"...In the dance of sun and water and sky. In the faces of the people who need us most and of the people we most need. In the smell of breakfast cooking on a charcoal fire. Who knows where we will find Him or whether we will recognize Him if we do? Who knows anything even approaching the truth of who He really was? But my prayer is that we will all of us find Him somewhere, somehow, and that He will give us something of his life to fill our emptiness, something of his light to drive back our dark"
-The Great Dance -Frederick Buechner

Saturday, December 31, 2011

money management resolutions

Ok... its New Years Eve and I'm all packed and ready for our trip tomorrow and Nels has Molly at my parents for probably another 1/2 hour:)

So here's my second (and probably not my last) set of resolutions for this year.

First of all I'd like to start out by saying that I think Nels and I have done fairly well this year as far as money goes.  Building a house is EXPENSIVE and its hard not to want to furnish and decorate right away.  To start out I'd like to list the ways we have saved money.  We can pat ourselves on the back for the following:

1. We are not in debt trouble whatsoever and I even managed to finish paying off my student loan this year... Wahoo!!

2. The only new piece of furniture we bought for our house was the kitchen table which we got for a fairly decent deal from Home Furnishings in Olds (same place we got our cabinets which we are SUPER happy with).  

notice the 3 chairs... thats why painting the rest of our chairs is on my DIY resolution list:)
3. Along with building a house, having a baby is NOT CHEAP but we got all of our baby furniture, stroller etc... off of kijiji for a fraction of the price new stuff would cost.  Thanks to great family and friends as well who showered us with gifts (video monitor from Nels' family and the most comfy rocker you ever will sit in from my mom just to name a few) we really didn't have to shell out a load of dough.  

beginning stages of decorating Molly's room
4. Most of the art I have in our house was FREE or super cheap.  Thanks to a bunch of free printables I found on the internet like the one below as well as Costco for their SUPER inexpensive developing for a few family pics I developed.

5. I have even tried my hand at DIYing with this mobile I made for Molly's room (out of paper from Michaels and some sort of twine wire stuff.  Speaking of DIYing, Nels contracted all of the trades out for our house which saved some money b/c we could shop around, he's also currently working on completing the finishing work on the house.  He's done the hardwood floor, tile, kitchen ceiling, railings, hung doors, built the deck, and (mostly) finished the soffits himself.  We also painted the majority of the house ourselves (thanks to Dad and Frank for helping with the tricky parts).   

Ok, now for the things we could do better.  Upon reading this post from Young House Love I would like to keep MUCH closer track of our spending.  I"m talking put cash in envelopes for groceries, spending, household items etc... and when the cash is gone thats it for the month.  

To be more specific I'd like to:

1. Keep closer track of food bills and add of receipts all month to see how much we really spent. 

2.  Make cheap meatless dinners at least once a week.  Plan meals in advance so we know what we need for groceries

3.  Put NOTHING on credit cards... if we don't have cash for it, we don't buy it.  

4.  Finish projects I already have the materials for instead of starting new stuff

5.  Be patient and enjoy the wonderful PROCESS that building our house has been.  Look back at the progress we have made often and pat ourselves on the back

6. Go to Calgary LESS.  

7. Grocery shop locally and stay the heck out of the mall:) (not too hard seeing as how I seem to hate the mall after having a baby anyway!)

8. Enjoy our awesome little family and friends every moment we can by entertaining in our house instead of going out

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