July in Review

July- Where did it go….

Debit Reduction:  Failure
We broke even for the month. This is an improvement from last month but still not where I want to be.

Blog Post: Fail
I had 12 total blog post for the month. Again an improvement from last month but still not where I want to be.

Days on Treadmill: Zero
Water walking days-7  Getting better……

Groceries- Goal Met!  We spent a total of $306.92  for the month of July in groceries! Second month in a row under budget with this and it did include our snack box for the beach trip.

Gas: $450 for the month. This is about $170 over budget which is the cost of annual inspection, tag and taxes on my van.

Earnings:  July was an awesome month for earning. Total $285
Swagbucks: $100 for Me, $75 for Matt
MPlaces/Cricket Rewards:  $10
Mileup: $100

July in Review

Blogging:  Goal: 14 per month Been a crazy month and I don’t even feel like going back and making one more post for the month.

Weight: Goal:  Met and maintain weight of 175. This goal will be considered met each month that weight loss is achieved and once this weight is achieved, each month maintained is considered achieved.  No regular exercise…. got to get back in a routine.

Spiritual-  Goal. I want to spend time reading and or studying the Bible at least 5 days a week for the year. Fail fail fail.

Financial Goals-
1.  Full Fund the budget each month.  
I can imagine that this may seem strange to some people but I set my budget based on what I need each month to cover all expected bills with extra savings going into various counts for non monthly bills. Some money are much easier than others. For example July was a crazy spending month, however with extra monies coming in from the refinancing of the house we were still able to be totally over budget but everything paid and future expenses saved for.  Goal met!

2. Emergency Fund to $2000.  Met. Added $100!  Goal met 2 months in a row!

. 3. Groceries: Spend $700 a month .Total Fail.  We started the month with a trip to Shuler meats. In addition, we have had to purchase several items such as toilet paper due to running out. Total spent in July 934.12

4. Gas: Spend $400 a month .  This is a huge FAIL!  Because of the wired state of NC, I paid sales tax on the new van when I purchased but also had to pay property tax in order to receive the permanent tag. The car also required an oil change which made me $110 over budget for the month of July.

5. Eating out- tracking purposes only $465

Disney- Goal Met! We have now paid for over half of our Disney trip!

July was intended to be our “budget reset’ month. It also ended up a very expensive and crazy busy month as well. I am so glad to look forward to our Beach trip in August for the life reset I need. Then watch out it is full steam ahead to Disney

June in Review

Blogging:  Goal: 15 per month Goal Met!

Weight: Goal:  Met and maintain weight of 175. This goal will be considered met each month that weight loss is achieved and once this weight is achieved, each month maintained is considered achieved.  UGGH! I know it can not have anything to do with the fact that I stress eat nor that I have not been exercising regularly! Ok so it is my fault for this one!

Spiritual-  Goal. I want to spend time reading and or studying the Bible at least 5 days a week for the year. Fail again

Financial Goals-
1.  Pay off all debit by December  2015, except for mortgage.    This goal is actually meet in one sense but not in the big picture. Part of my refinancing the house helped to speed  up the goal.  Currently, the only two debts that we have are the new mortgage payment and starting in September a car payment. I will be eliminating this goal in July because it is no longer a goal.  I am very comfortable with both the house and car payment.  I mostly like will change this goal to funding all budget categories for the month starting in August. Any better/other ideas?

2. Emergency Fund to $2000.  Met. Added $100!  Remember it is baby steps!

. 3. Groceries: Spend $700 a month .Goal Met After much discussion and debate, I increased by grocery budget to $700 beginning in June. I “think” that I am right on target however, I have no proof. I accidently deleted by budget app during a swim meet and was unable to retrieve the information.  We did end up cancelling our Zaycon order for ground beef due to the change in delivery date, which if I am remembering correctly was more than my overage but I can’t be sure.  I do know that in July, I am planning to start restocking our freezers and this will include a trip to the local meat processing plant.  With our new budget in place, this should become a more realistic and achievable goal.

4. Gas: Spend $400 a month with any remaining to be move to Auto fund for repairs.  This is a huge FAIL!  I had a costly repair on the car and van this month. I am not sure how badly I failed as the budget app was the most accurate record.  Another change is that we are reducing this to $350 a month which I may drop to $300 in September. I explain the rationale for this here.

Disney- No progress. This will change in July!

June was one of the most stressful months that I can remember in several years., but as Matt said we survived and even the last several day are starting to calm down.  I hope to be able to focus on our budget more in the next several months and avoid any major new expenses as well. If I learned anything in the month of June it is “God’s timing is always perfect, and much better than mine!”

Year In Review

As promised here is where I stand for the year on each of the goals I set.  I am also going to include an update goal for 2015. My current plan is  to add to these and put some numbers with them at the end of the week. One quick recap, just after establishing these goals. we decided to take a last minute trip to Michigan which cause everything to start at a much slower pace than I had planned.

Long Term Goals: These were last addressed in July.

1.  $2000 to repair our septic system- I have no clue of the cost for this but this is a save range. I will be counting our Emergency Fund in this amount for the time being because if it cost less than anything left will stay in this fund. No progress.  The new and improved goal for 2015 will remain the same with the exception of planned saving on a monthly basis. However it will not cover the entire amount so I will need to “find” extra money along the way..
 2.  $1000  to replace the floor in our Living room.  Goal Met.

I will be adding several long term (meaning year long goals to this).

Monthly goals

Blogging:  Goal: 15 per month Met 8 of 12 months with only this month exceeding the goal. This will continue as it at least keeps me accountable.

Weight: Goal to exercise 3x a week and to be down to 175 by December 2014.  This goal was met 7/12 for 2014 but I have not reached my overall goal of 175.  I am going to change this goal just a bit for 2015. New goal is Met and maintain weight of 175. This goal will be considered met each month that weight loss is achieved and once this weight is achieved, each month maintained is considered achieved.  We have decided to cancel our YMCA membership due to the significant increase in amount and decease in our use over the previous year. Instead, we are in the process of purchasing a treadmill to use at home. I am honestly thinking that by having the equipment at home, I will be using it more often.

Spiritual-  After eliminating this goal for 2014, I am going to add it back. I want to spend time reading and or studying the Bible at least 5 days a week for the year. Matt and I have signed up for a college class on the Old Testament, which should spur me on to make steady progress.

Financial Goals:

1.  Pay off all debit by July 2015, except for mortgage.   This goal was achieved 10 of 12 months. I plan to continue this goal but will be providing specific numbers to go along with this. Slight changes may including total payoff in September of 2015 instead of July.

2. Emergency Fund to $2000.  I was able to achieve this goal only 4 of 12 months. I hope to make significant improvements in this year as indicated above with a planned saving each month.

. 3. Groceries: Spend $600 a month . Achieved 10 of 12 months.  Our overall average is $650 for the year. I am going to continue this goal for 2015.

4. Gas: Spend $400 a month with any remaining to be move to Auto fund for repairs.  Goal achieved 7 of 7 months that I tracked, however I currently do not have any money in the Auto Fund.   The current plan is to continue this goal as is.  We are currently purchasing a new to us van to replace my car so I am unsure if this will affect our overall gas use and may increase in June 2015 if needed.


Overall this has been a good year for the goals I established and I hope to continue improvements in 2015.What goals are you establishing?

Five Things Friday- Shopping

One of the things that I consider a real special treat/requirement when visiting Michigan is a trip to “Bronner’s”. This year, I was able to add several new pieces including a house to my snow village.  I can’t wait to get home to add these pieces to the ones that I already have in place.

Matt choice one store to visit on Black Friday- it was a local sporting store called “Dunhams”. He purchased 3 Michigan State t-shirts and a pair of work boots for $48!

I am planning on adding a second tree  to the house this year and decided it will be a “Disney”  themed tree. I have slowly been collecting Disney ornaments over the years and purchased several new items including a tree topper today at the Disney Store  outlet. If time permits, I am also going to check on line for any other awesome deals.

Zach is growing again, this time all his shirts are too short.  I have purchased a couple of new shirts for him and a sweater to wear at Christmas, but am planning to switch out all his 4T shirt for the new 5T ones that I have been collecting over the past couple of months.

I have spent the most time ever shopping for clothes for myself this trip. I am excited to be able to purchase things several sizes smaller but also a little afraid that if I am not careful I will quickly outgrow these items. I guess this is motivation for me to keep working out on a regular basis.

August in Review

Blogging:  Goal: 15 per month  Post number 15!  Goal met!  Busy month again but at least that gives me something to say!

Weight: Goal to exercise 3x a week and to be down to 150 by December 2014.   I have only lost 2# this month and definitely have not made it with exercising 3x  a week. I said last month I was rethinking this goal and have decided to increase it to 175 which is the point I stayed between the girls and little kids in addition to the point I was at when I met and married Matt. I know this is probably not where most people think I should be but it is where I am comfortable and plan to stay!

Financial Goals:

1.  Pay off all debit by July 2015, except for mortgage.   Updated this goal again this month as other than credit card debit we have a personal loan and after taking a hard look at this we have changed our plan to get all debit paid off !  At this point, I am unsure if we will stay debt free but it is a goal I want to achieve prior to making any other larger purchases.  Goal met for this month.

2. Emergency Fund to $2000.  We are sliding backwards again on this goal. I can’t seem to get my self ahead on this goal. It is currently sitting at $100.

. 3. Groceries: Spend $600 a month . Goal Met  Total spent $600. I had planned to come in way under for the month but with some of the purchases we made at the beach in addition to stocking up on meat. I am glad to report that we did not go over for the month. In September, the plan is to make a huge chicken purchase but little else so I hope to be under for the next couple of months.

4. Gas: Spend $400 a month with any remaining to be move to Auto fund for repairs.  Total Spent $499.72. Goal MET.   I did add an additional $100 to the budget this month for our trip. The amount spent includes a small repair on the van and inspection, taxes and tags for the car!  Hopefully we have gone over the hump with gas spending for the year!

Overall I did meet 4 of 6 goals. This is the same ratio as last month but different goals achieved. I am feeling much more optimistic about our finances so that is a huge step for me.

I have noticed that during the month of September, several of the blogs I regularly read are doing challenges for saving money and/or cutting the budget for the month. I am not going to participate officially with any, but I do hope to place a little more in savings this month. One of the reason, that I am choosing not to join in is that currently our budget does not have any wiggle room. If we stick to budget, than that is huge and means additional savings but in addition we are in the middle of Birthday season and I have already started slowing purchasing Christmas gifts, so no extra spending may be difficult as well.

Weight Loss Journey

On Thursday, I had my appointment regarding the medication I was given to help with my weight loss.  If you would like to read the start please go here.

I have been using the medication for 3 months.  I have also been very consistently counting daily calories and attempting to add exercise in on a regular basis. Exercise is my least favorite thing to do; however I realize that in order to be successful, I have to add this component in. I am finding it much easier to exercise at the pool this summer instead of the YMCA. I have increased the time walking to at least 1 hour per day.

My official weight loss is 25 pounds in 3 months. Prior to starting the medication, I had lost 10 pounds in 4 months. This represents a huge increase. I am currently at the weight at which I was after giving birth to Lily.

I am very excited to have lost these 35# and with permission, I am going to continue with the same plan for the next 3 months. If I am able to achieve the same weight loss in this 3 month period, I will not reach my ultimate goal of 150 but will be a lower weight than when I met Matt and at the same weight I was after giving birth to Haley at age 22!  I will be very pleased with this and don’t know if I want to push much lower however, I have three-month to make this decision so I am going consider and pray over it.

“One Der” Land

If you are a fan of the show “Biggest Loser”, then you totally get the title. If not let me explain a little. “One Der” land is a reference to having your weight fall back into the 100’s which is where everyone should end up.

I have reached that milestone!!!!!!!!!!!!! I talked a little about what I am doing in this post. This week has been a little rough especially with me being sick. I did actually skip the  Phebtermine HCL 37.5mg. on Thursday because I felt so bad.  I have not been to the YMCA to work out in a week, but that hopefully will change as well since as of today, I am feeling much better.  I am averaging a 5# a week weight loss which is awesome but at the same time a little scary for me. I am actually thinking about decreasing my medicine the last month to every other day to hopefully curtail the rebound effect. I also plan to continue counting calories for at least 2 months after finishing to make sure I can maintain the weight loss without additional support.

The good news is that I am not hungry, in fact when I find myself feeling “shaky” I eat a snack to settle down. I have also focused on eating foods that I would normally eat and just eating the correct portions. In the end, this should be easier for me than a lot of dramatic changes that result in instant weight gain!

Weight Loss 4/27/2014

photoCheck out the 128 calorie salad I made for myself yesterday!

I have been struggling/ignoring/struggling with my weight for my entire life. I will be the first to say that I was never “small”.  After each of the kids were born, I would gain 20 to 30 #.  However I realized over a year ago that I now weight more than I ever have in my life and that was above the 200 pound mark. I struggled most of last year attempting to diet and even began exercising on an semi regular basis.  It was just not working or life happened and I stopped for whatever reason. One of the goals that I have set for this year is to reduce my weight at least to an level that is not considered obese based on BMI scales.  I was able to lose weight in both January and February by counting carbs. In March I sort of staled out again.

I recently had a appointment for my yearly physical which in my case is about once every 2-3 years! We discussed my weight and I discovered that I had also achieved the exact same weight loss last year by July but managed to gain it all back. After some discussion I was given Phebtermine HCL 37.5mg.  I was also given some pretty specific instruction including this is a short term one time application, I have to report biweekly weight, diet of 1200 calories a day and am to monitor my blood pressure EVERY day.  I did some research and I am encountering some of the side effects  however I have lost two pounds in the evening!   I am excited!! One of the ways that I am currently tracking most of the nutritional information, exercise and water consumption is the :My Fitness Pal  app on my phone. I know this will not be easy and I plan to achieve the maximal benefit from this drug so I mostly definitely need to be down in the 100s prior to three months.

After a discussion with Matt, I have purchased several addition things this month including a food scale and lots of green veggies and even some fruit. So I will say that the cost involved is starting to add up so that I am under even more pressure to make this work. But I know long term these cost are necessary! Anyone want to join me?