Audrey Hepburn The story of my personal mission statement started years ago. My mother gave me “7 habits” when I was going through difficult teenager times but I never read it. A good friend of mine is a soccer coach, … Continue reading
Mr Marine brought home a huge lamb leg (forgive me for not knowing the technical term) with the bone in and cooked it for dinner over the weekend. I can’t remember the last time I had lamb, but it was … Continue reading
Homemade Pizza Sauce This past week Mr Marine and I were snowed in, in a late winter snow storm. This weekend it should be in the 60s! While we were deciding what to have for lunch, we noticed we had … Continue reading
Meatballs 1 lb beef 1 egg ½ -3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs EVOO Oregano Basil Garlic salt Black pepper Worchestershire Mix together all ingredients. Form into balls — size doesn’t matter 😉 Heat EVOO in a frying pan and brown balls … Continue reading
So if you’ve done the previous two posts (Money Management – Introduction, and Money Management – Status Check), you should have a good idea of what your financial house looks like right now. So now that you know where you are, you can decide where you’re going. Budgeting can be hard and painful and can create some emotions we’d rather not deal with, but if you look at it as your tool to make your money work for you, to work towards your financial goals, and become a master of your money instead of the other way around, it’s certainly invaluable. So let’s get to it!
- List out your regular, essential bills
List your rent/mortgage, electric bill, water, trash, child support, etc. Things you know come every month and need to be paid. For bills that vary, such as electric and water, go back over your last couple months and pick the month that it was the highest. You always want to overestimate than under – that way, when the bill comes in and it’s less than you’ve budgeted for, the left over money can be put towards your goals!
2. List out irregular charges
Car maintenance, medical bills, vet bills, any irregular bills you may have will happen every couple of months, but there’s no getting around them. Decide how much you’ll put aside into savings or a separate checking account for these one-off bills. Dave Ramsey talks about creating a $500 savings account to have for these mini-emergencies.
3. Add your monthly expenses for gas, food, entertainment and shopping
I’ve found that these are the four categories that are most flexible. If you’re running low of funds at the end of the month, you can always raid your pantry for supplies to avoid a run to the grocery store, or stay in that weekend and not spend any gas. Look at the past couple months and determine how much you’ve spent on each category. Always budget for your most expensive month. Then your goal can be to lower these expenses, but you’ll always know you’re covered.
4. How much is left?
Figure out how much money is left over at the end of the month! If you’re in the red, and spending more than you’re bringing in, take another look at your budget and see where you can cut costs. The next post I do will be about how to cut your daily costs. If you do end up having money left over at the end of the month, this is the right time to talk to your spouse about your financial goals. That money you have left over will go to your goals – paying off debt, saving for that vacation, retirement, etc.
So if you’ve budgeted correctly, you’ll have put down how much you’d spend on your most expensive months. The challenge now is to figure out creative ways to save a buck here or there to apply it to your goals! This is how you take control of your money and make it work for you, instead of the other way around! And it’s a great feeling!
I absolutely love Starbuck’s Cool Lime Refresher and when I saw FitSugar’s Green Tea Lime Cooler on Pinterest I know I had to jump on it. I love the idea of replacing my morning and afternoon coffees with tea instead. It gives you that same pick-me-up PLUS antioxidants MINUS all the sugar and creamer and jittery feeling and caffeine crash you get from coffee.
I was first introduced to yerba mate by some Argentines I worked with a long time ago. They drink it almost all day, loose leaf out of gourds with a metal straw. It contains twice as much caffeine as black tea, but half as much as a cup of coffee. This makes it perfect for me because regular green tea isn’t enough to get me moving in the morning, but coffee is almost too much. For more benefits of yerba mate click here.
4 cups of Green tea (yerba mate)
Juice from 1 lime
1-2 tsp sugar or agave nectar
Handful of ice
Quart-sized mason jars
- Boil water and steep tea for between 3-5 min, depending on the strength of the tea
- Add sweetener and lime juice and allow to cool
- Save tea in mason jars and allow to chill in the fridge. (I’ll usually make a quart the night before and leave it in the fridge to use on an as-needed basis)
- Throw some ice cubes and enjoy!
- A Yerba Mate Crash Course (mensjournal.com)
- Caffeine Without The Shakes – Best Sources Of Energy (hackcollege.com)
- Tea! (321irony.wordpress.com)
The only place to know where you’re going is to know where you are right now. This may sound a little existential, but it’s the most vital step in getting your financial house in order. Sit down with your hubby and … Continue reading
A few weeks ago I posted about how to use potatoes that had gone bad, or sprouted, and turn it into an advantage. The same thing can be done for garlic. Everyone’s cut into a clove of garlic to see … Continue reading
Listening to the radio this morning put knots in my stomach. Listening to senators and congressmen argue over what needs to be done to avoid sequestration; increase revenue by increasing taxes and closing loopholes, or cut spending, mainly the defense … Continue reading
This recipe I pulled from allrecipes.com when Mr. Marine and I were searching for a new way to do boneless skinless chicken breasts. One bite and it became my new favorite chicken dish. It’s simple and chances are you already … Continue reading