Monday, January 25, 2010

Last Week in January

Food goal
L: tortellini soup, pear
D: pancakes

L: sandwich
D: macaroni

L: macaroni
D: Cosetta's downtown with my bro

L: chicken stuffing
D: McDonalds before class

L: chicken stuffing
D: spaghetti

Well, I ended up spending all but $8 of my budget. $50 of that went to a family, but it is still closer than I'd like to be and I did not do a great job accounting for all the cash I sent. $5 here and there adds up and I'm afraid I lost track of some of it. Tomorrow is a new month and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work on tracking spending more closely.

I am doing horrible at this one! I skated at an outdoor rink today and the ice was horrible. So I went for a walk instead, but it wasn't very long. I am thinking of joining a club, but it is so much money, I'm not sure.

I'm not sure I made any new friends this month, but I did get to know some people I volunteer with at church much better, so I consider that success.

God's Guidance
I did really good at this in the first few weeks of the month, but have let busyness and laziness take over. I need to get back on track. I did realize, I like problem solving and would like a job that involves more of that.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yet Again, Another Week

Food Goal
I am doing BAD on this goal, I lost track of what I ate in the first half of the week and spending only cash is not always convenient (which is kind of the point). Sometimes I get excited about using cash so use my food money on other things! Bad bad bad!!! I am 83% through my budget and 80% of the way through the month, so over my budget and my budget is much higher than I'd like it anyways! It is amazing how much the little things add up.

L: coffee and cinnamon roll
D: french toast (I was going to have dinner at church and looking forward to it, cash in hand, but instead they were giving 100% of the offering to Haiti, so I figured I could give the cash and have dinner at home instead) I'm not bragging, just keeping accountable to my money

L: Baja Sol with co-workers
D: McDonalds before class

L: my coworker brought chili
D: Pizza at the bowling alley ($6 for bowling and pizza)

Exercise Goal
I am doing horrible on this goal. I have been doing a lot of yoga stretches and started doing sit ups. So, I guess its alright. We went bowling on Friday and walked around downtown Sunday, so I'm not a couch potato.

Friends Goal
I went bowling with some friends on Friday night. These were friends I don't normally hang out with, so that was fun! Saturday for dinner I went out with a lady from church I don't know well and found out we went to the same high school. We had a great conversation and it was really fun! So, I think I did good at this goal this week!!!

Spiritual Goal
This one is going very well and, I feel, it is the most important one. I had two opportunities to get back into Children's ministry part time, which I would love, but ended up turning them down. I simply don't have the time right now and am just not ready to go back into it professionally now. I still volunteer as a Team Lead at my church every week and I feel that is a good opportunity right now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Week

Thanks for checking in!

Food goal
Lunch: Tortellini soup and garlic bread, both of which I made this weekend
Dinner: Roast beef and cheese sandwich on homemade bread, cookie from my coworker, grapes

Lunch: Roast beef and cheese sandwich again, grapes, yogurt
Dinner: Went out to eat with my small group and kids (they eat free!!!) I had an omelet

Lunch: McD's (I was on the go after using my lunch hour to meet with a church about some great opportunities to get back into children's ministry part time)
Dinner: left over omelet from dinner last night! Yum!

Lunch: Roast beef and cheese sandwich, grapes
Dinner: Baja Sol before class

Brunch: Egg and cheese bagel from shop, coffee from shop
Dinner: chips and salsa

Well, it is a little over half way through the month and I have spent a little over half my food budget. I am kicking myself because I am missing $18 of my cash! I have no clue where I spent it! Since I am in the swing of paying in cash, I wonder if I spent it on something non-food. Or I spent it on coffee, but I doubt I spent that much and was that negligent in recording it. I am finding that people are not too happy when you pay in cash, that means they have to make change and they rarely give receipts (and I forget to ask). That's the benefit of a credit card. However, the good side is I have been spending less on this cash system! Even though I spent half of my budget, some of that went to buying a food gift card for a co-worker in need, so I feel pretty good about that. Also, there are no late fees with cash. I just discovered I forgot to submit payment for my credit card the last month! This is incredibly frustrating to me! I think I get hung up on the confirmation page and forget to press approve. It is an expensive mistake. : ( I am going to be more diligent about that and hopefully it will be less anyways since I am using cash. I did eat out quite a bit this week which I am not too happy about, but I was also on the go a lot this week, so this is a rare occurrance.

I forgot to mention that last week I did get my two exercises in. I did them both on Sunday. In the morning I went on my 3 mile walk. That afternoon I took three little girls ice skating. It was fun and since there were three of them, they could ammuse each other while I did laps and practiced my spins (which I must admit, I am getting better at!). I also walked today, which I am happy about.

Well? We had game night last night and my co-worker brought his roommate...he's a new person in my life, but I'm not sure I'll ever see him again. I also interviewed with a church about some opportunities and shadowed some special education teachers. I'm not making close friends per se, but I am not lacking a social life, that's for sure! I think this is the goal I need more strategy around.

God's Guidance
I have talked to God for 5 minutes almost every night about His plans for my life today and how to prepare for the future. I missed one because I got too tired and decided I could pray from my bed and then fell asleep. Overall, though, I think I am doing well. I also have two people who I commited to pray for (one for the term of her church council position and another for the year 2010) and I have been doing good thinking of them and praying specific prayers for them.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This week

Lunch: Pasta with broccoli and tomatoes
Dinner: French toast
Grocery shopping today with cash for the first time...not bad!

Lunch: Pulled pork sandwich (Thanks, Kari!) and left-over pasta
Dinner: Left over french toast
I forgot to put the milk away this morning and it sat out all day. Boo!! :(

Lunch: Lemon pepper chicken
Dinner: Tortilla soup (which was WAY too spicy) so I ate an egg and cheese omelet

Lunch: with my co-workers at Green Mill
Dinner: Scone, banana, french fries from my classmate (not the best dinner, but I was still rather full from lunch)

Lunch: left over sandwich from Green Mill
Dinner: snacks at Caribou (game night with friends)
I spend some of my food money today for a grocery gift card to give a co-worker who is going through a financially difficult time. Worth it.

I can't really remember what I ate. Since I was mostly home, I probably just grazed.

Today I went grocery shopping. I went to Aldi and the discounts were great! But the store I normally go to is on the other end of town. Since I was at Aldi, I went to a closer grocery store but I did not like it. It is more expensive than the one I normally go to and the produce comes in odd servings and is very limited. So, I think I will stick to my normal grocery store. My cousin frequently goes to multiple stores to get great deals, but I simply do not have the time to drive all over town so will stick to one store.

I made tortellini soup and bread today. Yum!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Grocery Shopping

Today was my first day working on my 2010 goal of grocery shopping with cash and, at the end of the month, donating the left over cash to a charity! Thank you to my cousin for the inspiration! I'm very excited about this!

I went to the bank and got some of the grocery cash. I have an envelop for it and an envelop at home for receipts.

Today I went shopping for a few items I needed (um...wanted). Here's what I got:
-coffee syrup (so I can make lattes at home)
-frappuchinos (for days I am out of milk or in a rush)
-bananas (yum!)
-eggs (every recipe I looked at last night required these)
-cinnamon bread (for french toast which I could eat every night if need be)

I know coffee syrup and Frappuchios are not necessary and could be a huge way to save money, but it is better than the $4 I usually (embarrassingly) spend on one drink, so this is my little way to save for now and I think it will pay off in a huge way.

French toast for dinner may seem odd, but I am excited about this. It is an inexpensive meal. Also, the majority of my free time is in the evenings so I can spend this time to cook a quick meal and make a meaty meal to re-heat for lunch the next day. It is easier to re-heat chicken for lunch than to make some soggy french toast, plus the protein from the meat will give me more energy and focus for the rest of the day (which will probably make my co-workers happy). : )

So day 1, not too bad...I have room to improve, but I'm relatively happy with my progress.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Goals

I've lived a relatively goal-less life and I think it shows. I never liked making goals, but when I did, this is how it went: make goals, lots of goals, feel overwhelmed, don't reach any of them, feel like a failure. So this year, I am making some goals.

My people goal is to make 12 new friends this year. Not just aquaintances, but friends. I fully expect to fail at this goal, and with this realistic view of life, I think it will be just fine. Mostly it will put this introvert in the mindset to be open to and excited about meeting new people.

Money and Food
Inspired by my super woman cousin, I have decided to join her in her cash-based, charity benefiting endevour of creating a food budget for the month, getting that amount in cash, and giving the left overs to a charity. I am excited about this goal! Not only will it be fun to save money and give to charity, but it will also encourage some rather creative cooking (which I LOVE to do) instead of running out for a meal. This one I think I can, and need to, do! I am completely embarrased by how much I spend on food and how much I waste and it needs to stop!

My family surprised me with a Wii for Christmas!!! I didn't even ask or hint or anything, but it is so much fun! I would really like to get a Wii Fit so I can work out in the cold Minnesota winters (my sister in law says it works for her). But it is rather pricey, so I am waiting for a sale. Otherwise, my normal walks will do, though they get much tougher in the winter with the snowy and icy ground and it takes longer to bundle up. I also go to open skate quite a bit to get a good workout, but that costs a few dollars (and adds up). So, in general, exercise two times a week in the winter (in the summer it is no problem to work out every day).

I want to spend more time with God specifically focusing on which direction my life should take. We'll start with 5 minutes a day...I know that is pathetic, but this is in addition to my devo time.

So there you have it, my four goals for this year: 12 friends, save food and money, exercise two times a week, and time with God.