My January focus is
Strengthening our Family Finances
Strengthening our Family Finances
Why did I pick this for January? Because it sets the temperature for the rest of the year. If we can start strong, we can carry on through the year but if we start behind, we can never catch up.
Here is what I'm focusing on this month:
1) Become an active Shipt shopper. For me, this means grabbing 2-4 shops a week. I think this is doable between evenings and days Darryl takes off since I can only do this while he is home. Never shopped once. Darryl started driving for Uber so he's working some later nights meaning there isn't a chance for me to go out.
2) January will be a "no spend" month. I've written out a calendar budget of all things planned. Beyond that there is no spending outside of groceries and fuel. No buying Kindle books, grabbing coffee, or picking up dinner :-) Just trying to curb the spending and maybe even get a little ahead this month. So, this did not go well! At first, I was discouraged and was trying to figure out why we were spending some money on unplanned items. Then it hit me, we had been "no spend" since the end of October due to having one vehicle! So, the first few weeks of January felt like freedom!! There were things we truly needed that we hadn't purchased and, trust me, eating out at Taco Bell one night (on a gift card actually) was a long awaited treat! I'm looking ahead and think we will try the no spend concept again in March and see if we can stick to it better!
3) Cut the grocery bill. I feel like I've made some progress on this but I would like to use the weekly add more paired up with mperks coupons and Ibotta. Ibotta is a great way to earn money just for shopping. I've managed to earn almost $100.00 and that's with not using it consistently. I would like Ibotta money to become my scrapbooking fun so it motivates me more to use it ;-) I did use Ibotta but it doesn't add up as fast as I'd like - still I'm saving it for my scrapbooking money. Grocery prices went up, as I mentioned in a menu post awhile ago - so saving money has been even more difficult.
I know it doesn't seem like a lot but I feel like if I can do these three things consistently this month, I can establish a pattern or habit that will continue throughout the year.
If though that's my main focus, it doesn't mean I'm not looking at the other items on my list - I am. I have goals for those items as well which might fall more into the "daily" goal concept.
1) Add exercise to our daily routine. I'm looking to just take a walk daily The boys and started walking on a Monday evening mid-January . .then we had Ice Days the next two days HA! Nothing kills a new "routine" like ice! Then throw in a major winter storm and "arctic cold" we didn't get much done outside of shoveling!
2) Since this is a no spend month, projects are off limits so instead I want January to be a time I focus on working in the basement cleaning stuff up and out. With undecorating from Christmas and getting back into school, there hasn't been a lot of extra time to do deep cleaning.
3) Get back to our school routine including Math Minutes and Cursive Writing.This was supposed to be our first full week back to school to do this but due to school cancellations, we've had extra friends here this week!
4) Have one movie night at home this month Yes! we've watched several :-)
5) Find one activity to do this month as a family. I had planned to go to the Auto Show this week but the winter storm caused Darryl to take Monday off and therefore going to the Auto Show wasn't going to work.
6) This is a no spend month, right? So I technically can't spend on getting one item for our grinch calendar 2019 but I should earn some Mperks rewards so I will plan to use that to pick up the first item. I actually had to use the first round of Mperks rewards to replace a broken Xbox controller HA! But, I did get a second round by the end of the month and used it to buy the first Grinch gift.
7) Make sure the Holiday Binder is up to date through New years. This is done!
8) Scrapbooking - Use what I have here to finish up a few projects. Also, use this no spend month to work on organizing photos on the external hard drive. I worked on photos
9) Do the Flylady routine daily, weekly, for the month. Didn't do
10) Work on the first song to sing at church I've listened to some trying to pick one but haven't yet
11) Play piano - just play. Not really measuring this but I just want to sit down and play. Other than helping the boys, I haven't played
12) I do need to reserve our camping spot for the Family Reunion so I do plan to use Shipt money to do that as soon as I get my first pay day. I didn't schedule a camping spot but I did reserve our hotel (which I don't have to pay for until we go!) With this being 6 months away, there are just too many variables in place to plan a camping weekend - having a hotel gives us much more freedom on timing and planning
13) This should have technically been number one but I want to work on planning my day. Taking time the night before and writing out specifics that I want to get done the following day. This helps me so much on daily focus. I haven't been consistent every day with this but I continue to work on making a list and getting it done!
14) A must - make sure that I'm two weeks ahead on my Co-Op class as I may not always have a vehicle/way to get to Friday School depending on when we are able to find a car to purchase. I need to leave the next weeks lesson with my stuff at school each Friday that I am there. Not happening - I am working on the upcoming week now.
15) Read, read, read. First, I need to make my book goal list for the month and then I need to read. I also want to start out this month reading outloud to the boys. Maybe at lunch . . .I'm not sure yet. I did get some reading done, but not as much as I wanted to.
16) Create a lunch schedule rotation that not only keeps my boys happy but doesn't repeat lunch and dinner options (such as chicken nuggets) . Along with this, I want to work on their ability to eat a few more food items. This is not an easy feat, trust me, but it's time to start stretching them just a little ;-) LOL (I'm a little "picky" too so it won't be too crazy!) A little - still making progress
17) Complete our Taxes and file them by the end of the month. Done
18) Help Josh with his gold AWANA sections daily. He has a goal and I want to help him accomplish that goal! Also, finish January with all things current in school. Work on progress
19) Think about February plans - Valentine's Day and Darryl's birthday. Lay out a plan, budget, etc. Don't wait until the last minute to do things for these events.
I got to thinking as I wrote out the first 15 goals - wouldn't it be great to have 19 goals each month for the whole "19" concept?? Well, it worked this month! So maybe my focus for "19 in 19" is to try to accomplish 19 goals each month ;-)