A Thrifty Christmas-25 Days of Experiencing More Spending Less

This is a great way to celebrate Christmas. I will share my weekly low cost or free ways I celebrate.
With Gratitude, Living Intentionally Simple!

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Back on the Cash Wagon

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I created these envelopes to get myself back on track and following my cash only budget plan. The first photo shows a bank envelope and two that I made. I like the envelopes that I get at my bank but they are boring. I took apart a bank envelope and traced it onto thick scrapbook paper. I cut it out and folded it. The only glue needed for these envelopes is the tab across the bottom. You can see the flaps a little easier in the close up shot of my Christmas gift envelope. There is a slot for cash and also an extra flap that you can tuck your receipts into.  I do not record all of my spending but I like to keep track of my receipts so I can see what I am spending my money on and see where I can cut back when I need to save more.

This is the budget that I try to stick too every two weeks. I get paid on the 1st and the 15th of the month. Each time I get paid I withdraw $400 and divide it up as follows:

week #1 gas and groceries $100

week #1 flexible spending $100

week #2 gas and groceries $100

week #2 flexible spending $100

Christmas: anything extra

I don’t like to carry around a lot of cash so I only carry the current week’s envelopes with me.

Ideally when I’m out of cash, Im done. If I am careful this usually works. The past three times I got paid I did not pull out the cash and I thought I could follow my budget using my debit card, how wrong I was! I ended up getting charged three different times from my bank for overdrawing my account. I had to pay a total of $90. The sad thing is that I had the money, just in a different account. So I am back to the cash system. It has worked for me since July (5 months). I am obviously not ready for a debit card.

I will make a few more of my own envelopes and just change them out when they wear out or I get tired of them.

Please share any of your budgeting tips. We can all use new ideas. ❤

 

Planner Tool Kit

Years ago I bought my husbtoolbox frontand the black version of this craftsman tool kit for him to use for everyday tools. A few days ago I saw someone using the adorable pink one for their planner supplies and knew I had to have it. For around $13 I acquired the very handy, beautifully bright Craftsman Planner Kit. It easily fits my purple Day Timer, 4 Moleskine notebooks (waiting on their Postdori which is on the way), a medium size pencil case with lots of room to grow. I especially like the outside pockets which can hold lots of pens, pencils, highlighters and markers.

Grumpy Cat is a silly surprise for the grumpy hubs.

toolbox side

I Love the Rain

rainsmileI really do enjoy the rain. When I was little I was very afraid of the rain. I was a nervous kid and many things frightened me, weather included. I was terrified of the earth shattering booms of a thunderstorm. My dogs are terrified of the rain, thunderstorms, lightning; they hate it all. Their fear reminds me of begin a child scared of the unknown. We comfort the pups the best we can and they have their spots where they find some solace during a storm. It never seems to be enough, until it passes us by.

Now as an adult I find the sounds of rain very comforting. Sometimes I like to open my window, just a bit, to hear the raindrops falling. I enjoy restful sleep when it is raining outside.I am comforted by the rain and the cocoon like state it offers. I feel like life is slowing down and being cleansed of everything. The rain is giving us the opportunity to start anew, try again, and continue forward.

If is not raining where you live and you are looking for this relaxing sound you can listen to 10 hours of Gentle Rain  on you tube. Who knew.

 

De-Clutter: Kitchen Counter

Before

Before

After

After

This weekend I managed to take one small part of my kitchen and clear out the clutter. We desperately need the counter space in my small kitchen and the pile of medicine was taking over valuable real estate in the kitchen. I pulled everything off the counter, cleaned up everything and began to toss. I tossed everything that was outdated (I found something from 2006) and items we will never use. I was hoping to completely clear the counter and get everything into the baskets but its better than it was. I need the hubs to go through everything and maybe toss more.

Baby steps…

Simplify on Saturday

One of my goals for NaBloPoMo is to share with you how I am de-cluttering my life and my house. This is a large task and I am always chipping away at the clutter little by little. I feel like clutter is taking over my life, especially in my house. A few months ago I enlisted Guru Grandma aka MacGyver, aka my mom to help me tackle the master bedroom. She is amazing at clearing out the junk and making a room look open and fresh. We did the master bedroom in one long day. It was too embarrassing to even take before photos but for this challenge I promise I will do it, no matter how bad it is.

If anyone is interested in joining me please post a link to your photos in the comments or just share your experiences. I must admit it always helps to see friends too have piles of clutter.

Linkey Wednesday Party

One of my obsessions is planning and anything related to binders, paper, markets, pens, stickers. How to arrange my binder and most importantly which binder should I use??? I am considering a pretty binder cover from woodlandcottagefarm on esty.com If the three-ring binder works out I might have to buy this cover.

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Two inch, three-ring binder from Target.

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Flower pouch from Target.

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Dashboard made by me using plastic sheet from A.C. Moore. Weekly pages from Anima Vivo at etsy.com

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Budget pages made by me using Publisher.

december 2014

Monthly made by me on Publisher

november

Monthly made by me on Publisher

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Check register pages from Pinterest.

I follow a few groups and everyone throws around names like Franklin Covey, Kate Spade, Filofax…. I have some of these planners but it’s not because of the name, I think. I have very specific wants when it comes to my planner and when my life situations change, so does my planner. Do I consider the adorable Kate Spade because it is a Kate Spade or do I really love it?

CK explores brand identity in her post Breaking Up With Brands.

Shana from Simplified Organized Style speaks to my own heart when she talks about the affliction known as Planneritis in her post, Perfect Planner Does Not Mean Perfect Plans . You know when you are obsessed with finding the perfect planner knowing that the perfect planner will bring you the perfect life, right? We know life doesn’t really work this way but deep down inside I feel a spark of hope that the more perfect my planner the better my plans will be and I will be more likely to follow my plans. Do you agree?