Wednesday, April 6, 2011

February & March Wrap-up

I have to admit that as I begin to write this I am feeling a little down. Our financial journey is filled with evidence of God's faithfulness and I know, in my heart of hearts, that He is leading us through a difficult time. Sometimes it's a little hard to keep perspective!

February & March were full of blessings. I actually kept a list this time, but as ever, I'm sure I forgot some. A friend gave us a really nice crib mattress, 10 days spent away from home with family helped the grocery budget, my cousin treated me and the girls to lunch, I got to have pizza twice in February (a huge treat), the girls received a fun toy from an aunt for no occasion, a friend gave us diapers, we set up Eve's new bed which was a gift from a friend, I got formula samples from four friends and coupons from ladies in my MOPS group, my grandma gave us a whole bunch of Easter decorations, a friend gave me a $3 cash coupon for a grocery store she doesn't often visit, a friend volunteered to babysit so DH & I could have a date, I got 16 days of free diapers and a $150 VISA gift card for participating in a diaper study, I got a $25 grocery credit for a transferred prescription, a friend bought me couple of cute tops she found for a bargain price, and finally, we were able to eat out twice as a family through mystery shopping. Isn't all that stuff amazing?! We have wonderful people in our lives and God is good!

My goals for February were mostly accomplished. I was able to spend close to $20 each week on groceries and I used up lots of my freezer and pantry stockpile. I wanted to blog 3 times per week and I think I managed that for the most part. I also wanted to keep having consistent Bible study and I think I've managed that for the most part as well. I did file the business taxes, I did file the personal taxes, and I did use cloth diapers much more including times away from home.

In April I want to:
1. Use the clothesline 25% of the time - about 15 loads of laundry
2. Take DD#3 and DD#4 for portraits, take all four girls for portraits
3. Keep blogging consistently
4. Empty the garage freezer completely (super-challenging but I'm going to try!)
5. Keep up Bible study even though the one I've been involved in at church has ended.
6. Sell at least 3 things to help with the goal of paying off student loan debt.
7. Finish a tax return for a friend.
8. Finally send Christmas cards - Ha!

We have two big expenses this month including an airline ticket to my aunt's wedding that costs $400 and a plumbing repair at our rental property that we anticipate will be $500. These big costs translate into negative cash flow for us. To help mitigate that I agreed to use only $40/week for my household allowance this month. That's gas, groceries, coffee, outings with kids, stamps, thrift stores, etc. Pretty much I'll be buying very few groceries, some gas, and that's it. I already had to dip into the money I had set aside for bulk-buying groceries so I hope I'm more successful in weeks to come than I was this first week!

Wish me luck and/or say a prayer for me.


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