This weekend.. The age of the Great Decluttering, the Budget, & Sober January

Happy Monday Morning!

My family has entered a new era… The Age of the Great Decluttering!

This weekend was great! I started out Saturday morning cleaning and it lasted through the entire day. I went through my book shelf while my kids went through theirs. We got rid of over half our books.  We have a few Barnes and Nobel gift cards from Christmas, but we are going to save them for either gifts for others, crafts, or when my kids favorite series release new titles. I donated all of the children’s books to the Idaho Youth Ranch.

With all the adult books I have decided to build or purchase a small Library Box for my front yard. I am going to keep it stocked with books for my neighbors to take as they please. It sounds great, talking books with my neighbors as they are walking by with their families and dogs (my neighborhood even has a family that walks their cat and another family that walks their pig!) Books are such a great way to get to know each other. Bonus, my best friend’s husband is really good at wood working and I am hoping he will teach me how to make one! Woodworking is definitely on my bucket list of things I would like to know how to do.

I purged a ton of my shoes. A coworker was really excited! She is going to give me $20 for them. I would probably get more money for them, but she is a good friend and I don’t like selling things to friends. A couple of months ago I unloaded a lot of clothes, so their wasn’t much to give away there. I had a few cardigans I gave to another coworker for his wife. I also cleared out my jewelry. Most of it was old Claire’s jewelry from years ago. I gave it to my friend’s daughter and the rest went into their donation bag.

My kids and I talked and we agreed that with Netflix and Amazon, we don’t really need any DVDs anymore. I let them pick their favorites they want to keep and they are going to take them to their Dad’s house. They like DVDs at their Dad’s for long road trips when they go visit their Grandparents. The other half I brought to work and gave them to a coworker with 6 kids! They will go to good use at his house! 

I felt that was a pretty good start and I didn’t really have time to tackle much else this weekend. I am kind of dreading going through my pantry and through my old electronics stuff so that will be what I begin working on tonight.

The Budget

I haven’t decided how I want to talk about this yet.  Part of me thinks if I reveal too much information about my finances I will have to remain anonymous. I am generally an open person about my personal life, but with finances online it seems like it might not be wise to get too specific.  I think if I discuss it more generally that might be the safest option. I will say I do not make a lot of money. I am above poverty and don’t need food stamps, but we do need (and I am grateful for) the child support my ex-husband provides my kids with every month.

There is an app called Daily Budget that has really helped me put together a budget. (It is not connected to your bank account at all, which is why I like it). I found it by just searching Budget in Itunes. It’s cool because once you enter all your information it gives you a daily allowance you can spend for the day. The amount you can spend a day is based on the daily amount you need to save in order to be able to pay certain bills or save money in your savings accounts. For instance I spend $152/mo for my and my sons’ phone bills, that breaks down to $4.90/day. My property taxes run about $2,500/annually so I need to save $6.85/day. No, all of the money I am “saving” is not going into a savings account.. yet. Until I decide the best move to make I am just keeping all my accounts the same. Money is very hard for me to think through clearly so I am going to need to really sit down and think about where to go from here. Remember last week; I tend to think things to death so they no longer make sense. However, now that I have all my expenses broken down and what I want to save figured out I just need to decide the proper way to execute this. I am going to speak with my good friends and get some help. I would like to reduce spending as much as possible as well.  That brings me back around to the shopping ban.

The Shopping Ban

While part of me does think reporting every detail of my spending is a little boring. The other part makes me think if I write down and report my spending I will be able keep perspective on what I am spending my money on which in turn will allow me to see where I can reduce my spending. I already know my main money suckers… food and alcohol. Which brings me back around to my failure of Sober January.

Sober January

I am not quitting Sober January. My two partners in this adventure in sobriety, my boyfriend and my good friend both agreed to start Sunday (yesterday). The reason they decided on Sunday… they are smarter than me.  I decided to just go for it and I did great last week until Saturday. Saturday night I was hosting a rather large gathering of friends and kids for dinner. Apparently bf and bff were aware they would want to drink with all our friends (some were in from out of town and we never see them, and the husband of the two is also a brewer). I thought about it and went back and forth all Saturday on what I should do. Finally they both told me to chill out and just enjoy the evening and start with them on Sunday. So that is what I did.  Except Sunday.  Sunday I went to another friend’s house to hang out and of course… beer was there. Now I wasn’t that hung over, I did pretty good being responsible Saturday night, but I did want to have a beer with her and used “hair of the dog” as an excuse. 1 led to 2.  Which led to not more drinking, but spending $60 on Chinese food for my kids and me when we got home. Not exactly new new to me, but money, alcohol, and my desperate need to lose 15 pounds are all related. I fell off the horse this weekend but I am back on it and I decided to extent sober January to early February. February 5th that is. The fact I went 5 days last week isn’t miracle or ever that unique. I often go 5 or more days without drinking. The problem is I was in the middle of a goal and I let it go.  I want to make it 1 month. It doesn’t matter why, but I NEED to make 1 month for me and my own mind.

Thanks for reading my massive novel this morning!  My next post will be more of the same hopefully some updates on the decluttering, my budget, sober January, and I would like to dig more into my fitness goals. I am working on an About Me page currently, so I should have the up by tomorrow as well.

What are your favorite budgeting apps?


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