Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Budgets

Well, I am on my FOURTH week of minimal grocery shopping, and to make things even better, I didn't go the grocery at all last week. (Of course I should fess up that I didn't cook at all last week either.)  Our kitchen was torn up all week due to our cabinet project and the microwave and oven were out of commission.  So, we ate out most of the week...yuck! I was so tired of restaurants that one night's dinner consisted of Graeter's Ice Cream...the girls thought that was pretty cool.  I might possibly be able to get two more weeks worth of meals out of the stuff lingering in my pantry and freezer....yes that it how much food I had stocked up!  What was I thinking??

On our way to Youngstown over spring break, I went through my last credit card statement and once again began looking at where I was spending my money and as usual was ashamed at all the Target/TJ Maxx/Homegoods stops I made over the month.  I will say I have a slight excuse and that is most of the money spend was on new things to decorate my new kitchen.  Frugal?  Maybe not to the average reader (or my husband if you ask him) but for me it is.  The "stuff" I had in the kitchen before was very old.  Some of the stuff was in my first few apartments right out of college....that was 16 years ago! I think I deserve to treat myself to a few new things for my fabulous new kitchen.  Besides, isn't TJ Maxx being frugal?  Back to the point of this post, I decided that if I wanted to control my spending I would need to set a budget.  I have NEVER created a budget for myself; I didn't really know where to start.  I decided to look mostly at what I wanted to spend on groceries, which is the biggest expense for me besides daycare.  Once I figured that out, I added my cell phone bill and a few more bucks for random items.  I then found a simple app for my phone (Spent) which allows me to enter in my monthly budget then enter in my purchases.  As soon as I open up the app, it tells me what is left of my money for the month.  I may have gone too drastic with my goal (I cut my monthly spending in half) but there was so much unnecessary spending that I had to bite the bullet. This is day two and I have spent $9.50 (donuts for Ava's birthday treat at school).  So far so good...might be more impressive if it were two weeks into it though!

Speaking of kitchen, here are a few photos showing the before and after.  I was very nervous about the colors I chose since the existing counter tops were dark.  I loved the look of the chocolate wood, but was afraid it would make the room too dark.  To counter that darkness, we chose an antique white for the island and added oil-rubbed bronze hardware instead of the stainless that is seen on the rest of the cabinets.  I am so happy with the outcome.  Every time I walk into the room I have to smile.  A room shouldn't necessarily make one happy, but what a difference it makes when you love the space you are in!  Now on to my new floors...that is going to take some convincing!

                                    This is the "before" picture.  I feel like it looks so small!




The sign, geese, and yellow plate are a few of the old things I decided to keep.


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