Happy New Year’s Eve Eve, everyone! This is my last blog post of 2015 so I thought I would post about a subject that will definitely be influencing my choices in 2016. I wouldn’t say it’s a New Years resolution so much as a lifestyle change. Which in my opinion is one of the best ways to really stick to positive changes in your life.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! This Christmas was probably the most fun I’ve had since I was a kid. James and Emma had such a blast opening their presents and playing with the wrapping paper. If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you saw them having a blast. And I have to admit my family and friends spoiled me with gifts this year. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.
As I mentioned in my past two monthly budget recaps, our grocery expenses are a little out of control. Our average monthly grocery expense since moving to Alabama has been way too high for 2 adults and 2 toddlers. Yes, there’s the Celiac’s disease which attributes to why EVERYTHING has to be gluten-free. And I’m all about about supporting local businesses and buying organic. But I felt that it has to be possible to eat gluten-free, organic, healthy, hearty foods without spending over $1000/month. So this past week I decided to be very conscious of our food spending, eliminately anything that seemed wasteful or unnecessary. I was going to put a limit on our spending for the week, but I’m more interested in what GF + organic really costs when you’re living comfortably, not subsisting off of paltry meals. I NEVER want to not look forward to things I’m eating. Food is sustainance, but food is also fun!
On the blog past Friday I provided a quick synopsis and review of The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsay and the 7 Baby Steps described in the book. If you haven’t already read last week’s post, I recommend you read it first before learning about my progress. We’ve been following the baby steps for almost a month now, and we have kind of fast tracked our way through them since we were already being pretty responsible.
In case y’all didn’t realize it, Christmas is in 1 week! And I’ve only had two blog posts this month….smh. I always dream big about posting a bunch and life gets in the way. I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve started writing or have started researching, but haven’t finished. It’s seriously a miracle that this post is even getting published! I read this book almost a month ago, it’s been renewed at the library twice, so I need to turn it back in, like, tomorrow. I don’t want to promise that I’ll be more consistent because I can’t make this blog a priority right now. I will promise that I think about my awesome readers daily, and I am working on getting content out there quicker versus ruminating on an idea for like eight years before scrapping it. Anyways, on to the review!
I’ve always loved the idea of having a streamlined beauty routine, but I haven’t always taken the right steps to move in that direction. With the winter season approaching and some travel planned for the end of the month, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to carefully edit the products on my vanity. I’ve been having a lot of fun just using my winter beauty capsule, so I thought I would share with y’all what I’ve been using.
I have really been loving fall in Alabama. The weather has been gorgeous with very little humidity and quite a few sunny days. It’s winter in Alabama, that I’m not so sure about. It has been raining non-stop since Saturday. That’s four full days of rain. I’ve been waiting for flooding and an ark to float by, but this clay does a pretty good job of soaking it all up. Not to say there aren’t some areas of Huntsville/Madison that could flood. Ryan and I were perusing the realtor sides, you know, typical Saturday night stuff for twenty-somethings, when we found this house for sale at a STEAL in a neighborhood we love.
In my last post, I mentioned that the reason my husband and I are holding out to purchase a home is because we don’t want to pay PMI for having less than 20% down. One of the reasons I chose to start talking publicly about our finances is because it allows me to look at things from an outsider’s perspective. When I edit blog drafts, one of the many things I do is ask myself questions I think my readers would propose as they read through. Of course, immediately after I typed out, “I don’t want PMI so I’m saving up the 20%” I realized “but if you’re planning on paying off your home, there might be some overall savings if you take the small hit from the PMI instead of paying rent every month”. For instance, if you’re paying a $50 PMI on top of a $850 mortgage, that’s still cheaper than $1000 in rent.