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July 2016

July No/Low Spend (and why?)

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I've decided to have a "No/Low Spend" July!

My reasons:

  1. Our slush fund is quite low and I'd like to bump it back up. This is what keeps us out of our savings accounts, so it's important to build it back up! This account covers smaller incidentals that pop up and our regular budget doesn't cover. (Gifts, clothes, medical which our insurance provider doesn't cover, unexpected bills, etc...)
  2. I'm working on 3 considerable savings goals and I'd like to continue making progress on them! I'm very close (kinda) to my largest goal, so the momentum is high!!
  3. I'm trying to get the kids to understand (mostly Mya) why we're working so hard to save, save, save! And I know I haven't said much yet about this on my blog, but I will. Sooner than later. Probably when I hit my goal honestly! This month will be a test for me and the kids! I plan on including them with my weekly budget and monthly finances so they can *see* where all of our hard earned dollars go!

My ground rules:

  1. No buying "stuff" unless it's an honest to goodness *NEED*. So, no books, not toys, no fabric, no clothes, and so on. Mind you with Canada Post probably going on strike today, it's going to make this far easier for me as most of my shopping is done online!
  2. I have done no "pre-stocking" for the month ahead as for me, I think it defeats the purpose. I know some like to prepare by pre-purchasing items that they'll need for the month ahead, filling their gas tanks, etc... But then I'm just spending money that I shouldn't be for things I may not need at the time. So I don't bother. Plus we've already been through this week's budget and $.62 doesn't go far. LOL!! I'm going forward with "business as usual" for the month.
  3. The kids & I have been looking forward to seeing "The Secret Life of Pets" at the theatre for many, many months. We saw a preview for it at least a year and a half ago, and I promised them we'd all go see it together when it comes out. Which naturally is this month. I have to be able to work it into our *weekly budget* and not go over budget however. It looks sooo funny and since we haven't been to the movies since April, I'm going to keep this activity in.
  4. If something comes up that I'll need a gift for, it needs to be handmade. So I hope they like my sewing! lol!
  5. No fabric purchases. I have plenty enough to keep me going... As I'm sure most of you can attest to!

My goals:

  1. I'd love to get our slush fund back up to $1K. It's currently at $465.00. *Ok, I think I should NOT budget before my morning coffee. My slush is not at $700.00 at all... Somewhere I miscalculated something and had to even out to start fresh this month. What a kicker! :(
  2. I'd like to bump up my main savings goal by $349.00 - then with another $2K I'll reach my goal!

Now just a few notes..

Since Canada Post is going to be locked out/striking, in all likelihood my income will be next to NIL for however long it takes them to reach an agreement and get back to work. This is going to hurt us. I've thought about stocking my items locally in a "handmade" type shop, it appears as though now is the time to do it! That means making some stock, emailing the owner, signing the contract and getting my stuff on a shelf! There's a small rental fee so I'll need to work that into our budget as well. I was proactive on this one and have chatted with the owner of a local handmade shop and we have already worked out all the details! I'm very excited and will post more on this later on in the week!

Our weekly budget for July will be $300.00 a week, starting today! This must cover groceries, kids allowances (the youngest 2 can earn $5.00 when they fill their chore chart) and whatever else comes up. Ideally I'll come in under budget and will have some to tuck into savings!

A no spend going to be tough for us because there's a lot of fun stuff happening in my city now that the summer months are here! We will probably still take part in the fun but will need to pack snacks, drinks, etc... Anyways, that's another post!

I think that about covers it! Sweet & simple, to the point and with a focus! Wish me luck!

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Have you ever tried a "no/low spend week/month" to work on a savings goal?

 


Five Frugal Things!

In the spirit of getting ready for a "No/Low Spend July" (details posted tomorrow) I'm going to post "Five Frugal Things" I did this week, and hopefully each week throughout July! I'm in a new mindset with my savings goals, so posts like these help me to continue striving towards my goals and keep my "eye on the prize"!
  1. Dh desperately needs custom made compression socks, he is on his feet 11-12 hours each night at work. And they're quite expensive, ouch!! We are going via the more complicated route with a prescription in, doctors notes, and so on in able to have these covered. We'll still have to pay for a doctors note, which is more work and will still cost us a small chunk, but in the end we’ll definitely save a larger chunk of change! He has a prescription for 4 pairs, I'm assuming they'll cost at *least* $600'ish+ after all is said and done. Which with our coverage however it should all be covered!!
  2. I moved over some $$ sitting in my Paypal account from my sewing/pattern sales and once it hits my bank account I'll move it right into my savings account.
  3. Kids asked for snacks from the store the other day, I said ‘no’ as we’ve already mostly used up this week’s budget! I shop tomorrow, so they can eat what's in the house till then!
  4. We’re hitting the library for a new stack of books & we'll spend the afternoon at the park enjoying the sunshine, cooler temps and playground equipment for more free fun and burning off some energy! The kids, not me. I have no energy to burn... lol!
  5. I'm going to clear out the pantry today and organize it! I need to see what we have and what we need, so I don't purchase any "doubles". My youngest is a notorious "snacker/grazer", which is 100% ok, but she'll open up new boxes/bags before finishing off the old which drives me insane. We need to start fresh and see what needs finished before purchasing new snacks!

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What are your Five Frugal Things?


My day in photos...

Well the day started out cool enough to turn off our air conditioning today, bright skies & cool breezes! Thank-you Mother Nature!! I dread having our AC on too much as it uses SOO much Hydro and our bill reminds me how much I am not a "Wynne" fan... *roll eyes*
From my patio door I saw this beautiful lily bloom overnight so had to snap a photo of it... So gorgeous and my favourite colour as well!

Then I completed a custom ordered quilte table runner that was getting picked up this afternoon! I worked on the hand stitching last night until I thought my wrist would fall off and then more today while I had my coffee. It was the very last custom order on my list! Eek! Feels weird not to have any orders on the go... I do hope they start coming in again soon but Canada Post's "maybe" strike is not looking good unfortunately.

So with that custom crossed off of my list, that makes my sewing "to do" list virtually empty from top to bottom! I guess now is the time for me to catch up on some personal projects!
I did some housework after I completed the runner as things have been piling up which drives me slightly insane. A nice clear table makes my heart flutter... LOL!! I called the kids to put all their crap precious items away and help with some tidying!

The living room needed decluttering, dusting and vacuuming as the dust bunnies we're growing to be the size of Guinea pigs. I kid you not. LOL!! The kids (especially child #2) use the coffee table as a "catch-all" and there is always SOO much crap on it that I want to toss it all in the garbage. But I don't... I give them some grace until I'm sure I'll go insane then make them get rid of everything and anything I can see! ;)

My Juki really needed a good cleaning and oiling as it's been working quite hard for me lately! I also ran out of all my bobbins... *sigh* lol!! So I took the time to wind 10 bobbins & they're ready to go!
I just threw on a pot of coffee as I was starting to drag - I LOVE these Tim Hortons BUNN coffee makers SO much! Not the coffee though, lol! I drink organic & fair trade Kicking Horse 3 sisters exclusively. I'm a die hard fan... But this coffee maker is the best of the best. I will never own another coffee maker for as long as I live. These things are worth every single penny.
I took a few minutes to call the government as our child tax is changing in July with the new Liberal government. Thankfully for us it's changing for the better! This payment will be tax-free and we're getting a nice little bump in our payment due to our income level! I am going to work on our budget tonight but hope to save almost all of the difference to put towards our savings goals. It will definitely help, but that will mean sticking to a crazy tight budget for the next almost 2 years, but if I can continue to bring in a bit of extra income here and there, I know we can do it!
Since it's much cooler today I'm going to make penne with meat sauce and garlic bread with garlic Parmesan cheese for dinner. Dh and kids love it, and it's something that at least 4/6 of us can eat. (Food allergies). Dallas will be home from work late so I'll set aside a bowl for him 'cause this is his favourite dinner of all time I think! He would eat it nightly I'm sure!
I'm thinking about what I'd like to create with these bundles of fabric that were sent to me! So much goodness in this basket and it's all up to me with what I create with it!! The gorgeous "Posey Garden" Riley Blake Fabric by Carina Gardner does have something "in que" to made with it for an upcoming blog hop! I'm SOO excited that she asked me to take part in a blog hop to show off her new upcoming Fabric... So very flattered!!
I'll leave you with this sweet photo of Miss Mya... She wants to go outside but it was just spitting and dinner will be done soon, so not much of a point right now. Her friend next door has now moved, so I think she's a little sad as they played so much together and always got along so well! Hopefully we can plan a play date for them soon, but having just moved not too long ago, I know how exhausted and busy they must be! So I'll give it a bit then email her to set up a play date if possible.

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And on that note I'm off... Enjoy your day!