Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Posts tagged ‘no spend challenge’

Taxes and other things

So I finally did my taxes and for the first time EVER I owe money. 😮 I am not sure how I feel about this. The program I used doesn’t seem to be working like I think it should. So I will look at it tomorrow with fresh eyes.

The exercising is still not back to where it should be. This week is going to be different. There, I wrote it so it must be true! 😉

Since I owe taxes and my last credit card bill was a bit spendy as I had some yearly expenses come through, I am going on another no spend challenge. I have a day outing with my oldest on Saturday with her friend and her mother. So my goal is to get to Saturday without spending a cent. I will be shopping my freezers and cooking to make this happen. I will be strong on Friday when we usually have sushi lunch. And I will cross my fingers that there is nothing tempting on the menu at the cafe at work. The good chef is back and it’s been a slippery slope.

Today I baked some pork chops and made rice. Yesterday I baked fish and I have salad fixings. I should be good until Tuesday when I will cook again. I must say it is good to have meat back on the menu as an option. Especially since I have so much of it in the freezer.

My grandfather turns 90 at the end of next month so I am going to try to make this no spend challenge last until then. His party is in Florida, so outside of my plane ticket, I will keep my credit card in my wallet and my money in the bank.

Given my tax bill, I will be investigating additional ways to reduce my taxes. Short of having another child, I think that just looks like more retirement savings are in order. I will have to look at my budget and make adjustments.

I have lots of movies and a few books from the library and my PVR is still overflowing so there is lots to keep me entertained and out of trouble.

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No Spend is Over

Last week was a success. I got up Monday through Thursday mornings and did a workout. I am feeling good. Sundays are becoming harder to get a workout in but I am going to file it under the importance of rest days. 😉

The no spend challenge was a success. I only ate out twice last month. Once when I went ice fishing and the other was treating Diva because she had a bad week. It was not as bad as I thought it would be. Cooking on Sundays definitely made the difference. It seems like my no spending rubbed off and some of my coworkers started bringing their lunches as well.

Wednesday is the start of my “no meat” challenge. I will continue to eat seafood but will try to eat a more plant based diet. I will be looking into sources of protein that aren’t legumes and cheese. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

At the end of the month, I am going to replace the battery in my scale and see if my lifestyle changes are making a difference in my weight. Then I am going to try my hardest not to let the number affect me mentally. I am seeing muscles starting to make their appearance and that is motivating me to continue. Taking jeans straight out of the dryer and putting them on with ease is also helping. I have a set of jeans a size down that I grew out of and never got rid of. These are my next goal. Once they are easy to put on out of the dryer I think I will have to figure out what to do with myself next.

Sadly not much else is going on. My life right now is just wash, rinse, repeat. Outside of the books I read not much seems to change. I am telling myself that this is just a season and this work, work, work, work only schedule is not going to be my life forever. It’s a hard sell some days, but I realize that sacrifices must be made.

Speaking of books, I am currently reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama and I highly recommend it.

Alright, that’s all I got for now.

No Spend Challenge

Towards the end of last year my spending on food was out of control. I used my busyness and tiredness as an excuse to eat out. I have reduced it somewhat in January but decided that a no spend challenge for the month of February might just be the thing to get me back on track.

For those of you new to the party, a no spend challenge is a period of time in which you abstain from non-essential spending. I tried a week and it was easy to defer purchases for 7 days. A month makes it more of a challenge. And for someone who socializes by eating out this is going to be a bit more difficult than I’d like it to be.

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The plan is to cook enough on Sundays to carry me through most of the week. Last week I tried it out. I am in need of practice as I burnt myself and managed to make a big mess by spilling grease on the floor.

The food lasted longer than I intended as I ate out for lunch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday, we had the last hurrah at lunch for me. We usually eat sushi every Friday and since Feb 1 was Friday we moved it to Wednesday. Thursday, I went out to lunch with a coworker who looks like he was at the end of his rope. Working at my company is not for the week. Friday was the sous chef’s last day. She makes the best fried chicken and I was not going to miss out, so since the menu is posted every Monday, I gave my coworker the price of the meal on Monday. So technically I did not spend on Friday. 😉

The roast and chili were the only items that were finished last week, so I froze the rest. I intended to cook pork chops, a one pot rice dish and soup but since I have so much food left over I only made the rice. I will bake the pork chops on Thursday and it should be enough to get me through the week.

I’m excited to be focused on getting my self together. I’m hoping that all these new habits take shape and stick.

Still not in a routine

It was only yesterday that I realized that I did not blog on Sunday. Will have to write this in my planner as my mind and routine have not yet adjusted (read remembered) this additional task.

This past weekend has been colder than cold. I worked as usual on Saturday. I was supposed to meet up for lunch with a new friend, but she cancelled. She is a tropical bird and was not on board with choosing to leave the warmth of her house for a meal. We have rescheduled for this Saturday.

I am still working out strong, getting a 5 workouts every week. I forgot to take before measurements and my scale needs a new battery so I am using the way my clothes fit as a way of keeping track. I took a pair of jeans out of the dryer and was able to put them on without any issue. I’ll take that as a win!

This month, my challenge is to reduce the amount of sugar, gluten and dairy I eat. I was out of control over the holidays and need to reign it in. My plan is to do this eating plan until at least the end of March. I am going to cheat on our monthly town hall meetings at work which come with cake 🙂 Three different types of cake!!

Next month I will be putting myself on a no spend challenge. Having a cafeteria at my workplace is a blessing and a curse. It is filled with healthy eats for $7/meal, but the portions received are more than I should be eating in one sitting. I used to split my meal into 2 and eat the second half for dinner but that restraint has left me. I also find that it is hit or miss in terms of taste. So it is better for my waistline and my wallet to bring my lunch. It gets a little tricky on the days I go to my night job as it means I really do have to have all my ducks in a row and pack both meals. So next month Sunday meal prep and cooking will take priority.

I bought an Instant Pot far too long ago and I have not used it. It will be dusted off and I will figure out how to use it. Hopefully this will help on Sundays. My cousin has highly recommended it so I will try to get on the bandwagon.

 

July No Spend – The End

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I’m in the green!!

Or is it in the black?? Either way I am under budget!! 🙂

I went over in 2 areas:

  • bus fare as Princess lost her bus pass and ran out of money – I felt sorry for her so I bought her 2 strips of tickets so she could get to her last week of summer school
  • groceries by $6.51 as I had an unplanned trip to the grocery store and brought Diva along …

I was on point or under in the rest of my spending so I came in under budget by $268. 🙂 Mind you my gas tank is close to empty as for some reason I only filled up once this month which is not the norm.

A giant thank you to Sharon who had the idea to do this no spend challenge. While I did turn into a bit of a hermit I didn’t feel deprived.

I have just under $30 left in my eating out pot … Hmmm what to do for dinner???

July No Spend Update #2

There’s extra $ in my bank account!!! 🙂

***drops mic***

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I amuse me greatly.

Ok, seriously now. I have been a bit of a hermit this month, but it is reflected quite nicely in my budget. All categories are still way under. Go me!!

Decided to treat myself to cherries tonight. Walked to the local mall, returned my library books and went to the “rich people” grocery store as it was the only one still open. Figured it would be just one bag, so I’ll just shut my eyes and buy it.

When we got to produce department, the shelves were empty. I thought it might be because it was near closing time but was told by the associate that they were sold out. He recommended that I get a rain check. Since the price was going to be $2/lb higher tomorrow.

Well ok, you do not need to twist my arm. So tomorrow I’ll be walking back to get my 2 bags (rain check limit) of cherries. 😀😀😀

Work has been full of drama. So much so a coworker & I chipped in and bought our manager a bottle of wine. It was that kind of day yesterday. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had less than 4 hours sleep on Monday night and I had to pick up Princess last night I too might have been drinking.

Since this whole situation is hurting my head, I’m going to share with you all as I’m kind like that. You’re welcome. 🙂

Office roomie is in a better mood. Could be because she’s spent a lot of time complaining with the new girl. 😦 Although I hear there were tears yesterday morning when she read an email announcing that one of our teammates had moved on to a different department. 😕

There was another incident yesterday between the old manager and the new girl. This lead to the new girl making comments about calling her lawyer, storming out and calling HR. I have no idea what happened and at this point in time I wish she would just leave if she’s that unhappy. According to the company grapevine she sent something to the VP with a lot of errors and the VP told her plainly that it was not acceptable. This caused the new girl to get upset again.

I am way too old for this. So again I am putting on my headphones and tuning everyone out.

On a completely different note, I have worked out every day for the past 5 days!! WHOO HOO!! My muscles are talking to me and I like it. 😳😲

Deferred Spending

Since starting this no spend challenge, I have been thinking about things I would buy but will put off until the challenge is over.

It’s no secret that my exercise has been less than stellar lately. I really want to change this. Getting up in the morning is not working for me.  What has worked is doing it right after work. But recently when I get home one or both of my kids are home and watching something on TV in the living room.

This lead me to think about getting a DVD player for my room. Thank goodness I procrastinated on getting rid of the TV in my bedroom.;)

I was going to go back to the pawn shop that I got my last DVD player from but I’m on a no spend. I was planning to wait until August, until I told a friend who mentioned he might have one in his mother’s garage. Fingers crossed, I can save myself $20. 🙂