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Posted in Budgeting

Adult Allowances

As notorious and strict I am about making a budget, I always seem to overspend somewhere. One of our biggest challenges, I feel like, is not spending our hard earned money on ourselves. We always end up feeling like we work hard and everything just goes to responsibilities and no fun. So, when we do decide to spend, we end up splurging. Therefore, I implemented a new category into our budget for allowances. Each paycheck, before anything gets spent, we each take 1 days worth of pay to spend on whatever we’d like. It’s been almost a week since we got paid and here’s how we’ve done so far:

Less impulse buying. My dog’s birthday is coming up so we went to the pet store to get everyone a treat for the big day and my husband came across a turtle filter. While we physically had the money in spending, and in our allowance, he thought it would be better not to. This was great because we didn’t go to the store for a turtle filter, so now we’re using self-control!

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Splitting things in half. The day after we got our paychecks, we decided to have date night and order Chinese take-out. Our total was $19.99 and we literally went $10 each (I gave Lucas the penny because I’m a stickler like that). I thought it was only right, because how fair would it be for me to have more than him when I got to enjoy it too. Now we didn’t do this for everything – there are a few things that are necessities, such as groceries, pet food, laundry, etc., that just came out of our regular spending rather than allowance. The allowance was strictly for wants, not needs; we didn’t need to order Chinese take-out, we had food at home, but neither of us wanted to cook. Our total came out to half the amount it typically does and we had just enough food to get full for the night. Yes, when we order Chinese, we typically spend $40 and have leftovers (talk about over-spending).

Planning date nights. We always say we’re going to see a movie or eat in a nice restaurant, but something always comes up. We end up spending more than we should have in one place or another, usually because of impulse buying, and then our ability to afford date night goes out the window. We have a date night planned out and I’m really excited because I know it’s going to happen!

So far the idea of adult allowances has gone really well! Not only has it impacted our fun-money, but it’s also positively impacted our spending in other areas! It’s been a lot easier saying, “no we don’t need that for the house”, or “we need that, but we don’t need to spend $200 on one either”.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in one day. This has been a struggle for Lucas and I for some time until I thought of this, and we’re barely one week in. I feel like ultimately, it will continue to work, but that’s only going to happen if we stick to it. I hope if you have these problems, and you try this idea, it works for you too!

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Posted in Determination, Time management

Routines

Time has been on my side lately. Within the past two weeks, I’ve given myself more opportunities to set myself up for better days. I’ve set aside time every day to clean, get myself ready for work and have breakfast; this is a step up from my regular routine, which was basically getting out of my bed in just enough time to look decent for work.

No, I didn’t complete the 30 day plank challenge, but I did stick to my word when it came to cleaning 30 minutes a day! Baby steps! My mornings feel less overwhelming now. In fact, I feel extremely relaxed, even when I have to plop myself at my desk and pay bills.

To add on, I recently came across an article by Allure about a woman with “glass skin”. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here. I became obsessed with this because I suffer from adult acne and psoriasis, so finding products that help with my dry, yet oily and acne prone skin is a challenge.

I typically wash my face twice a day, which I started a habit of about a year ago. Now let’s not go crazy and say that I still don’t fall asleep with makeup on, because I’m only human and I break this habit every now and then. But, when I find something that works, I typically stick with it pretty well.

Anyways, I was in a really good mood yesterday and decided to head to the store to pick a couple of these out. I’m not a 5 step woman. My ideal skin care routine consists of 2 or 3 super quick and simple steps and/or products. Therefore, I opted in for the makeup wipes, exfoliating scrub and hydrating cleanser. I already have a super awesome wash-off charcoal face mask from my Mary Kay days that I use once every month or so. Going forward, I am definitely going to try using it at least once a week. I’m on day two and 3 uses and, so far I’m very happy with the way my face feels.

I need to push myself to clean my makeup brushes more than once a month, too, because I feel like this contributes to my acne.

Better days are coming! Stay posted and thanks for sticking around!

Posted in Determination, Time management

Habits!

So, here I am, about to tell you about habits when I haven’t posted in almost a year. Well, in those 9 months, a lot has happened! We moved out of our little box of a 1 bedroom apartment and into a comfortable 3 bedroom – space isn’t much of an issue anymore, but organizing always will be.

Does everything need a home? I don’t believe so. It certainly is an awesome feeling walking into a hosts’ home seeing zero clutter, but is it really that easy? I don’t think so either. So, with a bigger place and two people to clean, we’ve noticed it takes about 3 hours a week to clean (if you leave it all to one day – which we typically do).

Nowadays, I absolutely suck at doing what I say I’m going to do, and I’ll tell you why. Within the last week, I’ve told myself I’m going to do yoga for thirty minutes every day, and in that time, I’ll use 5 minutes to do planks (part of a thirty day challenge). I’ve also said I’m going to use thirty minutes a day to tidy up the house. None of these things have happened. Well, I’m lazy, but I realized if I don’t make it a habit, these things just become something I only talk about doing.

The only thing I can say I still do on a weekly basis is a budget. I don’t think I can ever let that go. At least I still have one thing going for me.

I’d be lying if I said “today is a new day and I’m a changed woman!”. I’m not a perfect person. Between working and dealing with every day obstacles, I haven’t made much of an effort to do things I love doing or things that are good for me, either. I’m sure the majority of people can relate to this struggle.

I can only take things one day at a time. Baby steps. Because, Rome wasn’t built in one day. Until then, I’m happy I posted today and maybe some time soon I’ll post again. 🙂

Posted in clean, decluttering, neat, organization

De-cluttering games!

Hello, All!

Every once in a while I get a bright idea that I have to share; this one is something I saw online. I haven’t tried some of these yet but I feel like it’s going to be a pretty successful task.

1. Take a picture of each room. Look at these pictures to determine what doesn’t belong. Once you narrow down a few things – figure out how to remove these items. You can donate (which is my favorite), throw away or find a better place for it.

2. Play the 12-12-12 game! Walk around your home and find 12 things to trash, 12 things to find a home for and 12 things to donate. I feel like this will be the most accomplishing game for myself just because I can EASILY gather up 36 items to find something to do with.

3. One task a day. This is my favorite because it doesn’t require much effort. Write a list for yourself and each day tackle one thing. It can be something small like clean the kitchen counter (which is a dumping ground at my house) or scrub the toilet bowl (only takes a few minutes but it’s the task no one wants to do) or maybe even a larger accomplishment like shredding the mail you’ve been collecting for 8 years (what was I thinking?!).

I never like to look at de-cluttering as a downfall – I don’t like to see it as a burden. It makes me feel accomplished when I can look at a disorganized area and make it look neat. Now of course we’re all human and we all actually live in our homes so obviously it’s going to look that way.

The ideas are limitless and your home will thank you. Remember – your mess did not happen overnight so it will not be cleaned overnight; baby steps!  Until next time, friends!

 

Posted in organization

How to get organized: Being efficient

Scenario: It’s that time of the year again to renew your car insurance! The bill we all love paying the most (sike)! Driving without car insurance is illegal in most states, including Illinois. Some cops are lenient if you have insurance but just forgot the card at home, while others will write you a ticket and to avoid paying you have to show the proof. Not a big deal, right?; If you have it then you just have to dispute it by showing your card and the case will get dropped – WRONG! It is a big deal because you’re wasting time to fix something when ensuring you have all of your ducks in a row to begin with could have avoided that. The key to this is being efficient and wasting time is not being efficient with your time.

One thing that I see so much is people multitasking. Some people believe multitasking is saving them time when in actuality it’s wasting time. How can you do two things at once? Our brains were not meant to function that way. What ends up happening is mistakes are made and then you have to go back and fix them. Sure, you should be proofreading your work anyways, but it ends up taking longer in the end than if you hadn’t tried doing two things at once.

As the saying goes, “Time is money” and that’s great as long as it isn’t your time or your money. If your boss has you do a task that they don’t even need, it’s wasted time but at least you got paid to do it, right? But what if you take a few hours to assemble a piece of furniture for your home in a room you don’t even use? Not only did you just waste money that could have been used on something more important or valuable but you also wasted time with the assembly.

Efficiency goes a long way! It doesn’t happen overnight but you should always think if there’s a better way of doing things.

Posted in clean, decluttering, neat, organization, Time management

Getting Your Groove Back

Hey everyone! I often find myself flustered trying to squeeze all these tasks and chores into just a couple days, such as the fabulous weekend. Weekends are so precious and fly by faster than we’d like them to, so doesn’t it make sense to leave the mandatory tasks for during the week? It’s always such a bummer when I just want to relax on Saturday or Sunday but I promised myself I would do a 3-5 hour project which is not enjoyable at all; not everyone has a cleaning lady, but if you do, good for you!! Anyways, lately I have been trying to get as much as I can done during the week so the weekend is mine to do as I please.

Simple trick – set aside 30 minutes a day.

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Everyday when I get home from work, I think of one or two things I can do around my house that won’t take long such as putting away the laundry, or even putting a load or two in to wash/dry. Tuesdays, for example are the fun days, I feel like: I only have one 1-hour show, so I’ll put in a couple loads, or de-clutter my room a bit, then lie down with a candle burning and read a Harry Potter book on my Kindle. I basically get off on having a clean house, especially my room. I don’t spend a lot of time in my room, so I feel like that’s the place that gets easily forgotten.

This is why the 30 minute challenge works well for me because I can de-clutter enough to get my rocks off (not literally, but I sure am an organization freak). Nothing makes me happier than being able to walk through my room without tripping over cords or bumping into stuff. Try it, and thank me later! Remember, even if your house looks like it belongs on Hoarders, pushing yourself to get everything clean in one day is unrealistic! It didn’t take a day to make the mess, so it’s going to take some time to organize it. Be patient with yourself and tackle one thing at a time.

Posted in clean, decluttering, neat, organization

Getting organized: working with what you have

Hey everybody! Last time I blogged I told you all about our efforts to move out. Since that has been postponed, my husband and I (basically my idea) have decide to work within the means we have been dealt. Therefore, we have been working on organizing the space we have to better suit our needs. Last week I did a bit of online shopping. When we got married, we received a bunch of gift cards that we have yet to put to use because we’ve been waiting for the big move. Because we didn’t want to take the chance of the gift cards expiring or losing them due to holding on to them for so long, we decided to put them to good use.

Long story short, here was my shopping list:

3 bin laundry basket – Bed, Bath and Beyond
Under the bed shoe storage – Target
Under the bed storage tote – Target

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a HUGE fan of under the bed storage. Before now, I’ve been keen on using shoe boxes. Recently I’ve retired my shoe boxes by putting things into storage little by little. This weekend I’ve revamped my entire room. Closets cleaned and under the bed cleaned out to make room for the delivery of my new items.

I bought the clear tote to have a nice place out of the way for blankets pillows and stuffed animals. Believe it or not, I have a few stuffed animals and A LOT of fleece blankets. Let’s just say my husband knows what to get to make me comfortable. But I feel like every time we’re off to bed I’m pushing things to the end of the bed and in the morning picking everything back up. This is what the clear tote is for.

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The laundry basket was purchased because we had a round large bin that wasn’t cutting it anymore. I got tired of waking up to laundry on the floor spilling out of the basket and tired of sorting out clothes when it came time to do laundry.

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What I like about this so far is it has 3 compartments so I can sort immediately with colors, heavy articles of clothing and whites. We’re off to a good start.

We have been using a shoe organizer that hangs in our closet because it made sense at the time of purchase. But over time its mostly been an annoyance. I always feel like we don’t have enough space, which is why we bought the under the bed shoe organizer.

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I feel a lot better using this because it’s out of sight and out of mind. And when we need a pair we can always switch it out with a pair that we don’t use as often.

I really didn’t pay much for these items so I was extremely excited to revamp my room by minimizing the amount of clutter that is seen when I walk in. So far, everything is working out well!
Alright guys, let me know what you think, comments are always welcomed. Thanks for reading!