End of March Update

April is just about here and still so much to do!  I need to fill out my financial worksheet and get my budget back in order.  Gas prices just went up *again* and the local price is $1.38/L – that sucks.  I may consider biking to work this summer, we’ll have to see how that would fit into the schedule.

Mark and I went to see a movie Tuesday night called “Hunger Games“.  I had never heard of it before but the trailer looked really interesting so we went to watch it.  I was chatting with a 13 year old kid at the theater and he told me that it’s a book series (trilogy), looks like we might see a sequel in the future….. I would recommend this movie, reminded me a lot of the Running Man.

Last week I bought a pig.  Well, actually, just half of one.  There is a small farm about 35 minutes from here and it is all natural, pastured raised meat.  They sell pork, lamb, chicken and eggs.  Anyhow, I am in heaven, I have 2 shelves of my freezer dedicated to this all-natural pork.  There is another farm not too far from where we live that raises and sells all-natural beef so I am going to go pick up a few cuts to try this week and perhaps I will buy a blended-quarter.

Last weekend Mark built Ryan a bunch of birdhouses and then we sat and painted them.  We already mounted a bunch of (plain) birdhouses a couple of weeks ago and now we have some more to place around the property.  We get a lot of chickadees, nuthatches, finches, bluejays and woodpeckers around here so hopefully somebody will move in.

And finally, my friend Carla is having a giveaway on her blog, you can get there HERE.  You could win this fun little wallet!  I love Carla’s blog, she always has something interesting to talk about and keeps me motivated with regards to saving money and working on a budget.

And finally, I did register for the 5th Annual Army Run.  I will (attempt) to do the 1/2 marathon (21 km).  I have started to “run” a few days a week but I still feel slow and ungainly.  I think that by eating better and exercising more I should drop a few pounds which hopefully will help with this whole running thing…..  Wish me luck, I’ll keep you posted.

Anyhow, that’s all I can think of to write (for now)  I will try to update again this coming week.



March Break!

Last Friday we drove to my Moms place in Laval, Quebec.  It was another reason why our budget went to hell, but I will get to that later….  Anyhow, gas prices are ridiculous and I did hesitate (briefly) before taking the trip because I knew it was extra $$$, but visiting family won out (this time).  It was a nice visit, got to see my mom, brother, nieces, nephews and luckily my sister got back from being in Europe the day before we left.  Overall, a short visit, but a nice one.

Soooo, what has been happening in the past month? I did, in fact, start a budget and we worked the jars for about two weeks before it all went for a crap.  Yup, I forgot to factor in property taxes which arrived in my mail and are due before the end of this month (eek!) and I also forgot the quarterly insurance payment (house/vehicles).  Ultimately, I need to rework the plan.  I also realized that working a budget was not enough.  I booked an appointment with the local rep for Edward Jones and Mark and I went there today.  We walked in at 1:00pm and walked out at 5:20pm and it’s official, we have a financial visor.  She looked at all our paperwork, we discussed a lot of options specific to our family’s needs and of course, plans for the future.  She is going to come up with a plan for us and I personally believe it is the first step on the path to fiscal responsibility.  I just wish I would have realized how important it was 20 years earlier!  Two of my priorities for the remainder of this month are to (1) get our emergency/vacation fund sorted out and (2) work on our budget worksheet so that I can get a workable budget into place for next month.  I also plan on reading some more blogs that deal with personal finances/frugal living, there are always ways to improve right?  That being said, I will share two articles from SquawkFox, the first is How to Save Money on Laundry and the second, 50 Ways to Save $1000 a Year.  Enjoy!

So, I haven’t been completely lazy all month.  I have slowly been sorting through closets, drawers and storage areas (not done yet though) and trying to organize our “stuff”.  So far we have donated a fair bit to Value Village (another 3 boxes today!), brought a box of clothes to my sister this past weekend and we listed several items on Kijiji.  It really feels good to purge a lot of the stuff that we have been keeping and not using.  I like that our home does not feel cluttered and combined with the budgeting, we are starting to make wiser purchases.

And finally, on Carla’s blog, she is giving away an awesome mug rug that I would love!  So, to get my name thrown in the hat I will provide the name of a creature that makes my skin crawl:  this one is easy….cockroaches…. nasty!