Managing this house, and all who dwell here, really shouldn't be this tough, right? I am trying to figure out a budget, get organized for Winter and have food on the dinner table on a daily basis. We have a lot going on, but not nearly like some of our friends. We're fortunate that the economy isn't really effecting us and we don't have any major issues with our family. So it seems ridiculous that I'm struggling again. I know there are people that would trade places with me in a second. I should soak it in, relax and be thankful for how good things are for us. When I am stressed that the house is a mess, and I'm flying solo again and I'm frantically trying to whip up dinner, I need breathe. And remember I get to be a SAHM. And not only does BigDaddy have a job, it's his dream job-- getting paid to coach college volleyball. And we are fortunate to have a great house. And at least I have lots of food choices already here in my kitchen. Things really aren't that bad. And they are a lot worse for some people who aren't as fortunate as us. I have a wonderful husband, awesome kids, and great friends. I'm a lucky girl!
So today I'm not having a pity party. I will not hide in the closet doing tequila shots. I will not stand in a hot shower pretending I don't hear Sassy's whiny cry from the living room. okay, maybe I did do that last part. But I'm focusing on good stuff. Not sweating the lame stuff. And being thankful for what I have. I realize that we're all just trying to figure this game of life out. We all have those moments, often times on a daily basis, but this is just a process. I'll never have it all down and it's okay. So baby steps it is. again.
I'm been busy with my mini-projects, in addition to winterizing the yard before it gets to freaking cold to be out there for more than 15 minutes. Unfortunately, these things take time getting started, but long term they make a world of difference. Here's what I've been investigating:
- Budget tools with Pear Budget. If nothing else, check out the free 30 day trial and get a better grasp of your total expenses. It was an eye opener for me. We now have specific categories for everything.
- Opened a free savings account at ING Direct and plan on opening more and using the "envelope system" with various accounts. (If you want to open your own, let me know and we will both score $$!)
- Called our flexible utilities to see if we can reduce our bills (i.e. cell/home phone, cable, etc) Basically we can't unless we want to significantly decrease what we have. At this point we don't, but at least I know we are being cost effective for what we want.
- Created yet another shutterfly share website, this one for BigBoy's class. I love these sites. Ridiculously easy to keep family and friends (or class parents) up-to-date.
- Created a master calendar with everyone's schedules that's EASY and usable with google calendars. I love that I can view multiple calendars at one time, individually, and they are color coded. email reminders and I can import icals from other sites (like BigDaddy's team schedule.) Heaven! (I'm also trying to consolidate emails, but yahoo and google aren't friends, so it's not happening at this point.)
- Using bookmarks with delicious.com,a social bookmarking site, to keep online stuff organized-- check out my bookmarks here. I mainly use this for recipes, but I also keep track of travel info since I can't always remember where I saw something specific and I only need to type my "tags" and Viola! It appears! love it! especially with the tool bar button download. easy peasy.
- Coupons. I hate clipping coupons. I think I'm going to use them, then I don't. And then I feel guilty. but I recently found a gazillion coupon blogs and they make it much easier! I'm not going crazy with it, but I'm keeping an eye out for deals on things we use on a regular basis. Most coupons aren't for what we buy, but once in a while there are some great ones. I also found out you can stack manufacturer's coupons with Target coupons! hello! I'm all over that. I also have been keeping diaper coupons in my wallet since I always seem to forget them. Online coupons are great though and you can print what you want. Cheat by visiting deal blogs like: moneysavingmom.com and thefrugalfind.com or at website forums like gottadeal.com. (My FAVORITE Black Friday info site.)
There you have it. Put one foot in front of the other...
Photo credit: stefano ricciardi