Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011: Resolution Time Again!

Another year has come and gone. Heck, another decade has come and gone.

And now it's resolution time again.

I know some people hate them but I like them. I don't think of them as hard and fast rules and don't hate myself when I fail but it's something to aspire to and gives me something to focus on throughout the year. And since I come back just about every month to see where I am it does keep me on track :)

For the most part I kept last year's resolutions. Some of the money stuff fell apart in December around Christmas but truly so much better than in years past. It was like losing 50 pounds and gaining back 5 - overall you feel great but know you can do even better!

As for spending $100 a week for the most part I did. As I take the whole year and divide it comes out to right about $100/week. Every month I went over $400 but that makes sense for the full year.

This year I'm making a few changes - I'm less worried about my grocery bill - I think I'm good with couponing (though if you saw TLC's show Extreme Couponing I have a long way to go - although to be honest I have NO desire to be like that - I love my family too much and apparantly no one heard that time is money also) - anyway, off my soap box - for myself I am content with how I'm doing - I pay try to do a little better this year but I'm not hugely worried about it and have increased my budget to $450 a month to give myself a little wiggle room.

I've also renewed my membership to BJ's - mostly just to be more convenient. My plan is to go there the beginning of each month to get what I need in bulk for the month and the money I have leftover in my budget I'll use to pick up milk, produce and all the best deals for the month. My plans are always changing so we'll see how it works.

As for this year's resolutions:

1. Organization. This is topping my goals this year - I really want all the toys gone or organized. I started in 2010 but rather than focus on couponing I'll be focusing on organizing.

2. Decorating. There are parts of my house that I truly want to look better and this year I want to actually get it done - on a budget of course. My goal is $100 per room (probably per month) and a little bit of work to make some much needed updates. Again this is a priority over couponing.

3. Spending less and saving more. This is always a goal and after re-doing my budget for 2011 I'm excited to be doing both. Still paying down debt and not accruing new debt - still budgeting!

4. Do a little more deal hunting. I still want to coupon but I plan to look for even better deals rather than stock up on everything - so pretty much just stocking up on the free or almost free items each week and buying the rest at BJ's or my one big Harris Teeter run each month. But adding to groceries is deal hunting at the store and stocking up on clearance items hoping to donate to the school or whomever needs it. I started yesterday at the Christian Bookstore for clearance Christmas items - got some REALLY good deals!!

5. Monthly meal planning. I'm loving this and plan to continue.

For now those are my thoughts for the new year. The fun part is changing things as I go along and each time seeing how I can do better.

I hope you'll stay and see how I make changes to my house, my budget and my life. The Lord gives us each and every day that we have to enjoy and to live for Him. Being a good steward of my finances and my belongings are the best way I can show Christ to my family and those around me.

May your 2011 be blessed!

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