This month I am linking up with Emily to share some things that I have learned these last few months.
- Writing a budget works. For the last 2 years or so we have been using a cash only budget. People ask me all the time “How do you make it on 1 teacher salary with 4 kids in California?” We plan, don’t buy many extras, and eat out very rarely. It is hard I won’t lie. Just last night we were at a family’s HUGE house that looked like Pottery Barn and I came home and cried. I have to continually remind myself that our priorities are for me to stay home, save money, and stay out of debt. Each month Jeff and I go over the month and plan our budget. We look ahead to the next month and talk about what is coming up. Is there a birthday, car repairs, shoes needed? It is really important to do it together. Jeff notices things that I don’t like light bulbs, oil changes, and the holes in his shoes. So in February I didn’t want to write a budget. I decided to just use our debit card. Well, guess what, by the last week there wasn’t money left and we ate out way too much. Which leads me to #2
- Planning meals helps you save money and eat healthier. Again this is not brain surgery but I learned it again this month. We have baseball practice or a game 4 times a week and most of the day Saturday. I usually plan meals around that. I pack sandwiches, use the crockpot or have a simple meal ready at home when we get there. The snack bar is not a place to eat dinner. It is junk food and my kids always end up hungry and then I have to feed them again at home. When I am organized I have my kids pack their dinners in their school lunch boxes for baseball games. They seem to eat them better if it is packed just for them.
- The faster you run the more calories you burn. For the last six weeks I have been getting up super early 3 times a week to complete the Couch to 5K running program. Now that I have a Iphone I am able to use Map my run which I love. I can connect that with My Fitness Pal and it lets me know how many calories I burned. There are days that when I run my motivation is to get more calories to eat. Just telling the truth! When my time is better I burn more calories who knew!
- I should have bought Identity theft insurance last month. I have had the wonderful task of dealing with cell phones being opened up in my name and racking up a $440 charge. I have spent hours on the phone, filed a police report, and written letters to get my credit report. I now have ID theft insurance for $12.90 a month. If this happens to me again they will take care of all the problems and insure me up to a million dollars. Check it out.
- Being a Mom to older kids is something to look forward too. This month I had a moment with my oldest who is 11 which made me realize how much I enjoy conversations with him. Although babies and toddlers are adorable and don’t have homework they are a lot of work, different work that older kids or so I have found.
- Anyone can run if they just start slow and work their way up. I can run a whole 5K in 30 minutes this past month for the first time. It was such a huge accomplishment to me. It was a goal I set and I stuck to it.