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Archive for February, 2015

Getting Easier

February 20th, 2015 at 08:35 am

Strangely enough, once I wrote about my mini-goal lesson mid-week, I haven't made nearly as many excuses. I think actually only one since the last post.

And that was for going out and buying a new high chair/booster seat. My littlest is approaching solid foods fast. Plus, he doesn't like sitting in his bouncy while we eat (wants to sit on one of our laps), so I was thinking we need to include him at the table. Luckily I stopped myself before running out to the nearest store and picking something up. He's really not ready, and won't be for a few weeks.

Small win, but very satisfying. I think this mini-goal was one of the best things I could have done in order to stop the out-pour of money. I'm proud of myself, a feeling I haven't had in awhile. No money out since I started the mini-goal besides that tank of gas I knew I needed. :-)

Partway Mini-Goal Lesson

February 18th, 2015 at 12:24 pm

I'm not even quite halfway through my mini-goal time period, but I've definitely learned something over the last two+ days. I make up a lot of excuses:
-I got up four times in the night, I deserve Starbucks.
-Kids had a bad morning so I didn't get breakfast, got to run through McDonalds.
-I solved a tricky work problem, a sub doesn't sound bad.
-Running late and husband didn't follow meal plan, so I should just pick up fast food on way home.
...And so forth.

Luckily, every time I mentally made an excuse, I recognized it and squashed it. I haven't spent a dime yet. I really don't spend that much normally, but depriving (using term loosely) seems to amplify it. Really showing that I was actually having an issue with it. I think the toughest part is realizing how often I do it and recognizing WHY.

It's almost as if I make myself out entitled to get these "little" things. Tired, buy something. Stressed, buy something. Need a victory, buy something. Usually fast-food related. Not healthy mentally or physically.

At the very least, it is something to ponder. I'll need to come up with a new stress/celebratory thing. That in itself is hard. Food has always been a comfort, convenience, and a reward thing.

Mini-Goal

February 16th, 2015 at 02:06 pm

First off, thank you for all your help on my last post. At this point, I'm leaning towards the donate "just to get it gone now" route. I haven't gotten through much of my unpacking, just kid stuff (most of it I still need since they are so close in age) and kitchen. Although, I do have an extra set of dishes and some once-a-year fancy dish displays that I might Craigslist or Facebook (if I can figure out my city selling page). Let me just say: you got to love wedding registries for making you think you need things you don't.

My mini-goal for this week is going to be really simple: Not to spend a dime other than those bills already paid and gas. I'm hoping it will help slow the out-pour of money associated with the costs of moving. Although, some purchase have been simply because of convenience and some because we are finally actually spending. It was like a flood-gate opened. I don't think we went too overboard (still under my original estimate), but if we don't slow down now, it won't take much more to surpass the budget.

I alternate between thinking that this mini-goal will be really easy or really hard. Easy because I really don't have anything I need or even really want to get. We have all the apartment stuff we need. We did a diaper/formula run this weekend. And we have a meal plan through Sunday and groceries are stocked.

Yet, it will be hard because I got so used to in the last three weeks going out at lunch to pick up these few things, or those few things, or fast food because the kitchen wasn't put together enough to pack lunch, or Starbucks because, well- two under two, enough said.

So, that's my mini-goal. No spending (except that tank of gas I will need mid-week) until Sunday when we will grocery shop again.

Full disclosure: I'm not including my $25 Whole Foods run this morning as it was the only time I would be on that side of town in the next several weeks and I needed to get some things I can't get at our normal grocery store and some of the items were ones I picked up for my parents. So it's just "not there" for these purposes. Plus, I came up with my mini-goal idea on the way back. (Excuses, excuses, I know...) Maybe a better way to define this mini-goal time frame would be starting at 10am Monday until grocery shopping Sunday.

Tips?

February 6th, 2015 at 08:17 am

I have way too much stuff in my new apartment. There's not room and we don't need a lot of it. A bunch was stored from my move from high school to college, and more was stored after we moved back into my parents, so I really didn't know what or how much I had.

I won't have a problem letting go of items this time, I just don't have space and don't want to move it all again. My piles are going to be shrunk and fast. When I get rid of things, I'm typically am a toss or donate type of person, but we have some items that we could probably make a little money on and use it towards the down payment.

My problem is really summed up in: How do you decide whether to donate or sell? I am very good at knowing what to toss and what to donate, but the donate vs sell is difficult to me.

Do you use the time-factor to decide? With two little-little ones and full time jobs, I really don't have a whole lot of time to spare for researching best prices and post and re-post. It almost seems counter-productive to me for what cash we could get. It's not like selling a big-ticket item like a car. It seems easier to just pile it up and donate it all. Not that easier is better, or is it at this stage of my life?

Then, if you do decide to sell, how do you decide where to sell it (Craigslist, EBay, elsewhere)? Do you have any tips on how to sell effectively? Or even find the best prices to list it at? And how do you deal with bartering? I'm a "get rid of it now" kind of person so tend to not push for a higher price, but I know bartering is a big thing. I would just save it all to garage sale it come summer, but I'm in a large apartment complex so that's out of the question and don't have any local family/friends that live in a town to hold a garage sale.

It's so confusing to me, even though it should be a simple concept.

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As a side note- I know I'm horrible at not commenting or even replying on comments, but I really enjoy everyone's input and blog posts. I do try to keep up with reading everyone's posts and really enjoy hearing everyone's stories.

So, here's a quick blanket "Thank You" to the SA community. You all rock!

This, That, and The Other Thing

February 5th, 2015 at 07:21 am

This:
Well, I officially ended one job and went onto another. It was a bitter sweet several days. I'm still trying to work through the guilt of leaving behind some really awesome people and some tasks undone, but I'm so much happier with my new job, my tasks, my coworkers, and the flexibility it's giving me.

That:
In fact, I'm so glad about the flexibility because I've had to take off so much work these last few weeks. My littlest had a few follow up appointments and an unexpected appointment because I don't think the medicine is working as well on one part of his issue. They're not concerned quite yet, but we need to keep an eye on it, so more appointments. Still so grateful for a fully funded HSA.

The Other Thing:
We found an apartment that allows large dogs (so rare!), toured it, applied, got it, and moved within a week. Well, it actually was more like a week and a half because we got hit with a really bad snow storm on our moving day, so we had to do several mini-van loads over several days and one U-Haul of furniture the day after.

We've only stayed there two nights so far, but the little ones and dog are adjusting surprisingly well. It's making that part much easier on me. I made sure to set up their bedroom first, with all the decorations and toys almost in the same spots as their old bedroom. The dog, she's a little clingy and a bit nervous when it looks like we are leaving, so we haven't left her alone by herself yet. We have been taking her back with us to my parents when I drop the kids off there for "daycare" with their grandmother. I'm hoping to ease her into it over the weekend.

I'm not sure how much we've spent getting set up so far. That's a project for this weekend, once we can dig out of the insane amount of boxes we have in a little space. I did pick up some cleaning supplies and other misc things before the move since we have had a joint household with my parents for a loooooong time. Then paid for the U-Haul, and some misc things since. I have a feeling we'll have a list of things to get this weekend.

And then we still have to do a major grocery shopping spree. I'm not looking forward to that part. I might have to do that without kids so I can take the time to get it done right and really think about what we need/use instead of what is standard to have in a pantry.

I'm hoping by the end, we won't have spent more than $1,000 for moving, setting up stuff, and groceries. I have budgeted twice that much, since I really don't remember everything we had and put in storage these last several years. It would be nice to stock that extra away into savings for a someday down payment on a house. I don't think I would want to live in an apartment long-term, or at least not in the school district it's in once they hit school age.

I think that's it for now. I will have to come up with some new goals once I get more settled and figure out what our new utilities will cost.