Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Budget Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Almost too cute to handle, right!

My life experiment is turning out to have some very interesting consequences. It has been almost a month, and I figured you were probably due for an update. Remember this list?

1. Get up before the babe, at a consistent time every day.

Let's give this the laugh it is due. HA HA HA HA HA! Seriously. Never going to happen. On the days that I do manage to get up before her, I tend to have a better day. My day starts off quietly, which is good since I can't have coffee, and I am less bitter about getting up. But honestly, the biggest thing that has actually changed with this is that we implemented a new rule in our house. With the exception of Sundays when we have church, the babe stays in her crib until 9:30. I doesn't matter if she wakes up at 7 or 9:15. She stays in her crib. This has made my life 110% better. My goal was to be up at 8 every day, but with the hubs schedule, and my crazy pregnancy, frankly, I need the sleep to be even close to nice human being for the rest of the day.

3. Spend 2 hours a day outside unless it is raining or below freezing. We have coats. We will be fine.

Yes, I skipped #2. We'll get back to that. This one is a nice thought, and perhaps come spring will actually happen. I do so much better with heat than with cold. We are trying to get outside at least for a few minutes every day.

4. Make a schedule of things to do when I get up.

This has really more turned into a to-do list. It is nice, and I actually get some things on the list done.

5. Make sure I have a quiet time before the babe wakes in the morning.

Um, yeah. See #1. About 3 days of the week, so better.

2. Actually eat real food. 

Here is where things have gotten most interesting. Let's go with a section called 

Notes from My Experiment:

1. This is the budget lesson we have learned the hard way. Let me tell you a story. Back the last Tuesday in December (our grocery day at the time), the hubs and I were looking at the grocery budget. We were so incredibly overblown (read $200 over), and had almost nothing left in the house to eat. Being the creative types we are, we figured what's the harm in going ahead and using some of January's grocery money? After all, there were only 3 days left December. Most of the week's groceries would be eaten in January. Big HUGE HONKING MISTAKE! NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN! This is something that we'd done before, and everything seemed to just work itself out, but that had been when there was money in the bank. There's no money in the bank. Medical bills have pretty much wiped us out, and right now, there are no extras. We are fine, but there are no extras. No dates. No gifts. No fancy meals at home (how I miss those!). No shopping. And from now on, no extra grocery money. What comes in is budgeted to the last penny in order to pay off the bills. We are so close! Anyway... we spent almost 1/3 of our budget for December. We are paying for it now. Did you know that if you count that last Tuesday in December in with January that it makes 5 weeks? Yeah, it does. We have $300 a month right now for groceries. If you have 4 weeks, that makes a nice $75 a week. If you have 5 weeks, that makes a not so nice $60 a week, doable, but not so nice. Well, when you go and spend $192 in the first 2 weeks, that leaves you with $36 a week for three weeks. Never. Ever. EVER. Again. We are making it work, but seriously. I have an empty pantry and an empty fridge. You know all those foods that you get because you need a cup of this or a pinch of that for different recipes, and the rest just kind of sit around collecting dust? Yeah. We've eaten those. I'll type up some recipes that actually turned out pretty good, and really super stretched. Please learn from us. Make things stretch for a week, not for most of the month. It really isn't all that worth it.

2. We've pretty much stopped snacking. The babe still has one snack a day, but that's really it. She eats at meal times, and so do I. I'm not hungry in between. It is a new phenomenon for me. And believe it or not, the food at meals goes farther. I think it might be our metabolism regulating. I'm pretty sure mine hasn't been normal since I graduated from college. (Thank you life as an EMT for messing that one up!) 

3. We've pretty much stopped buying cereal. I'm sure the babe would still enjoy having it, but it isn't the only thing she wants anymore. That might be from not snacking.

4. I've actually gained some weight this pregnancy! Huzzah! Seriously, after almost 6 months, I hadn't gained a pound. Now that we've started eating differently, I have gained a little bit, and I'm feeling better. This might be the only time in my life that I will ever be excited by the miserable number on the scale going up instead of down.

Do you have any life experiments in the works right now? Any budgeting lessons learned the hard way?

No comments:

Post a Comment