean I need to be vigilant about baking bread.
In addition to the month-long No-Low Spend Challenge, I am also going to stretch myself by participating in Sharon’s New Year Fiscal Fast. So for the first 7 days I will be refraining from spending any money. Since I have a planned lunch on the 7th, I will be extending my fast until the 8th. I think milk will be my undoing. Diva drinks it like it’s her not so secret addiction. To be honest I will most likely buy two sets of milk tomorrow. I will need to figure out how to hide the extra 4 litres from Diva as when there is a lot of milk in the fridge she tends to go overboard on her consumption.
Now to just keep my eye on the prize all
month year long.