Well, here it is, July 8, and I haven’t posted in a really long time! I’m going to update how June went and create my July goals.
* Automate our weekly daycare payment to go into savings instead. I will set up our bank account to withdraw the same amount weekly that we pay to daycare. If we stick to it, we’ll save a big chunk of change this summer!
We did awesome at this. Our weekly daycare payment is going into savings automatically, and I have barely noticed. We ended up purchasing a new computer in June because our laptop broke, and seeing as though I work from home one day per week and M works from home full-time, we needed to replace it. However, we paid cash and the daycare payment replenished our savings in no time, which felt fantastic!
* Find free and cheap things to put on our “summer bucket list.” One of my ideas is to visit every park in our school district. The kids love exploring new areas, and who knows, maybe one of these parks will become our new neighborhood next year!
We’ve been doing pretty well at this, but we could do better. Our problem tends to be we’ll be out doing something for free, and then we hit meal time and end up grabbing something out. A really fun beach trip ended up costing $50 in lunch the other day. We need to pack more picnics, or stay close enough to home that we can go home for lunch or dinner.
* Quiet our master bedroom. I didn’t do this last month, but I really want to focus on making our master bedroom a decluttered, minimal haven for us to relax.
Ugh, still working on this. I quieted the space somewhat by taking out all the tchotchkes and framed photos off the surfaces. But I want to take the next step and work on a cabinet that right now just holds a bunch of junk, and then make a few tweaks to make it cleaner, more minimal, and relaxing.
* Take care of the school’s community garden. One thing we adore about our neighborhood is my eldest’s school. We are participating in the community garden this year, and have signed up for a week in late June to be in charge. I look forward to digging in the dirt, enjoying fresh vegetables, and being part of the community.
We had our week of being in charge, and it was great! I enjoyed weeding and watering and having something to check on and dote on for the week. We’ve gotten a ton of lettuce from the garden, and last night I also picked some kale, a zucchini, and chives.
* Better anticipate “extras” in our budget, particularly presents and outings. We do have some wedding showers and birthday parties to attend in June, and I need to better incorporate these expenses into our budget. For some reason they always sneak up on me, and they really shouldn’t. I also want to make sure we are as frugal as possible when it comes to these expenses. For the wedding I am in in July, I plan to get my dress altered by someone I know who is extremely affordable, wear shoes I already have, and wear clothing I already have to all the other events instead of buying new outfits.
I did pretty well at this goal. For those events in June, I built the presents into the budget, and that really helped. It was nice that those things weren’t a “surprise” that threw us off track, but something that we had planned for. I tried on the shoes for the July wedding and none of them fit well (my feet have seriously gone up a size since having my kids!), but I scored a pair of better fitting shoes in the color the bride specified from a thrift store for only $3! I wore an outfit I already had to the shower and felt great. However, I could not find anything I liked for the bachelorette party, which was on a lake cruise and then out to bars. My wardrobe is heavily weighted toward professional work clothing and not so much on the girl’s night out clothing. I ended up driving to Target an hour before I had to leave and buying a new top there. Not a great moment for the budget or my simplification plan. However, I really like the top I purchased and will wear it again. And that moment has made me think a little bit more about the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe, which I will explore in a later post.
* Say “no” more. If it doesn’t fit into the budget, if it makes our schedule untenable, or it just doesn’t fit with our values of living a slower, simpler life, I will say no.
I think we did OK at this one. We both said no a couple of times last week when friends wanted to go out, but we already had plans on the books for later in the week. We tried to strike a balance between being with friends and spending money. I don’t think we totally accomplished it, because there were many days that were far too busy. But we tried to be more mindful of our schedule getting too overloaded.
* Dent the credit card debt. We saved a lot of money last month, but didn’t pay down any debt. My goal for this year is to do both simultaneously, so I have will make this a higher priority in June.
We did this a little bit. We paid a couple of small balances. I hope to do more later on, though.