Monday, May 4, 2015

Budget Breakdown - April


How'd we fare - In the black. I made a few changes this month.  I'll be reporting on bills/expenses and savings only.  

Successes:
Savings - This was off the charts at 67%.  Our tax refund helped a lot.  I'd love to get to a place where we are consistently saving at least 50% of our income between our retirement, investments and traditional savings.

Room for Improvement:
Groceries - Over budget 37.63. This should really be in the success category because it's the lowest we've been all year. :) What did we do differently? Hubby did most of the shopping. He sticks to the basics. We'll continue to try and conquer this.

Dining out - Over budget 43.82. We didn't eat out much but the meals were a little pricey. So I guess the 'savings' we did in groceries went to eating out. LOL #can'twin. :-$

Miscellaneous - Over budget 419.29. It's spring time! We got lots of supplies to work on our yard, the home exterior, garden etc. The joys of home ownership.

Just for kicks - 5.5% increase in net worth.

The Lesson:  Decide how much you want to save, move it into your savings and live off what's left. That's how we were able to save so much. This means that we weren't able to do everything we wanted. For example, we need to get our air ducts cleaned but couldn't mange it. It will be the first household purchase in May. Happy Budgeting and... 

¡Pura Vida!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Once Upon A Time


I love flowers. Fresh flowers. There's something about having flowers in a space that brightens my spirit just a bit. A few years ago I would go to the farmers market every Saturday to get a fresh bouquet. If I didn't make it to the market, I'd swing by the neighborhood grocery store. My apartment always had the smell of fresh flowers. After a while, my flowers got sacrificed for the bigger picture. But it's now time to get back in the habit. And I'm sitting her wondering why I ever allowed that "big picture" to take this joy away from me in the first place. It's not an expensive treat and for me, it's money well spent. But hey, you live and you learn.  There are some things that are not worth being sacrificed.

¡Pura Vida!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Support The Ones You Love


At some point we will all feel like we don't have the support of those we'd expect it from. Happens. I've certainly felt that way. Sometimes a friend or even family let me down. When you think the people who will always be in your corner turn out not to be there when the bell rings, it's disappointing. Especially when they can support you in something that doesn't require a ton of time or energy, and they don't.

I try to support those I love even if sometimes I may not feel supported in return. And I am certain there are times when I come up short as well. We all have lives and priorities. Sometimes things just fall off the list. But I am hoping that those I love know that I am there for them through it all; without expectations. It's still hard sometimes though to not feel disappointed. 

If you've been putting off helping a friend or fulfilling a request of a family member, or even doing something you haven't been asked to do but know it would mean something, make a conscious effort to do something this week. And not just this week, moving forward also. It could be a complete stranger who just opened their very own coffee shop. Buy a cup of coffee, send that email you promised to a colleague, provide that contact you said you would send to a friend. Leave a nice review on a website or yelp. Just do it. You'd want the same in return.

Don't wait until someone does something nice for you to do something in return. Do something nice first! Be a leader! Be an example! It's important that we support each other. Life is hard. Following your dreams can be challenging. And when your turn comes, you'd want the same in return. When you support others, it comes back to you in abundance. You'll appreciate it just as much as those you have helped.

I have to do more of this myself and plan to do a few things this week to show support to others.

¡Pura Vida!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Guacamole!

A friend had an over abundance of avocados and thankfully she thought of me to off load a bushel. I love avocado. It was a staple in our house while growing up. I remember having a slice with breakfast. Or putting a few slices in a piece of butter bread right out the oven. Just delicious. I decided to make some guacamole because I haven't had it in a long time. I've never made it myself and when I go out to eat there's always an up charge for guac so I almost always opt out. Yes, I am cheap frugal and not ashamed. :)

Avocados, lime juice, onions, peppers, cilantro, sea salt. That's what I put in my guac. I'll add some tomatoes and garlic next time. I have both in the fridge but just forgot to add them. Had to make a run to the grocery store for chips (baked), but the drive was well worth it. Very tasty and a healthy snack.

¡Pura Vida!