How I Plan to Do It All

It feels like the clouds of funk are lifting. Whether they’re lifting naturally or chemically I don’t know, but my brain is cluttered with ideas and wants. Inspired by class work I did with my kids, I have set goals and and now I’m going to come up with a plan. I told my kids that we’re all really good at having goals and dreams, but we’re not always so good at following through. I’m determined to do it all.

Step 1: Save Money

Isn’t this everyone’s goal? I want to eventually live a debt free life (other than my mortgage) while doing things I enjoy. Today is payday so what better time to create a budget than today? I think I might try one of those money saving apps to track my spending. I did an amazing job in February not spending money unnecessarily, so I hope to do a good job in March, too.

My monthly expenses are my mortgage, student loans, cable  internet, city services, electricity, gas, cell phone, car insurance, HVAC financing, and my car lease. That’s a whole lot when I write it out like that. Most of these are non-negotiables, but I can get rid of my HVAC bill quicker if I send more money when I have it. My car lease is going to go up because I’ve decided to keep it and finance what’s left. I can also send extra there.

One area where I can spend less is going out. I used to withdraw $100 for my monthly going out budget, and once it was spent then I was spent. I’m going to reinstate that rule effective immediately. I’ve also given up drinking again because a) my medication says not to and b) my stomach ends up looking flatter and c) I save those dollars and cents.

Another area I’m modifying is my groceries. Going to Costco has saved me money for sure. I just signed up for The Produce Box, which for a small fee will deliver fresh produce to my doorstep. It will arrive on Friday, so I can easily plan my weekly meals utilizing what I get. The added bonus is that I get more veggies in my diet. The final area I can change is lunch. I sold my soul to Boars Head years ago. I can’t and won’t eat any other brand of deli meat. If I were to get a pound of turkey for $8.99 and eat it 5 days a week, I’m saving money. It costs me $3 per meal in my school cafeteria, and $6 or more if I choose to go to subway. So Boars Head it is and I’m not mad about it.

Step 2: Earn Money

I’m still on my quest to minimize my life. Remember when I cut down on the items in my closet? My plan is to someday soon try to sell some of those clothes to the resale stores. Places like Plato’s Closet and Uptown Cheapskate will take your gently used clothing and offer you cash on the spot. I also have a bag of books and CDs I’m going to attempt to sell to the used bookstore. 

Money bags

I finally got information on how to discontinue being a LuLaRoe consultant, officially. I’ve sold all I can, and I’m ready to return what’s left to the warehouse. I’ll be taking a loss, but I really want to pay my investment off and move on. I’ll be able to sell my supplies for some extra money as well.

What’s left of my small business

Step 3: Update the Home

What?!? How do you save money and still upgrade your home? Easy.

I’m the kind of person that starts projects and then doesn’t finish them for a while. I’m going to save money by putting a freeze on any unnecessary home projects until I complete the 5 or 6 that are unfinished. 

For example, here’s my unfinished half bathroom vanity. I bought paint for this about a month ago.

Here’s my curtain-less kitchen window, which looks into my mudroom. I bought a curtain and rods two weeks ago.

I have 2 camellias, 1 daphne, and 2 roses that need to be planted. I haven’t even started to put down my concrete pavers. I’m almost finished saving my patio but there’s a few more steps. I have many bushes to chop down and dig up.

If I focus on what I’m prepared to do, I’ll save money by not going to Lowe’s and Home Depot. 

Step 4: Travel More

Ultimately, the purpose of me getting my finances in order is so I can travel. I’ve been researching cheap flights to my ever-growing list of places to see, and I’m officially a member of airbnb. I bought my camera, and I decided I want the telephoto lens, which was my first big step. My next step is to renew my passport. I booked my first solo long weekend for the end of this month to someplace local, so I can get comfortable being the solo female traveler. 

I’m completely convinced that I can do this all. I’m going to have to work hard to be patient because I want it all now. What are some of your favorite ways to save money?