Thursday, August 20, 2015

Steps Toward Financial Fitness Volume Twelve

One of our anticipated transitions are impending.  Herb will be leaving Korea soon, he will be returning stateside and our pay will be reduced.  I have not achieved all of the goals that I had intended to achieve while he was stationed in Korea although I have made some progress.  I have continued to make progress on getting the house cleaned out and things repaired so that if needed we can sell the house.  I do have some money in savings and have made progress with debt (not where I wanted to be but progress, nonetheless).  However, with all of the summer activities, especially my cleaning of the attic and the garage, have created a bit of chaos that made it very difficult to keep my act together in regards to household tasks, particularly routine dinners.  We haven't sat around a table together for dinner in months.  I have only made a handful of homemade meals in months.  It is time for me to bring some order back to my house.  I must bring back order and routine.  And I must return my focus to frugality.  I must return to making menus and using what I have on hand.  I must return to keeping track of spending in areas such as clothing and gifts.  I must continue paying debt aggressively and tucking away money for all the transitions yet ahead.  I must focus.

-My summer has been dominated by cleaning, sorting and purging.  I could have held a whopper (or two or three) of a yard sale but opted not to take the time to do that.  That would have slowed me down immensely.  I did, however, donate all the items to a local thrift store.  I kept very good records as to what I donated and I got receipts so that I could take a tax deduction.

-I gratefully accepted a gift of three hens and one of my hens is now laying.

-Unfortunately, given the high level of absorption the cleaning required I was highly inconsistent with making meals so I spent too much money on eating out and I wasted too much food, food that had gone bad just sitting in the fridge.  Fortunately, those hens really love all of my old food.  I have been supplementing their diet with my leftovers, etc.

-We initially turned the air conditioner off because it needed a repair but we ended up leaving it off for the entirety of the summer.  We saved a significant amount of money by not using the a/c.  We had a handful of rough days, really hot days, but overall it was not too bad.  I, personally, could do this again.  I am surprised that I am saying that!

-Just as I am keeping track of everything that is exiting my home I am also keeping track of what is entering the home and, overall, I am pleased with my choices and with just how many days nothing new enters the house.  As I have been sorting through and purging things I have realized that it is easy to let things into my home - a little here, a little there then all of a sudden I have a lot.  I know that that is how money is spent as well - a little here and a little there equals a significant amount.  I am changing my relationship with stuff and it is positively impacting my finances.

-I am finally getting the upstairs under control after pulling everything out of the attic for sorting, purging and organizing which now allows me to get back on track with my project 33 style approach to my wardrobe.  I am now reviewing my remaining clothes so that I can thoughtfully assemble my fall capsule wardrobe.  This approach keeps me from buying items on a whim and, thus, spending money carelessly.  I will be needing to purchase new underwear and I will be looking for a pair of black skinny jeans and a pair of boyfriend jeans.  I might also look for a little "leather" jacket and am thinking about a new pair of Converse (black or white).  I will definitely think about the last two before purchasing.

I will press on with my remaining household sorting, purging, and organizing tasks but will put more effort towards my frugal goals.  This next week I will pull out my household management binder and try to get organized, including making menus.  Within the next two weeks I will clean the freezer out and inventory its contents.  I will also get to Kohl's for some clothing purchases.  I have a $10 birthday coupon that needs to be used by the end of this month.

Christmas Jar of Change:  The previous balance was $108.46.  I will now add $12.18 for a new balance of $120.64.  (It seems as though I should have more change then that given the amount of time since I last added change to the jar.  I know that I use many of the quarters to go to the laundromat but really I must not be a good steward where my change is concerned).

Home Emergency Fund:  $0

52 Week Savings Plan:  The previous balance was $833.  I deposited $97 into this savings plan to cover eight deposits for the months of July and August.  Those eight deposits would be 12, 8, 34, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11.  The new balance is $930!

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