So last time I listed out my resolutions. Which, by the way, are probably the most made resolutions. Lame. I know. Anyways, I wanted to describe how I was going to actually achieve these resolutions.
1. Eat healthy and get moving: I think I eat pretty healthy as it is. But there is always room for improvement. My weak spot is sweets. I have a major sweet tooth and I LOVE chocolate. My biggest thing for eating healthy is to cut back on sweets. I don’t want to eliminate them altogether because I know I need to indulge my sweet tooth every now and again, so I plan to limit it to some dark chocolate or hot chocolate after dinner. I’m also looking into some healthier dessert options. Like these black bean brownies.
In order to get moving, I plan to spread it out through out the day. I’ve found I don’t really like to work out, so I have to find things I enjoy. I want to get up half and hour early to do some stretching and strength training. I’m walking on my lunch breaks. And when it gets lighter again in the evening, I want to take another evening walk. On weekends, I will walk the dog or take her on a bike ride. This seems doable to me. So far so good with walking at lunch. Not doing so well on the waking-up-half-an-hour-early front. Need to work on that.
2. Blog more: I’m already doing it. I’ve found I just have to get on here and write and write and write. And not worry about how it’s sounding. I figure the more I write, the better I’ll get at it. My goal is to do a post a week.
3. Save more/spend less: Last year I signed up on mint in order to keep better track of our spending. You can add in all your bank accounts and credit cards so you can track your spending all in one place. You can create budgets and create goals. It reminds you when your credit card payment is due. It has helpful graphs and you can view trends in your spending. It’s safe and secure. It was helping a little, but I think I figured out a way to help me even more.
The problem was that I was trying to create different budgets every month depending on what I thought we would spend money on. I have a spreadsheet where I calculated our combined yearly take home and then I divided it by 12 to get our monthly take home pay. Then I listed out our monthly bills that are consistent every month (ex. mortgage, utilities, cell phone, groceries, fuel, car insurance). I subtracted that amount from our monthly take home. We decided we wanted to save 30% of our income, so I subtracted that out. What we’re left with is our allowable monthly spending. I made a worksheet where at the beginning of every month I would figure out our spending for that month and make budgets on Mint for it. It became a problem when things would come up in the middle of the month that didn’t fit the spending budget and it would get confusing. Or like I would buy something at Home Depot for the house, but I didn’t create a home improvement budget for the month, and then I’d have to reevaluate the budget again.
So, I created a budget on Mint, called “Misc/Extra Spending”. Now everything that doesn’t fit into the monthly expenses, gets put into that budget. I made it where it will roll over every month, so I can see how much we have saved up in that budget. That way, when I want to do some home project, I know how much I’m allowed to spend. I think this method will work out much better, and allow us to save more money.
Wow, I hope that all makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions on how we budget.
And because this post needs a picture, I leave you with my sweet lab puppy. She’s so cute. I could just eat her up.