It’s the end of another month, time to give an accounting of my progress toward goals of being, having, and spending LESS
Shape up. I did go to the gym a few times before cancelling my membership. Can’t afford to pay for a membership I only use 4-5 times a month. I’ll just have to go walk outside, use our treadmill. Of course, cancelling a gym membership is no simple task, but I’m hoping I’ve gotten that taken care of now. No amazing progress, though.
Clean out. The tiniest drawer right by the sink wasn’t closing. What is the deal, here? I thought.
I looked in there to see what was blocking the drawer from closing, but couldn’t see all the way to the back.
This is the drawer that we keep sponges and cleaning brushes in. I reached back there and pulled out sponge after sponge, paint brushes, toothbrushes, etc. A WHOLE LOT of stuff had fallen out of the drawer and gotten wedged in the back and side of that little drawer.
I took it all out and got rid of a bunch of it. That drawer is happily closing now.
I cleaned out our linen closet. My goodness how did we get so many sheets, towels and blankets?
It was quite a mess as I was cleaning it out.
And we took a load to DI. But when it was done it felt so much better!
I haven’t purged any other rooms, although I did a big clean up of the family room after the kids had been down there playing and the infomercial filming rearranged everything. Today I need to clean out Cole’s room because we will be hosting not one, not two, but three exchange students from Taiwan. So not only Cole’s room, but Megan’s room, the bathroom, and the family room all need to be cleaned and ready for company by tomorrow when they come. I also have to get curtains up on those windows. These girls are from a big city and would never change clothes next to a window, even if it’s a basement window. Add that to my list of things to do today.
Ok, hosting students for two weeks doesn’t really simplify things, but it’s a fun opportunity, and we think it will be fun.
It will cost us to feed them and entertain them, but their program does pay us for hosting them, so we plan to use that money in our entertaining. It’s fun for us to go out, too, so it’s a win-win. The kids are excited to go bowling and go out to Los Hermanos for dinner and to get frozen yogurt. I’m not sure what else we are going to do with them. They have a lot of things already scheduled with the group, so we don’t want to duplicate those. They will be going to Music and the Spoken Word, shopping at City Creek, go cross country skiiing, go to a Jazz game, and some other fun things.
I worry a little about what to make for them to eat, and will have to make them breakfast every day (something I don’t do for my kids much anymore) and pack them a lunch on certain days. I don’t know if our regular “sandwich, chips, snack” routine will work. Have to find out if they eat sandwiches.
Less busy? I tried out for a play this month. I know, it totally goes against the whole “Less” thing, but it was possible to fit it in before the bells concert time, and they actually had roles for women over 30. Drowsy Chaperone, have you heard of it? It looks super fun. However, I didn’t get in. I didn’t get a call back. I didn’t even get a “thank you for auditioning” email. Nothing. Kind of rude of them to not let me know anything, actually. Kind of good that I didn’t make it, though. I guess.
Spending less? We thought we had payed off our car at the end of last month. But they didn’t ever send us the title. Ryan went in to check and it turns out we owed them 96 cents. Were they going to tell us that we still owed them 96 cents? I guess not. Probably just charge us late fees when we didn’t pay our bill this month. But he paid them the 96 cents and now it’s our car. We own it. I plan to reevaluate our insurance now and see if we can lower that bill a bit.
We are still working with our budget, mostly sticking to it. I went over a bit on my food budget and had to use my personal money. There are always things that we hadn’t planned on and we have to adjust a bit, but we are doing much more than we were in the past. We are working on paying off our debt, and it’s very exciting to see the progress that we are making. In addition to teaching my chime choir (yes, that IS a job), I sub occasionally to earn just a bit of extra money. Just enough to pay for daughter’s AP tests this month.
Our emergency fund is not fully funded, but it’s good to see it growing. I am working on saving money in small ways. I use coupons, shop sales, and save my change. I have cut my eating out and impulse buys a LOT. I am selling 1-2 dozen eggs a week to friends who want local fresh eggs. Hopefully as it warms up, the chickens will step up their egg laying and I can sell more. (and they will stop pooping on the porch!)
They should be cheaper to feed in the warmer months, as well. Hopefully they scrounge more bugs and weeds and eat less pellets.
Of course, as it warms up, we have to worry about lawn care, fixing our lawnmower, gardening, and maybe getting another tree or two. Each season has it’s own expenses, and it’s sometimes hard to foresee what those are going to be.
Living in Utah county there are so many wonderful free activities, so we can still do a lot with the family and not spend a ton of money. We went to the Sacred Gifts exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art. What a wonderful experience! They are switching out four of the Carl Bloch paintings. These paintings are amazing.
To see them up close is really amazing, and I’m so grateful that BYU worked so hard for so long to get these paintings on loan. If you haven’t gone to see it yet, schedule a visit. In fact, maybe we’ll take the exchange students. Maybe.
So, that’s the wrap up. I don’t feel like I made much progress, but it’s always a one step forward, two steps back, then one more forward kind of thing.