Monday, May 16, 2011

Money Monday

It's time for my April Project wrap up and budget update. What I've noticed this past month is that our shopping list is much shorter. I don't know if that's because the weather is finally getting warmer or because we aren't just wondering the isles at Stuff Mart we don't feel like we "need" as much stuff. Whatever the reason, I like the results - Saving! One area that less whats are obvious is the number of trips to Stuff Mart and the amount spent there. In April I went to Stuff Mart 4 times and spend 50% less than last years monthly average!

I was also $15 under our grocery budget for April. My goal in cutting back our grocery budget is to build up an overage so when I find a great deal (like skinless, boneless chicken breast for $1.39 a pound!) I can really stock up. So far in May I am $12 under budget.

Now for the bad news, May is the time to pay for Beans summer camps and Sissy's marching band supplies add that to Mother's day and graduations, oh my! This is why we have a budget and put a little away each month for one time activity expenses! I've heard this called a sinking fund. I don't like that name! I like to think of these funds as lifesavers! They help keeps us afloat when extra expenses pop up!

The progress each month is keeping me motivated to just keep working on it. Over all I am very happy with how we are doing on our budget! I know our budget will always be evolving because life changes. I hope budgeting and saving help us prepare for those changes.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Remember Mom

The sun is shining, the temperature is rising and I'm thinking about my Mom. Yesterday was Mother's Day so many people are thinking about their mom's but that's not why I'm thinking about mine. The windows are open and the shears are blowing in the breeze. A storm is about to arrive, soon I run around the house closing windows just like when I was a kid. Growing up in the mid-west we really only had two seasons, shovel and sweat. A cool spring breeze blowing through the second floor bedrooms was a welcome sign of spring. It also meant that when a storm came in quickly, we had many windows to close.

The spring breezes slowly gave way to the hot humid days of late summer. We didn't have air conditioning in the house, not even a window AC unit. We would sleep in front of the open sliding door on the living room floor, with a fan pulling in the cool night air. In the morning we'd wake up the heavy drapes would still be closed, we knew it was going to get hot that day. We'd spend the day at the pool (we had to be home in time to get cleaned up for dinner). On those mornings Mom would be up early making dinner, so she didn't have to heat the house up later.

Mom would make tuna salad with pasta shells for dinner, raw vegetables, (I remember a lot of cucumbers) watermelon, cantaloup and ritz crackers. It wasn't fancy, it wasn't special, Mom made it often as the summer days dragged on. I remember it well not because it was special or fancy but because it was a dinner that tied the summers of my childhood together. When got the tuna and pasta out for dinner tonight that was when I started thinking about my Mom.

Mom's been gone 11 years now but that simple meal keeps me tied to her. I wonder if she had any idea that something so ordinary would be such a special memory for me? I wonder too, now that I'm the mom, if I put too much effort it the "special" things? Maybe I should put more "special" in the every day.

Me, my Mom and Baby Sissy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Craft Project

It's a craft! It's an organizer!
It's finished!

My necklace holder ended up being a bit of a group project, Honey had to help me find the right size screws for the knobs and drill the holes. I'm not allowed to use his power tools, I have enough trouble with my kitchen appliances.
Cute and functional! Love it!