Monday, January 26, 2015

Budgeting and Simplifying for the New Year~~January

Over the past 4 months or so, I'm getting our house in some kind of order with a mission of organizing, and for this 3 story home, it's a big job. I made it a goal to simplify last year and this year is the same. I remind myself that things didn't get out of place all at one time, and it will take little bits every day to reach my goals.

I probably will make this maybe a weekly post as it's such a good topic and I've learned so very much from following some You Tuber's and websites for organizing, ideas for practical usage of items in your home, and how to budget (well that part came from my mama).

I sit down at the beginning of each month with my planner and write out what I want to accomplish at home and what needs to be done versus what I would like to do. In the past couple of years, it's mostly what needs to be done and occasionally I can do what I like to do as well.

Without a budget, a home generally does not function well. There have times in my life where I didn't really write out a budget, but I could tell you at any given time, the numbers that usually go out of the household budget. For some people or most, it doesn't work as well. I've been through times in my life, I didn't know where groceries were coming from. I've been through times where I didn't have to worry about it. I've been through alot and learned alot from bumps in the road of life.

Here are the factors that I consider when I look at the year in general:

  1. if you own a home, no matter what they are, there will be basic home maintenance. If the home is not maintained, you will end up in the long run paying more for repairs. If you or your spouse can do the repairs yourselves, this saves a ton of money.
  2. when planning a monthly budget, focus on basics first. This is the bare-bones of what you have to pay to live in a survival mode. We all don't like to do that, but for planning this is crucial. Then you can categorize smaller items/bills that go out each month. It's really surprising when you look back and see what was spent and what was really unnecessary.
  3. understand that life may take a complete turn around and jobs may be lost, a spouse's job may be lost, extended illness can happen, and Murphy's law does exist for a reason. Don't worry excessively about this. I've been through each of these and it seemed very doomed at the time but realize God will take care of you, He promises in His word. Pray.
  4. January is the best time to look at the year forward. Set monthly goals that are generalized because nothing is worse than setting up too high of a goal and not achieving it. I personally write out in a journal to keep up, all the bills/needs for 3 months at the time and plan and regroup, every 2-3 months if things change.
  5. Buy and carry with you, a daily/monthly large planner. If your phone works best to do this with app programs, then that is another way, but I know for myself, when I physically write something out and go back to look at it from day to day, I get more done. I am a list maker!
  6. Use budget billing for utilities whenever it is possible. For example, electric bill and home gas bill and utilities can be averaged out by the company, and you pay the same regardless of the true bill throughout the year. This is a great way to budget.
  7. Every month, on the large monthly calender 2 pages, write in the side bar, a goal for each month for home maintenance. For example, when filters need changing, oil in the car needs changing, and what to focus on each month.
  8. Every day, on daily pages, write in your planner on Sundays what needs to be done for the week. This helps meet the overall monthly goal.
  9. Be aware that some household items are on sale at different times of the year. Stock up when they are at the lowest. 
  10. At the top of your monthly 2 page planning pages, write a positive affirmation, long or short in large writing so when you get discouraged, it helps you to stay focused on the positive.
These are just a few of the general things I do to plan for the year. Not all things can be predicted and life can change at a moment's notice, but I find that planning gives some sense of control in life and less surprise expenses come up because of not preventing them in the first place. I can thank my dad for making me this way. :)

January is practically coming to an end this week, so get those calenders and get a cup of tea and write out 12 positive affirmations at the top of each month. For me, I like to put scriptures or famous quotes I like at the top. 

Remember that what works for one person or family, may not work for you.  

Give yourself some creative space and time to design your life by taking the time to move forward and make some goals for the year!

I hope these suggestions are helpful. I'm working on some organizing projects and will post from time to time about repurposing items in the home.  Stay-tuned!

I will leave you with a positive affirmation for January!

How many sang that as they read it????  ;)


  1. Good budgeting points. I hope you can continue to share about your organizing projects. It's inspiring! And yes, I sang ; )

  2. Dearest Jennifer,
    Yes, so true about the budget... Due to high medical expenses were are still in a valley and no way for me to fly to The Netherlands to attend Mom's cremation. Very tough but I have peace of mind knowing that in those almost 32 years we've visited them 64 times and that's quite a sacrifice instead of enjoying a vacation for the both of us.
    But for Mom it was worth it!


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