And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Monday, January 26, 2015

Budget Battle

Last week was a tough week as we followed our new budget. As with any large changes, eventually the newness wears off and the desire to return to old ways rears up. Spending a majority of our time at home is the norm for us (when no one is involved in a sport or other extracurricular activity) but knowing we HAVE to stay at home is a different story. I found myself discontent several times throughout the week and my mood was foul. I just had to keep reminding myself of our larger goals. Even that was not enough sometimes because our goals are long term. This isn't going to change for us in an instant. Then I had to laugh at myself because we are all so geared towards instant gratification. We had a great morning at church yesterday and my mood has been much improved since then. I appreciate your prayers as we continue in our journey!

Even with my foul disposition, we had some good moments and ideas last week. I complain about staying at home, but the last 2 Saturdays we've had family friends come over for dinner. We've made an inexpensive meal (hot dogs and chili for the win!) and just enjoyed having company. We entertained quite often in our old home. This house is smaller and my dining room table is smaller but we've been able to host another family without too many issues. We already have someone scheduled to come next Saturday as well. We are taking advantage of hubby's current shift while we can. Making our inexpensive meal and then just having conversation or playing cards hasn't costed much except time. It's nice to share an evening with other people and have some laughs. If you are working to save money or stick to a budget this year, I encourage you to have someone over. It won't cost as much as a night out but will be a good break from the routine.

My other advice for this week is about taxes now that the time is upon us. Over the years we've used our refund to pay bills, to take trips, to stock up on groceries, and all sorts of things. This year because our battle truly is sticking to a budget, we will divide our refund into our cash envelopes to have a good start on the areas where we know we will spend money. We do have a couple of low cost trips to take this year, and we always allow the kids to attend a camp in the summer. While we adults can forgo most clothing purchases this year, kids that grow quickly (mine are the only ones, right?) have to have clothes at least twice a year (usually much more often) so there is a clothing envelope. Home school is another area where we can't avoid some spending. So our plan is already laid out to where every dollar will go when the refund arrives.

I have 2 questions for you today. What is your favorite inexpensive meal to serve guests? If you get a tax refund, how do you spend it?

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