Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cutting the grocery bill to buy a house

Yeah, we think we might actually have to save for a bit and just sell this house. The jury's out, but I guess that is how people do things:) Whatever happens we will figure it out.

Regardless of what we decide to do we will need a lot of money. This is why I am trying to slash my grocery budget without letting us go hungry. Since August 17th I have spent $311.40. My original goal for the month was $600.00. That includes household supplies. School is getting back in session, so we are both working and will need lunches each day. I cooked and froze a bunch of things a week and a half ago. I can tell you that frozen things come in really handy, but you can get sick of things quickly. This week my goal is to create some meals with what I have and leave what is left of the frozen meals until next week. So far this week we had

Chicken enchiladas (freezer) Sweet and sour (chicken)-fresh recipes from ingredients on hand Chili-made with some precooked frozen beef

Tonight I am making chicken fried rice with cooked chicken that is defrosting and left over rice from the sweet and sour chicken.

So I guess I am still using items from the freezer, but there are some fully prepared meals are still in there. I have dinners through the end of next week sketched out. Can I really stay under $600.00 until September 17th. I don't know. After consulting blogs I like I thought $600.00 was way too much to spend, but after I saw what I have spent in ten days I was thinking, YIKES! However, I did buy a lot of back up with what I have spent. For example, I have enough cereal to get us through October. I know, some people that are extremely frugal don't buy cereal, but my kids really like Cheerios, so I just buy it on sale. I also have plenty of pasta and enough snacks for school lunches. I really would like to come in under $500.00.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Needs and Wants

We got a number from the realtor. It is depressing, but it is the information that we need to make some decisions. I have a few more phone calls to make tomorrow, but the numbers have shown us a lot. We will figure it out. At the end of the day I would like a moderate house and have more money to save and spend. I don't need a gigantic house. Renovating this house, even on a small scale, would be a good way to make some changes, give us more room, but still not be in debt for thirty more years. We just refinanced to a fifteen year mortgage. We really don't want to be in debt into our seventies. Even a twenty year mortgage would take us into our sixties. Fifteen years feels good. We would be debt free while we were both still working full time. It would give us time to save and bank a lot and help both kids with college. That is really important to me. It is just about scraping up enough to actually do a renovation. A full third floor renovation is really pricey. We aren't sure we can get the money. A moderate renovation gives us two bedrooms and a full bath upstairs, which would essentially become the kids floor. We would stay in our small bedroom. We would open the wall between the kitchen and living area and repaint. The current bedroom that the kids use would become a den. It would still be smallish, but I think that is okay. I am too old to try to keep up with the rest of the world. Being happy in a moderate house is more important than being unhappy in a mansion.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

No more coffee :(

Well, no more stopping to grab coffee. I finished my last gift card today. Part of the stay on budget plan includes me not grabbing coffee on the way home. That delicious coffee really adds up. Also, I should be drinking water instead of coffee.

Today was another day that I prepared dinner from my freezer stash of meatballs and a box of pasta. My pledge to stop all take out is really in full gear. I am looking around the kitchen trying to figure out the minimum I can spend this weekend. We will need milk, fruit, and a few basic items. We are almost out of dishwasher soap. We are already out of trash bags, but I am waiting it out with a shopping bag in there. It isn't that I can't stop to get trash bags, but I know I could easily spend $40.00. It is so so easy. Trying to think of something quick and easy for tomorrow. I think grilling would be good. Maybe I will try to make some homemade hamburger rolls. I read about them a lot, and they sound so good. Plus we are both back to work next week. I want the sitter to have enough basics to feed the kids every day. I got a giant deal on snacks including crackers and cookies. I scored a variety of seven containers for $9.00. I was really happy, and immediately ran everything to the basement so it would not get eaten before school was in full gear.

Don't know yet what the house could list for, but we could possibly get into a program that would allow us to buy a house for 2.5 percent down. Depending on what the house could go for we may be able to scrape and save and make a choice soon. No more coffee.

Saving $40,000

I sort of made up this figure. It could actually be more, or maybe less but I doubt it. This is what I think we could need to sell our house. We are waiting to see what the realtor thinks he can list the house for. He's pretty conservative, so it should not get our hopes up. Between paying the realtor and coming up with a down payment for a new house I am freaking out. Houses in our town are pretty ridiculous just because so many people live here their entire lives. I like it here, but it is just an average town with expensive houses. It also has a small inventory.

My point, as my brain swirls with activity, is how the heck do we save $40,000, if that is in fact what we need. That will take us years. We could literally live here for three or four more years while we pay down the mortgage and bank every penny.

Glad I did not get my nails done this weekend.

The most frustrating thing is that with our current income we could certainly swing a high mortgage payment. We are paying one now.

Monday, August 19, 2013

How to save lots of money

No, this post is not about how to save money, it is more about the overwhelming idea that it seems really hard to save the money we will probably need to sell and buy a new house or renovate. They both seem pretty expensive and overwhelming right now.

On a happy note I did make dinner tonight. I am so proud of myself. I grilled pizzas and they were fabulous. I am taking a vow not to eat out at all this week. All cooking for this family. Save money, save money, save money.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Working, cooking, and houses

So I got the job that I wanted. This week I have to set up a new classroom and attend orientation. Next week I have three days of professional development. I am excited, but I feel anxious too. Last year I was in the same building, teaching the same grade, but I took over another classroom and used what was there. This year I am setting up my own classroom and just sorted through my own materials that have been in storage for almost seven years. They are in my car ready to go.

The anticipation of working full-time is making me a stressed out lunatic. I spent the whole morning cooking and freezing meals in preparation for not being able to make dinner after a long day of work. Last year we ate a ridiculous amount of take-out. Not only did not not help my waist line, but it cost us way too much money. I really need to reign in our food budget. So I have already created a monthly budget that I plan to stick to or stay under. It will include menu planning and careful shopping because we finally are both working full-time and it is time to save some money and figure out what to do about the house.

Oh the house, the house, I do love the house. It is cute and tiny, and tiny, and tiny. It is four rooms, yes I said four rooms. It is under 800 square feet. Our goal at this point is figure out if selling or renovating is our best options. Renovating seems quite expensive, but selling isn't cheap either. So now that we are both working full-time and have two decent salaries coming in, we need to buckle down and save some money because no matter what we decide to do one thing is certain. We will need money.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Why am I lazy?

My anxiety is back and forth. I just raced through some cardio and it felt so much better. This week's goal is cardio every day. I tend to do it when I need it, but when I feel great I blow it off. I think if I were more consistent the anxiety would disappear. I would consider my anxiety mild, but really aggravating. I can't imagine what a full blown anxiety condition must feel like. I really get lazy when I feel good, because when I feel good I can't imagine feeling lousy. When I feel lousy it is hard to picture feeling good.

Now that I will be going back to work because I did get the job I need to set some goals. This week's goals include daily cardio, more water some water, ice coffee isn't the only beverage, and a better diet. Good luck to me.