Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Month End Money Recap

You know how it sometimes feels like you can't get ahead and when you look at your goals you realize how far behind you really are? The good news is that you can start over whenever you want and I have to say the start of a new school year is like starting over again for me!

My kids are back in school which means I have a **little** more freetime than I used to which means I can focus more on my home. It also means no more vacations so we will spend less money. It also means lots of consignment sale prep which will hopefully lead to more money so all around a bit of a money plus :)

1. Organization. I did a little. I have a lot of clothes hung and ready to tag for my upcoming consignment sales - this weekend my plan is to go through buckets of toys to see what I have there to sell. Hoping for a lot so I can pay myself back for clothes that I have had to buy for the kids for school!

2. Decorating. Did not get to this again this month. When I originally set this goal I was really hoping for more free weekends to work on the house but it hasn't happened. I'm very much hoping it will happen soon but as I look ahead I know it definitely won't happen in September. The whole month is already full and it hasn't even started!

3. Spending less and saving more. No. Unfortunately, this whole summer has been crazy with one thing after another and the month of August meant school supplies. Oh, I used coupons and shopped sales but no matter what none of it was free so I had to account for that somewhere. Plus, there was school uniforms and fall clothes so that was yet another extra expense. The good news is that I am paying in full for all my purchases and not going in to debt which is really the most important thing right? I am certainly going to work on saving more in the coming months though because I'm tired of my savings account not being bigger than it is!!

4. Do a little more deal hunting. I did some with school supplies - using rebates, coupons and sales wherever I could. I've spent some time on Swagbucks earning extra bucks wherever I could. Right now I have a growing stash of Amazon gift cards that I am saving to use at Christmas. I've also been earning Barnes and Noble gift cards now through Swagbucks and that has been fun to get even more books free! I love books :)

5. Monthly meal planning. I didn't get to this in August. I made good weekly plans and with September starting I feel like I'm in the same boat. I have been busy and haven't had a chance to set out a full months meal plan. However, each week I have been looking at what I have to see what I can make and my "needs" list to purchase from the store has been very small - somewhere around $15 a week which I am very happy with. Note: that doesn't include milk which is always on my needs list! I also increased my food budget from $450 a month to $500 - milk has gone up along with some other items and I'm stocking up a little more at BJ's so I just feel like my budget is a little more roomier than it was and I'm happy about that! All the time I realize that budgets aren't set in stone but guidelines to see where I fall and rather than struggle and become frustrated about going over every month I'd rather see myself come under budget or meet it :)

How about you? Have you even though about your New Year's Goals since January? It's hard to believe that there is only 4 months left in the year and we will soon be thinking about Christmas. Having goals to keep up with helps us financially and mentally to stay on track rather than have life pass us by.

Here's to a great school year for you and yours!

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